Canadian curling quest begins, an Aussie final for the Aussie + MORE!
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Scotties Tournament of Hearts
It’s back to the bubble for the 2022 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.
At last year’s Scotties, the top four teams in each pool advanced to the championship round where the three-team playoff was determined. This year’s version sees the top three teams in each pool advancing to a six-team playoff which will be dwindled down to four-teams to determine the 2022 Canadian women’s curling champions.
This year, every team is strong and every team is coming to compete. Aiming for a three-peat, Kerri Einarson and her rink of third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Meilleur and alternate Krysten Karwacki play in Pool B, against teams like Alberta’s Laura Walker, the 2021 bronze medalist, and Manitoba’s Mackenzie Zacharias, the 2020 world junior champion.
Pool A is looking pretty tough as well. 💪
BUT two notable names will be missing from this year’s Scotties. Six time champion Jennifer Jones and her Winnipeg rink are representing Canada at the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Jones won the women’s gold at the 2014 Sochi Games. ALSO Rachel Homan, who has led Ontario to three Scotties titles, will also be competing at the Olympics, pairing with John Morris in the mixed doubles.
Like every Tournament of Hearts, the storylines are aplenty and the desire to reach the top of the podium by week’s end is what drives these athletes. After all, with the Olympics right around the corner, the journey to the 2026 Games has just begun.
First stop, THUNDER BAY!
We’ve finally made it to the final of the Australian Open after some absolutely incredible tennis!
The tournament was filled with a lot of shocks, upsets, and rising stars – and the final is nothing different. No. 1 worldwide player Ash Barty has (not surprisingly) won her way to her FIRST ever grand slam final, and will face the No. 27 ranked player Danielle Collins of the U.S.
Collins has had an incredible run in the tournament, beating rising star Alize Cornet in the quarterfinal after unranked Cornet was on a rampage of upsets. She most recently beat No. 7 ranked player Iga Swiatek, and was also participating in the doubles tournament, but was eliminated in the third round.
This is it for Barty. Her chance to win her first grand slam title in front of a home crowd is here! She has absolutely ripped through this tournament, and has not dropped a single set the entire time. She has beaten ranked and unranked players alike, and is truly cementing her place as the sport’s current top player.
Collins on the other hand, has only dropped two sets the entire tournament, which is still incredibly impressive – especially against some of the players she has seen. So will Barty sweep Collins too? Or will the American give her a run for her money?
The final of the Australian Open will take place on Saturday at 3:30AM ET on TSN.
PHF All-Star Showcase
The Premier Hockey Federation’s All-Star Showcase is set for this weekend in Buffalo, after having to be relocated from Toronto due to COVID-19 restrictions in the city. There are 30 players from the six PHF teams who will be playing in the showcase.
Of the 30 players selected, 12 have been to the All-Star game in previous years. Madison Packer of the Metropolitan Riveters will be making her FIFTH all-star appearance, a record among the league. And ten of the players who will be in attendance Saturday are in their second full season, including last year’s MVP Mikyla Grant-Mentis.
PHF rookies make up eight players in the showcase, including the two top scoring rookies of the year so far – Kennedy Marchment and Taylor Girard.
The three captains of the showcase are voted in by the players, and this year will be Shiann Darkangelo (Toronto Six), Jillian Dempsey (Boston Pride), and Allie Thunstrom (Minnesota Whitecaps). Four additional players were voted in by fans, and the captains will participate in a virtual draft ahead of the showcase to determine teams. 👀
DON’T MISS THIS! Check out the 2022 All-Star Showcase, Saturday at 5pm ET on TSN 5.
FIS Alpine Ski World Cup
The women’s world cup circuit moves this weekend to Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany where a downhill and super-G race are scheduled before a pause for the Olympics.
Coverage begins on Saturday morning at 5:30am ET on CBC Sports with the women’s downhill event.
Canadian athletes will not be competing in this World Cup OR the snowboard cross World Cup to avoid risk COVID-19 exposure before the start of the Beijing Olympics next week.
In terms of the super-G, my eyes are on Italy’s Federica Brignone. She’s currently at the top of the standings in the discipline and something tells me she doesn’t want to give that up. She’s been killing it so far this season and stood on the top of the podium a couple of weeks ago in Austria.
That result marked Brignone’s Italian record and 18th career win (sixth win in super-G). And it's the first time Brignone has won multiple super-G races in one season. LOOK OUT FOR HER!
Return to CBC Sports on Sunday morning at 5:30am ET for the women’s super-G!
This week’s look back: Beijing 2022 watchlist finale, offseason basketball, NHL hires female assistant GM
👀 Beijing 2022 Watchlist (Part 3): It is time for my third and final watchlist ahead of the Games. The excitement is truly building! And last, but certainly not least, my eyes are on Ireen Wüst in the speed skating competition. She is the most successful speed skater in Olympic history. The Netherlands native is a five-time gold medallist, most recently in the 1500m at PyeongChang 2018. She is also a seven-time world champion (totalling 13 medals) and seven-time European champion (also totalling 13 medals). The Netherlands has controlled speed skating at the Winter Olympics for years, winning 121 total medals. AND GET THIS! Wüst is responsible for 11 of them! There's also a bit of history on the line at these Games. If she wins gold yet again, she will be the FIRST and ONLY person to have won gold at five editions of the Olympics Games.
🏀 Athletes Unlimited tips off: The inaugural basketball season began Wednesday with TONS of new and old talent to watch! Remember, this is a COMPLETELY player-led five-week season and it features a 44-player roster with 11 WNBA players, 11 overseas players, and 12 players who have taken a year off. There are no team owners, coaches or set rosters. What's really cool about this league is it provides fans an opportunity to see more of their favourite players in action rather than a team. Experts are also viewing the league as a viable offseason option for WNBA players.
💼 The business of women: This week, the Vancouver Canucks hired Emilie Castonguay as assistant GM, making her the first female to hold the position in team history. Castonguay is a former player agent, most notably for No. 1 draft pick, Alexis Lafreniere. She also became the first female NHLPA certified agent in 2016. She earned her law degree at the University of Montreal in 2012 and played four years of NCAA Division 1 hockey at Niagara University.
Only 4% of national airtime is devoted to women’s sports. At The 4% our objective is to promote what, when, and where to watch women’s sports to help raise awareness and grow the audience for women’s sports on TV.