It’s been a marathon, however the seventh and ultimate occasion of the Calgary curling bubble has arrived.
Dozens of the world’s greatest curling rinks have been out and in of the bubble at Markin MacPhail Centre for the reason that begin of the festivities over two months in the past.
Now, after so many terrific moments and storylines, all of it wraps up with the LGT World Ladies’s Curling Championship.
It appears so way back when Kerri Einarson and her Gimli, Man., crew of third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur defended their Scotties Match of Hearts title, incomes the honour to characterize Canada on the Ladies’s Worlds for the primary time following the cancellation of final yr’s occasion as a result of pandemic.
On the time of their victory, there was an actual likelihood Crew Einarson had been going to overlook out on donning the Pink and White once more after Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the unique location of the Ladies’s Worlds, withdrew permission to host the 2021 occasion on account of COVID-19 problems.
Fortunately, the World Curling Federation and Curling Canada found out the logistics and had been ready so as to add the occasion –operating from Friday, April 30, by means of Sunday, Might 9 – to the Calgary bubble schedule.
There was one other scare simply this week when two rivals obtained constructive COVID-19 outcomes upon their arrival to Calgary. Organizers cancelled the opening practice session following the constructive outcomes, however Friday stays the scheduled begin date for the world championship at this second and time. And that’s some actual excellent news as a result of the finale of this yr’s unprecedented Season of Champions needs to be a deal with with a 14-team subject filled with legit podium contenders.
Lengthy gone are the times when Canada rolls into both the ladies’s or males’s curling worlds because the undisputed No. 1 contenders. Even a playoff look isn’t essentially 100 per cent assured anymore. Chelsea Carey’s rink missed out in 2019, the primary time a Canadian girls’s crew failed to succeed in the playoffs on the worlds since 1999.
There aren’t any “simple wins” on the schedule with even the lower-ranked international locations totally able to upsetting the Canadians once in a while beneath the intense lights.
Brier champion Brendan Bottcher and his crew from Alberta, top-of-the-line rinks on the planet, didn’t clinch a playoff spot on the World Males’s Curling Championship till the second final day of round-robin play. They’d go on to fall to Bruce Mouat and the eventual silver medallists from Scotland within the quarterfinals.
All in all, with extra parity within the sport, the motion and storylines are all of the extra compelling.
Identical to Crew Bottcher, Einarson and firm’s first goal will likely be to complete within the top-six following pool play as it should give Canada a direct entry into girls’s curling at subsequent yr’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, China.
Crew Einarson, led by their 33-year-old skip, have been rocks star contained in the bubble this winter and spring. After capturing a second straight Canadian championship, Einarson teamed up with Brad Gushue to win the Canadian Combined Doubles Curling Championship in what was her very first occasion within the self-discipline.
Then, after a short break, the foursome returned to the bubble and made a stable run on the Champions Cup on the Grand Slam circuit, shedding to Crew Rachel Homan within the semifinals, earlier than getting the higher of Crew Homan within the Gamers’ Championship ultimate on Sunday, defending their title from 2019.
Einarson’s document contained in the bubble is a outstanding 32-6, a profitable share of 0.842.
Of all of the groups competing at this yr’s Ladies’s Worlds, Crew Einarson can have spent essentially the most time contained in the bubble by far. We’ll should see if that issue performs a job a method or one other for the Canadians.
Canada is ranked third on the planet coming in, behind Sweden and South Korea.
You possibly can watch all of Crew Canada’s video games on the LGT World Ladies’s Curling Championship in addition to each sport of the playoffs all through the week on TSN and streaming on TSN.ca, the TSN App and TSN Direct.
To take a look at the whole broadcast schedule, click on HERE.
Let’s take a more in-depth have a look at Canada’s path to gold on the LGT World Ladies’s Curling Championship.
