Skip Casey Scheidegger hugs her sister, second Jessie Scheidegger, after winning the 2017 Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford, Sask. (Anil Mungal)

TBT: Scheidegger wins Canadian Open in top-tier debut

January 11, 2018, 7:59 PM

Throwback Thursday (TBT) digs through the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling archives to reflect on the historic moments of the series. This week we take a look at Team Scheidegger’s stunning top-tier debut at the 2017 Meridian Canadian Open.

Now that’s how you make an entrance.

Skip Casey and second Jessie Scheidegger played in their first top-tier Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament at the 2017 Meridian Canadian Open in North Battleford, Sask., and along with third Cary-Anne McTaggart and lead Stephanie Enright walked away with the championship.

Team Scheidegger appeared in the Tier 2 division of the Tour Challenge earlier that season in Cranbrook, B.C., and reached the quarterfinals, but it was a stellar autumn campaign on the World Curling Tour winning three titles in their home province of Alberta that helped earn her the Lethbridge-based squad a promotion.

Scheidegger actually benefited from a little-known qualification change to the Meridian Canadian Open that season. Teams were invited previously from the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit standings. Starting with the 2017 event qualification was altered so only half the field came from the OOM and the other half from the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date standings, thus rewarding a team like Scheidegger who was rising up the ranks. Team Scheidegger wouldn’t have even received an invitation had that not happened.

“We’re lucky they did that,” Scheidegger said at the time. “It’s a great opportunity for teams like ourselves that have had really good years to be able to compete with the elite.”

A couple mistakes to start the Meridian Canadian Open could have sunk Scheidegger as they got off to a 1-2 start and slipped to the C brackets of the triple knockout preliminary round. It was “backs against the walls” territory from there as another loss would have meant elimination. Still, both losses were only by one point — 5-4 to Team Rocque and 7-6 to Team Hasselborg — with a 10-4 rout over Team Homan sandwiched between. Single steals early caused Scheidegger to slip behind Rocque while a five-ender in the second for Hasselborg was the difference-maker there.

As you could probably guess, Team Scheidegger didn’t sustain another loss from there.

A 7-4 decision ousted Team Einarson, who had just won their first major title at the BOOST National the previous month, and Scheidegger avenged the loss to Rocque with a 9-4 victory in the rematch during the C qualifiers to clinch a playoff spot.

Scheidegger drew Team Jones for the quarterfinals and capitalized on a couple uncharacteristic errors from the 2014 Olympic champions. After Scheidegger scored three in the sixth to tie it 4-4, skip Jennifer Jones missed an opportunity score a deuce in the seventh and settled for just a single. Scheidegger held the hammer coming home in eight and had a golden chance to a score a deuce when Jones misfired a cross-house double attempt. With one in the pocket, Scheidegger drew into the eight-foot for her second point to win 6-5.

Next on the card was a Battle of Alberta with Edmonton’s Team Sweeting. Scheidegger didn’t hold the hammer until the sixth end but when you’re already up 6-2 who needs it, right? Steals of three in the second, two in the third and one in the fourth gave Scheidegger a commanding 6-0 lead at the break. After Sweeting got on the board with a deuce in five, the teams alternated singles in six and seven and Scheidegger won 7-3 to reach the championship game.

Meanwhile, Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland was running red-hot going through the A brackets at 3-0 to qualify. Tirinzoni continued the win streak defeating Team Harrison 6-2 in the quarterfinals and Team Hasselborg 7-4 in the semis. Once again Winnipeg’s Cathy Overton-Clapham, who has won five titles in the series, was the super spare at third helping Tirinzoni reach a second consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling final with Manuela Siegrist nursing a knee injury.

Tirinzoni opened the final with the hammer and got out to a 2-0 lead with a single in the first followed by a steal in the second. That’s when Scheidegger flipped the script taking one point in the third and adding back-to-back single steals in four and five to jump ahead 3-2.

Tirinzoni reclaimed control with a deuce in six and forced Scheidegger to another lone point in seven to tie it 4-4 and take back the hammer for the final frame.

Steals had been the story throughout the match and the eighth end wasn’t any different. Tirinzoni had to draw for the win on her last but came up light as Scheidegger swiped a 5-4 victory to capture the Meridian Canadian Open women’s championship.

“Amazing,” said Scheidegger, who was practically speechless following the victory. “We’re just so excited. I don’t have much more to say, it just feels awesome.”

“We’re a little bit shocked but that’s curling,” she added. “Sometimes you get the breaks and we managed to do that. We played well all week so I can’t ask for anything more.”


Scheidegger gets set to defend the Meridian Canadian Open women’s title Jan. 16-21 at Encana Arena in Camrose, Alta. Full-event and weekend passes plus single-draw tickets are now available for purchase at Camrosegsoc.goigniter.com.

Watch on Sportsnet or online/mobile at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or gsoc.yaretv.com (international) starting Jan. 18 at 2 p.m. ET.

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