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Former Sundre curler comes up shy at 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Danielle Schmiemann pleased with Sturmay rink’s overall performance that nearly resulted in reaching gold final playoff round for chance to represent Canada

SUNDRE – Although she won’t be going onto represent Canada at the World Championship, a former resident whose curling career started at the local club’s junior program still has every reason to keep her chin up following an admirable performance at the 2024 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

Danielle Schmiemann was third on Team Sturmay, which represented Alberta at the Scotties tournament that was hosted on Feb. 16-25 in Calgary at the Winsport Event Centre. She played alongside skip Selena Sturmay, Paige Papley, and Dezaray Hawes under coach Ted Appelman.

“We were quite happy with how everything went,” Schmiemann told the Albertan on Feb. 26, adding they went into the tournament with tempered expectations.  

“I personally didn’t really know what to expect,” she said. “I think it was fair to say that we definitely exceeded what we were hoping for.”

The rink, which placed fourth overall, played eight round robin games and lost only one. But playoffs proved to be an uphill battle, with the team winning one out of three games, ending their tournament’s total record at eight wins and three losses.

Perhaps helping to propel them so close to making the playoff final was energetic support from enthusiastic fans.

“The arena was sold out on the weekend. Our families got to be up in the box suites for our playoff games which was really cool,” she said.

“We felt so at home,” she added. “The crowd was fantastic…we definitely felt the love all week.”

Their last game on Saturday, Feb. 24 was in the playoff rounds against Manitoba’s Team Cameron, which ended up winning 6-4.

“We struggled a little bit with the ice early on, like just not reading it as well as we had the rest of the week,” she said about that match, adding they weren’t quite getting the rocks “in the right spot.”

“Whereas the rest of the week we were missing on the right side of things, in that game we were kind of missing on the wrong side of things,” she added.

“The level of competition was so high,” she said.

“We’ve played a lot of those teams before but I feel like everyone brings it to like a whole new level when it comes to the Scotties,”  she said.

“The teams there are so good and everyone played so well...we had to play our best essentially all week.”

Ontario’s Team Homan narrowly defeated Manitoba’s Team Jones 5-4 in the gold medal final on Sunday, and will go onto represent Canada at the World Women’s Curling Championship, which takes places March 16-24 in Sydney, N.S.

It was Team Sturmay’s first season playing together, and getting so close to qualifying for an opportunity to represent Canada on the international stage has got them considering the possibility of further exploring their potential.

Although their season is effectively over, the team still plans to get together to process the experience at the tournament and debrief as well as to celebrate their achievements, she said.

“We haven’t formally sat down and talked about it, but the way we’re kind of talking is that we’re going to definitely stick together next year and keep keep moving forward with what we got going on.

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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