Teams aim to keep Olympic dreams alive during September events in Ottawa
A pair of events that will have significant ramifications in the qualifying process for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing will be staged at a new-look curling facility in Ottawa, it was announced today by Curling Canada.
Five men’s and five women’s teams will compete for direct-entry berths into the Tim Hortons Curling Trials, presented by AGI, while eight teams of each gender will compete for direct-entry berths into the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials.
The Canadian Curling Trials Direct-Entry Event and Canadian Curling Pre-Trials Direct-Entry Event will run concurrently Sept. 22-26 at the RA Centre’s revamped Curling Centre of Excellence facility in Ottawa.
“These are new events that fit our mandate of trying to be as inclusive as possible for as many teams as possible to be part of the Olympic qualifying process as we come out of the pandemic,” said Curling Canada Chief Executive Officer Katherine Henderson. “These unique circumstances — especially still not knowing definitively how the competitive landscape will look in the fall — demanded a unique approach, and we believe it will, in the end, produce teams that are worthy of wearing the Maple Leaf in Beijing.”
Ottawa has hosted numerous major curling championships in recent years — most recently, the 2017 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials and the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier.
“It is great news that Curling Canada has chosen Ottawa to host the Canadian Curling Direct Entry Event and Curling Canada Pre-Trials Direct Entry Event,” said Jim Watson, Mayor of the City of Ottawa. “The Curling Centre of Excellence at the RA Centre will be the perfect venue to showcase some of the nation’s top curlers competing to represent Canada at the 2022 Winter Olympic Games.”
“Ottawa Tourism is very pleased that the new Curling Centre of Excellence at the RA Centre in Ottawa has been chosen to host these important curling events on the way to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games,” added Michael Crockatt, President and CEO of Ottawa Tourism. “Ottawa is ready and willing to safely host these major events once again.”
Here’s a summary of each event:
Canadian Curling Trials Direct-Entry Event
A total of five berths (three for women’s teams, two for men’s teams) into the 2021 Tim Hortons Curling Trials Nov. 20-28 in Saskatoon will be on the line in Ottawa in this event.
The number of available direct-entry qualifying berths from the Ottawa event into the Tim Hortons Trials is based on the number of teams that have already qualified to play in Saskatoon (see below for qualified teams, and how they qualified).
Women’s teams competing in Ottawa are:
- Team Suzanne Birt (Charlottetown)
- Team Corryn Brown (Kamloops, B.C.)
- Team Kelsey Rocque (Edmonton)
- Team Casey Scheidegger (Lethbridge, Alta.)
- Team Laura Walker (Edmonton)
Men’s teams competing in Ottawa are:
- Team Matt Dunstone (Regina)
- Team Colton Flasch (Saskatoon)
- Team Jason Gunnlaugson (Winnipeg)
- Team Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, Ont.)
- Team Mike McEwen (Winnipeg)
To qualify for the Trials Direct-Entry Event, teams had to meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Canadian teams in the Top 18 of the World Curling Team Ranking (WCTR) as of Aug. 31, 2020 (including teams with new lineups)
- Eligible teams that finished in the top nine of the Canadian Team Ranking System in 2019-20
- Eligible teams that finished in the top seven on the Canadian Team Ranking System in 2018-19
NOTE — Teams qualifying via the Canadian Team Ranking System must have three of four players that earned the CTRS points remaining on the team, and must have been CTRS-registered for the 2020-21 season.
The event formats will be announced later, and teams that don’t secure berths in the Tim Hortons Curling Trials will have a second chance to qualify via the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials, set for Oct. 26-31 in Liverpool, N.S.
Already in the field in Saskatoon for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials are (hometown and qualifying standard they met are in parentheses):
- Team Kerri Einarson (Gimli, Man.; 2020 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion)
- Team Tracy Fleury (East St. Paul, Man.; top three on Canadian Team Ranking System in 2019-20 season)
- Team Rachel Homan (Ottawa; 2019 Home Hardware Canada Cup champion)
- Team Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg; top three on Canadian Team Ranking System in 2019-20 season)
- Team Brendan Bottcher (Edmonton; top three on Canadian Team Ranking System in 2018-19 season)
- Team John Epping (Toronto; 2019 Home Hardware Canada Cup champion)
- Team Brad Gushue (St. John’s; 2020 Tim Hortons Brier champion)
- Team Brad Jacobs (Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.; top three on Canadian Team Ranking System in 2019-20 season)
- Team Kevin Koe (Calgary; top three on Canadian Team Ranking System in 2018-19 season
Canadian Curling Pre-Trials Direct-Entry Event
Eight teams of each gender will compete in a triple-knockout draw for two men’s and two women’s berths into the Home Hardware Pre-Trials in Liverpool, N.S.
