OTTAWA — Team Kelsey Rocque defeated Team Corryn Brown 8-5 on Saturday evening to earn a berth at the Tim Hortons Curling Trials later this fall in Saskatoon.
Rocque stole two in the seventh and improved to 3-1 at the 2021 Trials Direct Entry women's curling competition while Brown fell to 1-3.
Rocque joined Casey Scheidegger in advancing directly to the Nov. 20-28 Trials. Scheidegger became the first of three women's teams from this week's event to qualify by defeating Brown 6-4 earlier Saturday.
Also in Saturday's evening session, Team Laura Walker (2-2) dropped into third place behind Scheidegger and Rocque with an 8-5 loss to Team Suzanne Birt in the other Draw 5 women's game. Birt improved to 1-3.
Walker can earn the third women's trials spot with a victory over Birt on Sunday as competition continues at the RA Centre. The lower-seeded Birt needs to defeat Walker twice.
In the earlier Draw 4, Scheidegger played a hit around a corner guard in the 10th end to run Brown out of rocks. Scheidegger's team of vice-skip Cary-Anne McTaggart, Jessie Haughian and lead Kristie Moore exchanged hugs and high-fives after securing the victory.
“We tried not to think about it, but we did do a little scenario check this morning, hence the celebration," Scheidegger said. "We’re very excited after guaranteeing our spot."
Team Rocque scored two in the 10th end for a 6-5 win over Team Birt.
The two women's teams that don't make the cut this week will still have a chance to qualify via the Oct. 26-31 Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials in Liverpool, N.S. A Pre-Trials Direct Entry competition is also running this week in Ottawa.
Team Kerri Einarson, Team Rachel Homan, Team Jennifer Jones and Team Tracy Fleury have already qualified for the Trials.
In the Trials Direct Entry men's event, Team Mike McEwen (5-1) and Team Matt Dunstone (5-1) earned spots at the Trials.
McEwen defeated Team Jason Gunnlaugson (1-5) 9-8 before Dunstone downed Team Glenn Howard (2-3) 8-6.
Earlier Saturday, McEwen topped Team Colton Flasch 9-4 while Dunstone beat Gunnlaugson 6-5 in an extra end.
With McEwen and Dunstone advancing, Howard, Gunnlaugson and Flasch (1-4) fell into the Pre-Trials draw.
Team Brad Gushue, Team John Epping, Team Kevin Koe, Team Brad Jacobs and Team Brendan Bottcher have already qualified for the Saskatoon playdowns.
The Trials winners will represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 25, 2021.
The Canadian Press