Thursday, February 16, 2017


Venue: Gangneung Curling Centre

Competition Dates: February 8-25

Events: 3 (1 men, 1 women, 1 mixed)

New: Mixed Doubles event

Canadian Olympic Team: Olympic.ca


It is no secret that Manitoba is Canada’s deepest province in curling, and that Canada has topped the curling world for years.

Manitoba’s Team Jones were Olympic gold medallists in Sochi, but their work is cut out for them if they want a shot at defending their Olympic title. On the men’s side, Team Jacobs are also defending Olympic gold, a team which includes third Ryan Fry of Manitoba. In addition to traditional four-player curling, PyeongChang will feature the inaugural mixed doubles event.

While curlers may not participate in both the four-player and mixed doubles tournaments at the Olympic Games, they may compete at Olympic selection for both events – this means many of the nation’s best will have two shots at securing an Olympic berth.


Manitobans to Watch

Team Jones  |  Team Englot  |  Team Einarson  |  Chelsea Carey  


Women’s Four-Player Curling:

Team Jones (defending Olympic champions)
Jennifer Jones, Jill Officer, Kailtyn Lawes and Dawn McEwen have been dominant for several years, but the defending Olympic champions won’t have an easy ticket to PyeongChang next year. Having claimed their spot last year for the 2017 Roar of the Rings, Team Jones will have to fight their way through an experienced and talented field in order to make a second consecutive trip to the Olympic Games.

CTRS ranking: 1

Roar of the Rings: ✓ Clinched berth

Team Englot
Michelle Englot of Saskatchewan recently took over as skip of Kristy MacDonald’s team, and has consistently been in the top ten women’s teams this season.Team Englot is the only team to have won a Manitoba Provincial Scotties that has included Team Jennifer Jones in its draw.

CTRS ranking: 6
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth

 

Team Einarson
Team Kerri Einarson are on their way up. The emerging East St. Paul rink struggled early in the 2016-2017 season, failing to make a playoff at the first grand slam events of the year. Team Einarson has worked out of their slump, and up the CTRS rankings, winning their first Grand Slam event at the National in November. They’re used to taking on the best, and have proven upsetting team Jones in last year’s provincial Scotties wasn’t an accident.

CTRS ranking: 11
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth

 

Players on non-Manitoban rinks:

 

Chelsea Carey 
Chelsea Carey skips Alberta rink Team Carey, who are looking to defend their National title at this week’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts.

CTRS ranking: 13
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth

 


Manitobans to Watch

 Team Carruthers  |  Team McEwen  |  Ryan Fry  |  John Morris  



Men’s Four-Player curling:

Team Carruthers
Team Carruthers has had an outstanding season. Currently ranked second on the CTRS, Carruthers has performed consistently well in the 2016-2017 season, and earned their Olympic trials berth by winning the 2016 Canada Cup. Carruthers is one of only two men’s teams that has already earned a spot at the 2017 Roar of the Rings.

CTRS ranking: 2
Roar of the Rings: ✓ Clinched berth

 

Team McEwen
Team McEwen had an underwhelming start to their season, performing inconsistently at Grand Slam Events leading into the season’s Christmas break. The New Year brought a spark to Team McEwen, who seems to be back on top of their game at the right point in the season, yesterday beating top-seeded Carruthers in the 2017 Men’s Viterra Championships to earn a spot at the 2017 Brier.

CTRS ranking: 8
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth

 

Players on non-Manitoban rinks:

 

Ryan Fry (defending Olympic champion)
Team Jacobs and Manitoban Ryan Fry are looking for a chance to defend their 2014 Olympic gold .

CTRS ranking: 3
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth

 

John Morris
John Morris and Jim Cotter co-skip a B.C. rink, and are looking to make a statement at the 2017 Brier.

CTRS ranking: 6
Roar of the Rings: Have not yet clinched berth


Manitobans to Watch

Morris / Homan  |  Jones / Laing  |  Carruthers / Courtney

McEwen / McEwen


Mixed Doubles:
CTRS: 1 – John Morris (MB) / Rachel Homan (ON)

Both skips of highly-ranked four player teams, Manitoban’s John Morris and Ontario’s Rachel Homan are the team to beat at the 2017 Olympic Mixed Doubles trials.

Olympic trials: ✓ Clinched berth

 

CTRS: 2  – Jennifer Jones (MB) / Brent Laing (MB/ON)

Curling’s power couple Brent Laing (Team Kevin Koe) and Jennifer Jones will both be competing at this year’s Roar of the Rings in team play, but have yet to qualify a trials berth for the mixed doubles event.

 

CTRS: 5 – Reid Carruthers (MB)  / Joanne Courtney (AB)

Team Homan second Joanne Courtney of Alberta, and Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers also play on teams who have qualified spots at Roar of the Rings. These two could give top-ranked doubles teams a run for their money.

 

CTRS: 8  – Dawn McEwen (MB)  / Mike McEwen (MB) 

Team McEwen skip Mike McEwen, and Team Jones lead Dawn McEwen are ready to step up their game this year.

 


Canada has not been dominant internationally in mixed doubles curling like it has in traditional four-player curling, but Canadian curling fans could see that begin to change. Since mixed doubles curling was officially added to the Olympic programme for 2018, some athletes have shifted their mentality about the event, which normally serves as a fun addition to bonspiels and is played amongst friends, family and teammates.

Thus far, nearly each and every one of Canada’s top curlers has kept their focus on team play; though mixed doubles curling has the potential to take off in Canada over the next few years.

 


Curling Canada

DID YOU KNOW?
Since curling’s re-introduction in 1998 to the Olympic programme, every Canadian curling team to compete at the Olympic Games has won a medal.