Teams qualified based on their World Curling Team Ranking (highest not-previously-qualified teams) as of July 2021. Teams also needed to have three of four players remaining from their declared 2020-21 lineups.
Women’s teams competing will be:
- Team Abby Ackland (Winnipeg)
- Team Jill Brothers (Halifax)
- Team Kerry Galusha (Yellowknife)
- Team Ashley Howard (Saskatoon)
- Team Lauren Mann (Ottawa)
- Team Jessie Hunkin (formerly Team Robyn Silvernagle (North Battleford, Sask.)
- Team Laurie St-Georges (Laval, Que.)
- Team Sarah Wark (Abbotsford, B.C.)
Men’s teams competing will be:
- Team Corey Chambers (Winnipeg)
- Team Jacques Gauthier (Winnipeg)
- Team Sean Grassie (Winnipeg)
- Team William Lyburn (Winnipeg)
- Team Shaun Meachem (Saskatoon)
- Team Vincent Roberge (Etchemin, Que.)
- Team JT Ryan (Winnipeg)
- Team Ryan Wiebe (Winnipeg)
- NOTE — Team Steve Laycock declined its berth
The two qualifiers in each gender will head to Liverpool for the Home Hardware Pre-Trials, where they will compete alongside these previously qualified teams — again, based on their World Curling Team Ranking (highest not-previously-qualified teams) as of July 2021. Teams also needed to have three of four players remaining from their declared 2020-21 lineups
- Team Sherry Anderson (Saskatoon)
- Team Penny Barker (Moose Jaw, Sask.)
- Team Hollie Duncan (Woodstock, Ont.)
- Team Jacqueline Harrison (Dundas, Ont.)
- Team Danielle Inglis (Mississauga, Ont.)
- Team Krista McCarville (Thunder Bay, Ont.)
- Team Jestyn Murphy (Mississauga, Ont.)
- Team Beth Peterson (Winnipeg)
- Team Darcy Robertson (Winnipeg)
- Team Mackenzie Zacharias (Altona, Man.)
- Team Jonathan Beuk (Formerly Team Scott McDonald; Kingston, Ont.)
- Team Braden Calvert (Winnipeg)
- Team Pat Ferris (Grimsby, Ont.)
- Team Paul Flemming (formerly Team Jamie Murphy; Halifax)
- Team Mike Fournier (Montreal)
- Team Jeremy Harty (Calgary)
- Team Pat Simmons (Formerly Team Tanner Horgan; Winnipeg)
- Team Karsten Sturmay (Edmonton)
- Team Tyler Tardi (Langley, B.C.)
The Home Hardware Pre-Trials will decide the final entries (two men’s, two women’s) into the Tim Hortons Curling Trials in Saskatoon, where Canada’s four-player teams for the 2022 Winter Olympics will be decided.
The Canadian Curling Trials Direct-Entry Event and Canadian Curling Pre-Trials Direct-Entry Event will serve as the debut events for the RA Centre’s Curling Centre of Excellence, as curling shifts to a former hockey ice-pad at the facility and will have five sheets in a championship-like stadium setting.
More details are available by CLICKING HERE.
“We are thrilled to host Curling Canada with the first curling event in the new Curling Centre of Excellence at the RA Centre,” said Tosha Rhodenizer, Chief Executive Officer of the RA Centre. “Curling has a strong following across the country and is growing in Ottawa. This multi-year project will develop a facility that will support the sport in a comprehensive manner. The RA is creating a dynamic curling environment that will promote this growth through the expansion of youth, para and stick-curling programs and the integration of Long-term Development in sport principles.”
As part of the ongoing redevelopment at the RA Centre, the House of Sport also has opened, providing office space to national and provincial sport organizations, and CurlON is among those moving into the House of Sport.
“It’s an exciting time for curling in the Ottawa Valley, and we are excited to see the new Curling Centre of Excellence host many of Canada’s top curling teams as they pursue their Olympic dreams,” said Steve Chenier, Executive-Director of CurlON. “It’s going to be a first-class show in a first-class facility, and we are ready to welcome these events to Ontario.”
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