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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Welcome to Saskatoon, Ladies!

Colonial Square Ladies Classic
The ladies head to Saskatoon this weekend for the 3rd leg of the Grand Slam on the women’s tour.  Crazy back to back grand slam events for the women.  With Team Jennifer Jones winning the Autumn Gold in Calgary back in early October and Team Val Sweeting winning the Master in Selkirk last weekend, will we see a third different team take home this leg of the grand slam circuit?  Defending champ Jones is skipping this event so a new champ will be crowned.


Team Sweeting (6 overall rank/5 YTD) – Well hard to argue against them isn’t it?  They dealt with some drama last week then rolled through their competition and picked up the Masters title.  The only question surrounding this team is how new third Lori Olson-Johns fits in with the team.  This is the 3rd player at this position this year.  The hope right now is Olson-Johns will be the regular vice-skip.  But, as we already learned, nothing is ever set in stone with curling teams.  Will yet another new player help or hinder this team?

Team Anderson (11/71) – Sherri Anderson (also known as Team Stef Lawton) will have the home province support behind them.  This team (in various different forms) has won this event 4 of the past 6 years.  Even with a slightly different line up, I would not count this team out.  They had an ok showing last weekend in Selkirk, just missing a qualification spot.  They should be fired up to be back on Sasky ice.

Watch Out For:

Team Muirhead (4/11) – Well if any team wants to put last weekend behind them, it has to be these ladies.  A big disappointment in Selkirk will hopefully motivate this team to come out on fire in Saskatoon.  Always a threat in any event, regardless of past performances on the season, you have to think if they can reel off a few wins early on, they will get on a roll.  If that happens, watch out everyone.  This bad luck losing streak cannot continue much longer can it?

Team Middaugh (9/6) – Ah team slider1!  Sherry Middaugh has, in a way, re-established herself as a force on the curling tour over the past year.  Almost nabbing that Olympic berth last December seemed to really light a fire under this team.  They have qualified in their last 4 events, including a championship at Shorty Jenkins and a QF appearance last weekend.

Team Tirinzoni (5/2) – One of the Swiss dynamo teams, these ladies have had an outstanding season so far.  4 events, 4 qualifications, 2 titles.  The only team with a better track record right now would be Team McEwen on the men’s tour.  This team has been coming to Canada for many seasons now and racking up the points (and money!!).  I would be buying shares in the success of this team!  Plus they have a very favorable draw.

Dark Horse:

Team Jaggi (14/17)– Yet another Swiss team right?  Heck yeah!  If the Masters last weekend taught us anything it is to never underestimate the long list of female teams from Switzerland.  Jaggi was not in Selkirk last weekend but she was still on the ice.  They participated in the Shamrock Shotgun in Edmonton where they lost in the championship final.  My big question mark with this team is the streak they have this season: DNQ – 7 – DNQ – 3 – DNQ – 2 - ?? So does this mean they will not qualify this weekend or are they due for a win?

Qualifiers: Team Middaugh, Team Tirinzoni, Team Muirhead, Team Sweeting, Team Anderson, Team Jaggi, Team Eberle, Team Paetz

Championship Final: Team Tirinzoni over Team Jaggi

Yup, I am calling an all-Swiss final in Saskatoon.  The houses will be rocking in Saskatchewan....hopefully filled with delicious milk chocolate.  Mmmm chocolate......