Lawes kicks off GSOC’s Co-op Canadian Open with win over Ladouceur

CAMROSE, Alta. — Kaitlyn Lawes picked up a 7-5 win over Isabelle Ladouceur during the first draw Tuesday of the Co-op Canadian Open at Encana Arena.

It was the first game back for Lawes, who returned from maternity leave after giving birth to daughter Myla last month.

Lawes said it felt really good to be back on the ice with her Winnipeg-based club and to start off the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament with a victory.

“I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to be back so soon, but I’ve had a great recovery and had a really good pregnancy,” said Lawes, who only missed three tour events in the fall. “The girls have been super supportive. I kind of made a last-minute decision to come out, and I’m really happy that I did.”

After giving up a steal in the fourth end to fall behind 3-2, Team Lawes bounced back big time with a score of four points in the fifth. Team Ladouceur, from Dundas, Ont., settled for one point in the sixth and closed within one point when Lawes conceded a single steal in the seventh.

Lawes held on to score one in the eighth end following a measurement.

“We wanted to play a little simple just to get a feel for things since I haven’t been with the girls for a little while now,” Lawes said. “We had a great end when we got the four and just tried to maintain the lead as best we could.”

Co-op Canadian Open on Sportsnet

The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season resumes with the Co-op Canadian Open. Catch the action live only on Sportsnet and SN NOW beginning Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT.

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The Co-op Canadian Open features a triple knockout preliminary round where teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.

Elsewhere in the opening draw, Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli earned an 8-2 victory over Winnipeg’s Team Abby Ackland in an all-Manitoba matchup.

Einarson broke a 1-1 tie with a three-ender in the third and sprinted away stealing single points in the fourth and fifth stanzas. Team Ackland, with Meghan Walter skipping, took one point in the sixth and shook hands after the seventh when Einarson tacked two more points on the board for insurance.

Team Isabella Wranå from Sweden defeated Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones 7-3 and Eun-Ji Gim of South Korea beat Italy’s Stefania Constantini 6-4.

Triple knockout action continues with Draw 2 at 1:30 p.m. ET / 11:30 a.m. local time.

NOTES: The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Broadcast coverage of the Co-op Canadian Open begins Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and streaming online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international). … Triple knockout action runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon followed by the semifinals in the evening. Both finals are set for Sunday.

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