Sport 1 – Sweden (Crew Anna Hasselborg)
Friday, April 30, at 4pm et on TSN1
Skip: Anna Hasselborg
Third: Sara McManus
Second: Agnes Knochenhauer
Lead: Sofia Mabergs
Alternate: Johanna Heldin
WCF Rating: 1
Canada kicks issues off in opposition to the top-ranked nation on the planet. Anna Hasselborg and her Swedish rink have gone house with the silver medal on the previous two World Ladies’s Curling Championship – shedding to Jennifer Jones in 2018 and Silvana Tirinzoni in 2019 – and will likely be a prime contender as soon as once more in Calgary. Crew Hasselborg has been collectively since 2015, highlighted by the crew’s gold-medal efficiency on the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Hasselborg and her rink have been contained in the Calgary bubble for a couple of weeks now. They struggled on the Champions Cup with an 0-4 document earlier than bouncing again and making a run on the Gamers’ Championship, reaching the semifinals the place they fell to Einarson’s crew, 5-4, final weekend. The 2 sides have been evenly matched all-time of their head-to-head video games with Hasselborg taking seven of 13 contests. This may the fourth world championship look for the crew from Sundbybergs. Sweden has received eight gold medals on the girls’s curling worlds, adequate for second all-time, 9 behind Canada. Canadian curling legend Wayne Middaugh has coached Crew Hasselborg since 2018.
Sport 2 – Czech Republic (Crew Anna Kubeskova)
Friday, April 30, at 9pm et on TSN1
Skip: Anna Kubeskova
Third: Alzbeta Baudysova
Second: Michaela Baudysova
Lead: Ezen Kolcevskaja
Alternate: Petra Vinsova
WCF Rating: 11
Canada will end off their opener in opposition to Sweden and be proper again on the ice a couple of hours later in an evening cap in opposition to the Czechs. Anna Kubeskova, 31, will skip the central European nation on the worlds for a fifth time and can look to enhance on her profession greatest 6-6 exhibiting in 2018. Kubeskova snuck into the six-team playoff that yr however fell to Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva within the qualification sport. It was the best end for the nation of their historical past on the Ladies’s Worlds. Alzbeta and Michaela Baudysova are sisters on the crew.
Sport 3 – Switzerland (Crew Silvana Tirinzoni)
Saturday, Might 1, at 4pm et on TSN1
Skip: Silvana Tirinzoni
Fourth: Alina Paetz
Second: Esther Neuenschwander
Lead: Melanie Barbezat
Alternate: Carole Howald
WCF Rating: 4
Silvana Tirinzoni and Switzerland are the defending champs at this yr’s World Ladies’s Curling Championship as they received the title in 2019 in Silkeborg, Denmark, the final time the occasion was performed. Switzerland has received gold seven occasions on the Ladies’s Worlds, together with a formidable run of 5 titles previously eight years. This will likely be Tirinzoni’s fifth time skipping Switzerland on the occasion. The 41-year-old simply missed the playoffs on the Olympics three years in the past, ending 4-5. Alina Paetz, a two-time world champ previous to becoming a member of Tirinzoni in 2018, throws final stones because the crew’s fourth. Einarson has overwhelmed Tirinzoni in 10 of their 18 head-to-head matchups, however the Swiss skip has taken 4 of the final 5, together with a 10-3 rout on the Gamers’ Championship final week. Tirinzoni fell to Rachel Homan within the Champions Cup ultimate the week prior. Anticipate to see the Swiss within the playoffs with an actual shot at reaching the rostrum as properly.
Sport 4 – RCF (Crew Alina Kovaleva)
Saturday, Might 1, at 9pm et on TSN1/3
Skip: Alina Kovaleva
Third: Julia Portunova
Second: Galina Arsenkina
Lead: Ekaterina Kuzmina
Alternate: Maria Komarova
WCF Rating: 6
It will likely be one other back-to-back doubleheader day for Crew Einarson on the primary Saturday of the ladies’s curling worlds. After taking up the defending champions within the afternoon, Canada will battle RCF’s Crew Alina Kovaleva within the night. With Russia serving a two-year World Anti-Doping Company ban, Kovaleva’s rink will go by the title RCF in Calgary. Sergey Glukhov led RCF to a fourth-place end on the Males’s Worlds earlier this month, beating Canada alongside the best way in pool play. The 28-year-old Kovaleva skipped Russia on the 2019 curling worlds, ending 9-3 within the spherical robin earlier than shedding to Japan within the qualification sport, 11-3, a sport wherein Kovaleva shot simply 59 per cent. Julia Portunova has since changed Anastasia Bryzgalova at vice. Crew Kovaleva is one other squad that’s been within the bubble for some time now, reaching the quarters on the Champions Cup earlier than making some early noise on the Gamers’ Championship with wins over Rachel Homan and Jennifer Jones. They’d go on to complete 2-3 and miss the playoffs. Einarson obtained the higher of the Russian within the Champions Cup with a 5-2 win and has taken three of 4 all-time from Kovaleva. The Saint Petersburg rink is totally able to doing a little extra injury on the Ladies’s Worlds and will discover themselves on the rostrum with a powerful week and some upsets.
