There will be a strong Manitoba presence at the upcoming Scotties Tournament of Hearts as five teams from that province have been confirmed for the 18-team competition at Calgary’s Markin MacPhail Centre.
Three wild-card teams — all from Manitoba — were on the official entry list released Monday by Curling Canada.
Tracy Fleury’s team, skipped by Chelsea Carey, along with Mackenzie Zacharias and Beth Peterson, will join provincial representative Jennifer Jones and defending champion Kerri Einarson in the field at the Feb. 19-28 event.
Curling Canada also confirmed Mike McEwen of Manitoba, Kevin Koe of Alberta and Glenn Howard of Ontario as the wild-card entries for the Tim Hortons Brier, March 5-14.
The Scotties field was filled over the weekend as Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Northwest Territories completed playdowns.
Suzanne Birt was victorious in P.E.I. and Sarah Hill won the N.L. spot, while Kerry Galusha took the N.W.T. berth.
Other teams in the Scotties field include Ontario’s Rachel Homan, Alberta’s Laura Walker, B.C.’s Corryn Brown, New Brunswick’s Melissa Adams, Northern Ontario’s Krysta Burns, Nova Scotia’s Jill Brothers, Yukon’s Laura Eby, Nunavut’s Lori Eddy, Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges and Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson.
Wild-card spots in both national championships were determined by position in the Canadian team ranking system.
Curling Canada said the Brier field will be released later in the week when all entries have been confirmed.
The Scotties will be the first of six competitions to be held in a so-called bubble setting at Canada Olympic Park.
The winner will represent Canada at the March 19-28 world women’s curling championship at Schaffhausen, Switzerland.
The Brier winner will return to the Markin MacPhail Centre for the April 2-11 world men’s curling championship.
— With files from Kelly Moore