Cary-Anne McTaggart is heading to her first ever Scotties Tournament of Hearts. She and Team Scheidegger stole two points in the extra end at Sunday’s Alberta Scotties final to earn their place at the national women’s curling championship.

“It’s definitely very exciting and thrilling; a dream come true,” she says. “I’ve been wanting this for a long time for many years, so it’s awesome. It took a couple days to set in and feel like it’s real.”

Other than lead Kristie Moore of Grande Prairie, it will be the first Scotties for the rest of the rink. Third McTaggart says they’re excited for the experience.

“Just taking it all in. You kind of get to feel like a celebrity for a week, I think, and the crowds and everything; I just think it’s going to be a wonderful experience, and to go with five awesome ladies beside me is going to be really fun.”

Up first for the team that’s rounded out by sisters Casey and Jessie Scheidegger will be the 2018 Meridian Canadian Open in Camrose. McTaggart doesn’t expect their play to be affected by nationals around the corner.

“It is a little bit different being only eight ends and a five rock rule at the Slam, so obviously a few things do change, but our approach to the game is definitely going to be the same.”

Casey Scheidegger is the reigning women’s Grand Slam of Curling champion after stealing in the eighth end of last year’s final against Silvana Tirinzoni. It was Scheidegger’s first GSOC appearance.

The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts run January 27th to February 4th in Pentiction, B.C. McTaggart says their focus will be on doing their best.

“Knowing that we belong there and that we can do well. Every game’s going to be a good game and to bring our best to every game; some games may not go our way but to just pick up and move on forward and try to do better next game.”

McTaggart joined the Team Scheidegger in 2014 after previously playing with Grande Prairie’s Renee Sonnenberg. Moore last competed at the Scotties in 2013 and has three Alberta titles under her belt, along with an Olympic silver medal while pregnant.