Olympic curling pre-trial playoffs feature past world, Olympic champions (CBC Sports)

Howard, Morris, Middaugh and McCarville have been there, done that

By Devin Heroux

SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. — The 28-team curling field in Summerside, P.E.I is slowly being dwindled down, but the pre-trials event dubbed “Road to the Roar” has become a very long road for some of the curling teams.

Tiebreaking games on the women’s side didn’t finish until nearly 3 a.m. local time Saturday morning. Four hours later, more tiebreakers started on Saturday. It has been wacky, wild and at times what longtime curler John Morris is calling, “a bit of a gong show.”

I have no doubt in my mind we can win this,” Morris said. “I still have a fire in my belly that burns to compete and win. And until that fire is out I’m going to keep playing.”

Glenn Howard, shown in this March 2017 file photo, has so far gone undefeated at the Canadian Olympic curling pre-trials in Summerside, PEI. (File/The Canadian Press)

Glenn Howard taking his last shot

But four-time Brier and world champion, Glenn Howard, might have something to say about that. Now 55-years-old, the veteran is making his last attempt at earning an Olympic berth for Canada. He led his team to a perfect 6-0 record, the only team to do so, during the round-robin and plays Brendan Bottcher in the other A-side semifinal.

The pressure is on for Middaugh, McCarville 

51-year-old Middaugh has said this will be her last attempt at making it to the Olympics for Canada. She stayed alive at this year’s event by winning a tie-breaking game that started at 7:30 a.m. local time Saturday. Now she’ll have to wait and see how the playoffs shake down before playing a quarter-final game at 7 p.m. Saturday.

It’s a chance of a lifetime and that’s not being lost on Thunder Bay, Ont., skip Krista McCarville. She celebrated her 35th birthday on Friday by getting two important wins and first place in Pool B.

“All I wanted for my birthday was two wins,” McCarville said. “We’re very happy with our performance so far.”

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