Posted at 8:35 pm on February 13, 2013
The Scotties Tournament of Hearts is this weekend. The best women curlers in Canada will battle to represent the country at the worlds. So which teams are we keeping an eye on? We’ll take a look at our most likely picks to win the crown.
The obvious team to beat is the defending champions: Heather Nedohin. Her rink from Edmonton will be wearing the red and white, which other teams always see as a target. Some brushed off Nedohin’s victory last year as an anomaly, but when one looks at the tour results this team has been posting, you need to take them seriously. The Nedohin rink has remained in the background for quite some time. They’ve never truly dominated a season, as someone like Jennifer Jones or Shannon Kleibrink may have done in the past, but they’re always a contender. The big disadvantage for Team Nedohin has to do with the Scotties format. As defending champions, Nedohin automatically qualified for the event as “Team Canada”. Every other team had to win their way into the event through their provincial playdowns. This means that Nedohin is the only team not headed to the Scotties off a recent major victory. In a sport where momentum counts for a lot, they could have trouble dealing with some middle-pack teams that are still riding their provincial high.
Jennifer Jones is another team we expect to do well. This sounds like a no-brainer. Multiple national champion and world champion, the Jones girls know how to win. Not only are they skilled, but they’re mentally tough as nails. Even their youngest player, Kaitlyn Lawes, has extensive experience on the world stage thanks to her multiple Canadian Junior titles. This season, however, winning hasn’t come easy to the Jones’ rink. The skipper has been battling through some injuries which has left Kaitlyn Lawes at the helm for some big tournaments. With no appearances in a Grand Slam final so far this season, Jones is itching for a big win.
Perhaps the most entertaining team to watch is Rachel Homan’s crew from Ontario. This young team is insanely skilled and have been running with the big dogs since they were still eligible for junior events. They have appeared in three Grand Slam finals this season, and even won one of them! For a team comprised of players in their mid 20s, the sky is the limit. They are very intense, very hard working, and very talented. If the Homan girls can get on a roll, they will likely win the Scotties.
And, to round out our list, we need to mention the return of Colleen Jones. Unbeatable in her day, Jones has all but vanished from the curling world. She’s returning to the Scotties this year playing third for Mary-Anne Arsenault. Long-time team member Kim Kelly is also on board for Team Nova Scotia. While they’re not serious contenders for the title, it should make for what a nostalgic Scotties experience.
Let us know in the comments who your picking to win the 2013 Scotties.