Sport 5 – United States (Crew Tabitha Peterson)
Sunday, Might 2, at 4pm et on TSN1/4
Skip: Tabitha Peterson
Third: Nina Roth
Second: Becca Hamilton
Lead: Tara Peterson
Alternate: Aileen Geving
WCF Rating: 8
Tabitha Peterson will compete in her fifth World Ladies’s Curling Championship this yr, however it will likely be the primary time as a skip. The 32-year-old Peterson performed third for Nina Roth on the 2018 Olympics, ending with a 4-5 document. Peterson and Roth have since switched positions. The USA final reached the rostrum in 2006 when Debbie McCormick captured silver. Three years prior, McCormick received the nation’s lone gold medal on the Ladies’s Worlds, beating Colleen Jones of Canada within the ultimate. Jamie Sinclair simply missed the playoffs on the final worlds two years in the past, ending with a 6-6 document. The rink out of the St. Paul Curling Membership competed on the two Slam occasions this month, going 1-3 on the Champions Cup and 0-5 on the Gamers’ Championship. Einarson and Peterson squad off twice in these occasions, profitable each occasions. Can Crew Peterson get america again into the highest six in Calgary?
Sport 6 – Germany (Crew Daniela Jentsch)
Monday, Might 3, at 11am et on TSN1
Skip: Daniela Jentsch
Third: Mia Hoehne
Second: Klara-Hermine Fomm
Lead: Analena Jentsch
Alternate: Emira Abbes
WCF Rating: 12
Daniela Jentsch is again to skip the Germans on the girls’s curling worlds for the sixth straight time. The 39-year-old made her debut in 2000 as a 3rd for Petra Tschetsch. Andrea Schöpp received gold for Germany again in 2010, however the nation hasn’t reached the playoffs since. Jentsch’s greatest exhibiting was in 2019 when she completed with a 5-7 document. Twenty-year-old Mia Hoehne replaces Emira Abbes because the vice on this yr’s crew. Abbes will stay on as an alternate. Let’s see if the skilled Jentsch can maintain Germany within the playoff hunt in Calgary.
Sport 7 – South Korea (Crew Eun-jung Kim)
Monday, Might 3, at 4pm et on TSN1
Skip: Eun-jung Kim
Third: Kyeong-ae Kim
Second: Cho-hi Kim
Lead: Seon-yeong Kim
Alternate: Yeong-mi Kim
WCF Rating: 2
Eun-jung Kim and the Garlic Women are again on the world curling scene. The foursome made worldwide headlines on house soil throughout their silver medal run on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, incomes the nickname “Garlic Women” because of their hometown of Uiseong, which is thought for its bountiful garlic manufacturing. A month after the Olympics, Crew Kim had been in North Bay, Ont., for the Ladies’s Worlds, posting an 8-4 document en path to a playoff look. Nevertheless, a training scandal saved them away from the ice for a superb portion of the next season after they spoke out on the verbal and emotional abuse they had been topic to from their coaches and officers. Prize cash was additionally saved for from them. The nation’s Nationwide Sports activities Ministry investigated, finally resulting in the lifetime bans of assorted officers inside the Korean Curling Federation, together with their former vice-president. Now, with the teaching scandal within the rear-view mirror, Kim and firm have returned to the World Ladies’s Curling Championship for a 3rd time. The crew has been tweaked for the reason that Olympics as Cho-hi Kim is the brand new second with Seon-yeong Kim now taking part in lead. This squad was some of the compelling and enjoyable to look at throughout their time within the highlight in 2018 and proved they had been a rink to be reckoned with on the worldwide stage. They’ll be one in all many podium contenders contained in the curling bubble.
