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Jill Brothers rink accepts Scotties invite; Christina Black's team was next in line to represent Nova Scotia

The Nova Scotia Curling Association has confirmed the Jill Brothers team has accepted the invitation to attend the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Calgary. If Brothers had declined the invite, Sydney River’s Christina Black team (shown) would have been offered the spot. RYAN TAPLIN • SALTWIRE NETWORK
The Nova Scotia Curling Association has confirmed the Jill Brothers team has accepted the invitation to attend the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Calgary. If Brothers had declined the invite, Sydney River’s Christina Black (shown) and her team would have been offered the spot. RYAN TAPLIN • SALTWIRE NETWORK
SYDNEY, N.S. —

The Jill Brothers rink will represent Nova Scotia at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts next month in Calgary.

The Brothers' rink was asked to represent the province after the Nova Scotia Curling Association cancelled its provincial playdowns earlier this week due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Halifax-based Brothers rink had until Wednesday at 4 p.m. to decide whether they would attend the tournament, however, they requested a 24-hour extension, which was granted by the association.

If the Brothers' rink had declined the invite, Sydney River’s Christina Black and her team would have been next in line for the Scotties.

The Nova Scotia Curling Association has confirmed the Brothers team has accepted the invitation.

“(I’m) just happy I don’t have to think about it any longer,” said Black.

In December, the Nova Scotia Curling Association released details of how it would select a provincial representative for the tournament in case the provincial playdowns were cancelled.

On Monday, the association officially cancelled the playdowns, which were scheduled for Jan. 23-31 at the Bluenose Curling Club in New Glasgow.

The Brothers' rink was offered the spot because they were the 2021 money list leader following three tournaments in the fall.

Brothers has attended four Scotties Tournament of Hearts since 2007. She last appeared in the tournament in 2019 in Sydney, leading Nova Scotia to a 2-5 record and a sixth-place finish in Pool A.

In an interview with the Cape Breton Post earlier this week, Black said if her team was asked to attend they would have immediately accepted.

“Three of us for sure are prepared to go if we were asked,” said Black in Thursday’s Post. “You’re allowed to have three on a team and replace one person, but I really feel Jill and her team are going to go.”

The 2021 Scotties Tournament of Hearts will be hosted in a bubble-format at the Markin MacPhail Centre, Feb. 20-28, in Calgary. No fans will be in attendance due to the pandemic.

As for the Tim Hortons Brier, the men’s national tournament, the Jamie Murphy rink has already accepted the invite to represent the province.

Paul Flemming, Scott Saccary and Philip Crowell will take part, however, Murphy himself will not be attending due to Nova Scotia’s 14-day isolation rule upon return.

Brent MacDougall, originally of Sydney, was scheduled to skip a team in the Tankard playdowns. The Post reached out to MacDougall for comment earlier this week on the tournament cancellation, however, was unable to reach him.

The Brier is slated for March 6-14 at WinSport’s Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. The tournament will also be a bubble-format with no fans.

Jeremy Fraser is the sports reporter for the Cape Breton Post. He's been with the publication for four years. Follow Jeremy on Twitter @CBPost_Jeremy 

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