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Field confirmed for Olympic pre-trials' curling event

Total of 28 teams will gather in Summerside


Published on July 20, 2017

Seven Mile Bay native Adam Casey will skip a rink in the Home Hardware Road to the Roar pre-trials’ curling event in Summerside from Nov. 6 to 12.

©Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer

SUMMERSIDE – The field has been finalized for the 2017 Home Hardware Road to the Roar pre-trials in Summerside.

The event, set for Nov. 6 to 12 at Credit Union Place, will determine the final entries for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian curling trials from Dec. 2 to 10 in Ottawa, where Canada’s men’s and women’s four-player teams for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be decided.
A total of 28 teams – 14 men and 14 women – will compete for two coveted berths in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, and all have now confirmed their entry after a grace period during which teams had to declare lineups, and in one case, decline an invitation.
Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon had qualified for the Summerside event based on her position on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) over two seasons (2015-16, 2016-17). But because the points she’d earned were entirely with her 2015-16 team, which was completely changed for 2016-17, she had to pass on the berth.


To accept Road to the Roar berths, teams must retain three of the original players who earned the qualifying points, and have them on the ice at all times.
Halifax’s Theresa Breen, the next-highest non-qualified team on the two-year rankings, is taking Lawton’s berth.
On the men’s side, three qualifying teams will have different skips than the ones with whom they qualified, after some off-season lineup changes.
Winnipeg’s Matt Dunstone left his team to join Steve Laycock’s Saskatoon squad, which has already qualified for the trials. Dunstone is being replaced by fellow Winnipegger Jason Gunnlaugson.
Meanwhile, Gunnlaugson had also qualified for the pre-trials with his own team, so he’s being replaced on that rink by two-time Tim Hortons Brier champion Pat Simmons.
And since Saskatoon’s Bruce Korte retired from competitive curling after last season, his team needed a new skip for the pre-trials, and recruited Colton Flasch. Ironically, it was Flasch who left Laycock’s team after last season to open the door for Dunstone’s move.

Local flavour
There will be a local flavour in the pre-trials as Seven Mile Bay native Adam Casey will skip a rink out of the Highland Curling Club in Regina. Casey’s teammates are third stone Brock Montgomery, second stone Shaun Meachem and Dustin Kidby.


The pre-trials’ teams will be seeded one through 14 based on their 2016-17 CTRS rankings, and then split into two pools of seven for the round-robin competition.
The top three teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs, with the first- and second-place teams crossing over to meet each other in the first round of the A side. The winners will then meet for the first Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings berth.
The first-round losers will drop to meet the third-place teams in each pool in the first round of the B side. The winners of the two games will then meet, with the winner taking on the A side final loser for the second trials’ berth.