Sport 8 – Italy (Crew Stefania Constantini)
Tuesday, Might 4, at 11am et on TSN1/4
Skip: Stefania Constantini
Third: Marta Lo Deserto
Second: Angela Romei
Lead: Giulia Zardini Lacedelli
Alternate: Elena Dami
WCF Rating: 13
Italy would be the second-lowest ranked crew at this yr’s girls’s curling worlds. At 22, Stefania Constantini is the second youngest skip within the subject. General, Crew Italy is the youngest rink the sphere as lead Giulia Zardini Lacedelli is eighteen whereas third Marta Lo Deserto is nineteen. Constantini performed second for Diana Gaspari on the 2018 Worlds because the Italians completed final with a 2-10 document. Canada will certainly have the expertise on their aspect on this mid-week conflict.
Sport 9 – Scotland (Crew Eve Muirhead)
Tuesday, Might 4, at 9pm et on TSN1/3
Skip: Eve Muirhead
Third: Vicky Wright
Second: Jennifer Dodds
Lead: Lauren Grey
Alternate: Sophie Sinclair
WCF Rank: 7
Scotland’s Eve Muirhead tuned 30 earlier this month and is already set to compete in her ninth profession world championship. That quantity is much more spectacular when you think about she hasn’t performed within the occasion since 2017. Muirhead received gold in 2013 and likewise has silver and bronze medals from 2010 and 2017, respectively. The crew from Stirling may not at their greatest coming in having missed the playoffs at each of the Grand Slams main as much as the Ladies’s Worlds with a mixed 3-7 document. As well as, Einarson has undoubtedly had Muirhead’s quantity through the years, taking 10 of their 11 matchups. Nonetheless, if the Scots can get again on observe, they’ll be within the combine for the playoffs.
Sport 10 – Estonia (Crew Marie Turmann)
Wednesday, Might 5, at 11am et on TSN1
Skip: Marie Turmann
Third: Liisa Turmann
Second: Heili Grossmann
Lead: Erika Tuvike
Alternate: Kerli Laidsalu
WCF Rank: 19
Crew Einarson’s lone sport on Wednesday will likely be in opposition to Estonia, which is making its debut on the World Ladies’s Curling Championship. The northern European nation, ranked nineteenth on the planet, is skipped by 26-year-old Marie Turmann. Turmann’s sister Liisa is the third on the crew. The Canadians will likely be closely favoured on this one, however in fact these days of curling, nothing could be taken with no consideration.
Sport 11 – Denmark (Crew Madeleine Dupont)
Thursday, Might 6, at 11am on TSN1
Skip: Madeleine Dupont
Third: Mathilde Halse
Second: Denise Dupont
Lead: Lina Knudsen
Alternate: My Larsen
WCF Rank: 10
The sister combo of skip Madeleine Dupont and second Denise Dupont will every make a formidable twelfth look on the girls’s curling worlds this yr, essentially the most by any participant at this yr’s occasion. The Duponts’ greatest end got here in 2007 after they fell to Canada’s Kelly Scott within the gold-medal sport. In addition they have a bronze medal from 2009. Marianne Jorgensen received Denmark’s lone world title in 1982. Ranked tenth on the planet, Denmark could be in robust to succeed in the highest six and straight qualify for the 2022 Winter Olympics.
Sport 12 – Japan (Crew Sayaka Yoshimura)
Thursday, Might 6, at 4pm et on TSN1
Skip: Sayaka Yoshimura
Third: Kaho Onodera
Second: Anna Ohmiya
Lead: Yumie Funayama
Alternate: Ayami Ito
WCF Rank: 5
Sayaka Yoshimura defeated Satsuki Fujisawa within the Japan Curling Championships earlier this yr and can skip her nation on the world championships for the primary time. The 29-year-old performed third for Ayumi Ogasawara on the 2015 Worlds, simply lacking out on the playoffs with a 6-5 document. Japan’s greatest end got here in 2016 when Fujisawa captured silver. Seina Nakajima skipped Japan in 2019 and completed fourth.
Sport 13 – China (Yu Han)
Friday, Might 7, at 11am et on TSN1/3
Skip: Yu Han
Third: Ziqi Dong
Second: Lijun Zhang
Lead: Xindi Jiang
Alternate: Hui Yan
WCF Rank: 9
Canada will shut out pool play in opposition to world championship rookies. China is led by 21-year-old Yu Han, the youngest skip within the subject. On the 2019 worlds, skipped by Mei Jie, China certified for the playoffs, and completed sixth. The nation final reached the rostrum in 2011 with their solely gold-medal efficiency coming in 2009 from Bingyu Wang.