By Shawn Coates (@shawncoates)
WINNIPEG — The right to represent Canada in curling at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games is up for grabs this week at MTS Centre, as the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials begin on Sunday. Running December 1-8, the Roar of the Rings event features eight men’s and women’s teams chasing their dreams of winning Olympic gold.
The event is a round-robin affair with each team facing every opponent once. First-place finishers after the round-robin automatically advance to the finals. A semifinal consisting of the second- and third-place teams determines the other finalist.
Curling fans will see many familiar faces among the competitors. The 2010 Olympic men’s gold medalist Kevin Martin (Edmonton, AB) leads the men’s field, which includes world champion and four-time Brier winner Glenn Howard (Penetanguishene, ON) and hometown favourite, two-time world champion and three-time Brier winner Jeff Stoughton (Winnipeg, MB).
Former world champion and four-time Scotties victor Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg, MB) headlines the women’s side of the event. World bronze medalist Heather Nedohin (Edmonton, AB), Sherrie Middaugh (Coldwater, ON) and Chelsea Carey (Winnipeg, MB) are other big names in the women’s draw.
Opening ceremonies take place Sunday at 11 a.m. (all times CST). The first women’s draw occurs Sunday at 1 p.m. and the first men’s draw is Sunday at 6:30 p.m. Draw times Monday through Thursday are 8:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. except for Thursday, which has no morning draw. The final round-robin draw goes Friday at 8:30 a.m.
Possible tie-breakers are scheduled for Friday at 1:30 p.m. The women’s semifinal is slated for Friday at 6:30 p.m. The men’s semis take place Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and the women’s final goes Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The men’s final is Sunday at 2 p.m.
Fans attending the event Sunday will have the added bonus of seeing Will Ferrell portray his “Anchorman” character Ron Burgundy, who is expected to make an on-ice appearance and do commentary with the TSN broadcast crew.
The complete list of men’s and women’s teams follows below:
John Epping – Toronto, ON
Glenn Howard – Penetanguishene, ON
Brad Jacobs – Sault Ste. Marie, ON
Kevin Koe – Edmonton, AB
Kevin Martin – Edmonton, AB
Mike McEwen – Winnipeg, MB
John Morris – Vernon & Kelowna, BC
Jeff Stoughton – Winnipeg, MB
Chelsea Carey – Winnipeg, MB
Rachel Homan – Ottawa, ON
Jennifer Jones – Winnipeg, MB
Stefanie Lawton – Saskatoon, SK
Sherry Middaugh – Coldwater, ON
Heather Nedohin – Edmonton, AB
Renee Sonnenberg – Grande Prairie, AB
Val Sweeting – Edmonton, AB