Lake Country’s Mary-Anne Arsenault will have to make room on her jacket for her latest purple heart, the first of her illustrious curling career in her new province.
Arsenault won her 15th provincial women’s curling championship and first in British Columbia – the other 14 come from her home province of Nova Scotia – Sunday, Jan. 9, at the Kamloops Curling Club, defeating Vancouver’s Kayla MacMillan 8-6 in the final.
Arsenault will now represent B.C. at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Canadian championships, an event she won five times with Colleen Jones, Jan. 28 – Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Backed by Kelowna residents Jeanna Schraeder at third, second Sasha Carter and lead Renee Simons – a trio no stranger to the Scotties themselves – and fifth player Morgan Muise, Arsenault rallied in Sunday’s final by scoring three in the ninth end to take a 7-6 lead, then stole a point without the hammer in the 10th to secure the B.C. title.
It was the third meeting of the provincials between the two rinks, MacMillan winning the first two games by 6-5 scores in the A event playoff qualifier, then the one-two game in the Page playoff system.
Arsenault, who qualified for the final four by winning the B event, shook off the defeat to knock off the 2019 B.C. champion, Abbotsford’s Sarah Wark 6-4 in the semifinal for another shot at MacMillan.
Wark and defending B.C. champion Corryn Brown of Kamloops qualified for the playoffs out of the C event with Wark edging the hometown favourite 8-7 in the three-four playoff game. Penticton’s Dezaray Hawes played second for Brown.
Schraeder, Carter and Simons have been to a combined 13 Scotties, all with Kelly Scott of Kelowna. Simons last went to the nationals in 2006 while Carter and Schraeder last competed at the 2013 event.
Vernon’s Kim Slattery played lead for Shiela Cowan of New Westminster. The quartet was eliminated 8-1 by Brown in a C event qualifier. Kelowna’s Megan McGillivray through third stones for the Taylor Reese-Hansen team of Terrace-Kelowna-Kamloops-Victoria. They were knocked out of contention, 9-4, by Wark in the opening round of the C event.
• For the first time in four years, Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Rick Sawatsky will watch the Brier rather than participate in it.
Cotter, Sawatsky and teammates Grant Olsen of Kamloops and Andrew Nerpin of Kelowna were eliminated in Sunday’s semifinal at the B.C. Men’s Curling Championships in Cotter’s hometown of Kamloops by Jeff Richard of Kelowna.
Richard took on Victoria’s Paul Cseke – who grew up and curled in Salmon Arm – in the provincial final, the winner advancing to the Tim Hortons Brier March 4-13 in Lethbridge.
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