With the Tim Hortons Curling Trials quickly approaching, TSN.ca will profile one men’s team and one women’s team each day before the first rocks fly on Nov. 20 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
Team Kelsey Rocque
Skip: Kelsey Rocque (Age 27)
Third: Danielle Schmiemann (25)
Second: Dana Ferguson (34)
Lead: Rachel Brown (35)
Alternate: Stefanie Lawton (41)
Coach: Beth Iskiw (42)
Curling Club: Saville Community Sports Centre in Edmonton
CTRS Ranking: 7
Highlights: Rocque had a career best result at the most recent Grand Slam earlier this month, making the semifinals at the National where she dropped a 6-3 decision to Tracy Fleury. Team Rocque made the quarters at the Saville Shoot-Out in September and went 3-1 at the Direct Entry event.
How They Got Here
Qualified for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials via Curling Canada’s Trials Direct Entry event in September in Ottawa.
Nov. 20 – Off Day
Nov. 21 – Laura Walker, Tracy Fleury
Nov. 22 – Rachel Homan
Nov. 23 – Casey Scheidegger
Nov. 24 – Jennifer Jones
Nov. 25 – Krista McCarville, Jacqueline Harrison
Nov. 26 – Kerri Einarson
Expert Analysis from TSN's Cheryl Bernard
Team Rocque will win the Trials if…
"Their front-end is among the best in the world. Their skip, Kelsey Rocque, has won at every level including two-world juniors and the World Universiade. This team’s best chance of winning the Trials is if Danielle Schmiemann can somehow evolve into one of the stories of the Trials. Playing in her first Trials, Schmiemann will be matched up against players such as Emma Miskew, Val Sweeting, Kaitlyn Lawes, Selena Njegovan, Kate Cameron and other very strong thirds. I look to Rachel Brown and Dana Ferguson to keep her calm, relaxed and confident."
This will be the first Tim Hortons Curling Trials for both 27-year-old skip Kelsey Rocque and 25-year-old third Danielle Schmiemann. They haven’t competed at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts as regulars, aside from Rocque when she served as an alternate for Laura Walker in 2020.
The front-end duo of lead Rachel Brown and second Dana Ferguson will be counted on to provide the experience in Saskatoon. The best buds competed as teammates at both the 2013 and 2017 Trials for Val Sweeting. They fell short of the three-team playoff both times, finishing 3-4 in 2013 and 4-4 in 2017.
Still, Brown and Ferguson have plenty of reps at both the Olympic Trials and Scotties and will need to be a stable force to give Rocque and Schmiemann the opportunity to perform to their abilities under the bright lights.
Last Four Years
Brown and Ferguson, who have played together on various teams since 2012, won their first Canadian title in 2019 as a part of Chelsea Carey’s squad. They finished 6-6 at the world championships in Riga, Latvia that year.
They returned to the Scotties in 2020 as Team Canada, finishing 5-6.
Following the Moose Jaw Scotties, Team Carey disbanded as Brown and Ferguson joined forces with Rocque and Schmiemann.
The pandemic cancelled basically the entire Tour season, leaving the new-look Team Rocque no opportunity to compete as a foursome. However, inside the bubble, Brown filled in at lead for Laura Walker’s team while Ferguson served as an alternate/coach. After a strong week, Team Walker went home with the bronze medal.
Rocque and Schmiemann parted ways briefly after winning the 2015 World Junior Curling Championship, but joined forces again in 2018-19.
Schmiemann made the semifinals of the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship with John Morris last season, losing to eventual champs Kerri Einarson and Brad Gushue.