GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — Laura Walker made a game-winning draw Sunday afternoon to win the Alberta women's curling playdowns and secure a berth in the upcoming national championship.
She threw her final stone to the four-foot ring for a 6-5 win over Casey Scheidegger at the Bonnetts Energy Centre.
Walker finished third at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last year in the Calgary bubble. The 2022 competition is set for Jan. 28 - Feb. 6 in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Mary-Anne Arsenault beat Kayla MacMillan 8-6 on Sunday to win the British Columbia title. Penny Barker earned the Saskatchewan crown with a 7-5 victory over Chelsea Carey.
Two-time defending champion Kerri Einarson and her Manitoba-based team will play as the Canada entry at the Scotties.
Other confirmed entries include Manitoba's Mackenzie Zacharias, New Brunswick's Andrea Crawford, Sarah Hill of Newfoundland and Labrador, Northern Ontario's Krista McCarville, Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia's Christina Black, Nunavut's Brigitte MacPhail, Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island, Quebec's Laurie St-Georges and Yukon's Hailey Birnie.
Three-time Scotties winner Rachel Homan has a provisional spot out of Ontario. However, the provincial association has said that Hollie Duncan will be the Ontario representative if Homan is selected to play on the Canadian mixed doubles team at the Beijing Olympics.
Curling Canada will return to a single play-in game this year to determine the Team Wild Card entry. Three wild-card teams played last year in a one-time expanded format.
Canada's Olympic mixed doubles trials were cancelled on Boxing Day due to COVID-19 issues. An announcement on the Canadian representatives is expected over the coming days.
Jennifer Jones will represent Canada in the four-player women's competition at the Beijing Games. Brad Gushue will skip the men's entry.
The men's national championship, the Tim Hortons Brier, is scheduled for March 4-13 in Lethbridge, Alta.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 9, 2022.