(by Jean Mills) The 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship kicked off on Wednesday with a host of familiar names taking to the ice at the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon.
Rachel Homan and John Morris, Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers, Dana Ferguson and Brendan Bottcher, Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson, Lisa Weagle and John Epping, Kaitlyn Lawes and Ryan Fry, as well as the wife-husband duos of Dawn and Mike McEwen, and Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing were among the teams in action on the first day of competition.
PEI’s Sabrina Smith and Kyle Holland duo lost their opener 9-5 to the Shannon Birchard/Jason Gunnlaugson rink from Winnipeg.
Saskatchewan’s Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff, who represented Canada at the 2016 World Mixed Double Championships, were among the teams that won their first game of the round robin.
Also in the win column were Homan/Morris, Courtney/Carruthers, Ferguson/Bottcher, as well as 2015 Canadian champions Kalynn Virtue and Charley Thomas, and 2014 Canadian champions Kim Tuck and husband Wayne Tuck, Jr.
Pool play continues on Thursday with draws at 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. (all times EDT).
PEI faces Marliese Kasner/Dustin Kalthoff, Rachel Homan/John Morris, and Jill Officer/Pat Simmons today.
The winning team will not only represent Canada at the 2017 World Mixed Doubles Championship, April 22-29 at Lethbridge, Alta. (held in conjunction with the World Seniors) but also earns $5,100 for the win.
In addition, the top three finishers will receive an entry into the 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials, Jan. 2-7 (at a site to be announced), which will determine Canada’s team for the Mixed Doubles competition in the 2018 Winter Olympics, should Canada qualify for the Olympics. The World Championship in Lethbridge will decide the seven countries that join host South Korea in Pyeongchang
For the first time, CBC Sports will be offering live streaming of the weekend games. You can watch all the weekend action starting Saturday at 8:30 a.m. (all times CST) at cbcsports.ca or via the CBC Sports app for iOS and Android.
For event information, scores and standings, visit the event website: http://www.curling.ca/2017mixeddoubles.