A pair of national curling championships will be on the line when the 2018 Travelers Curling Club Championship gets underway Monday at the Miramichi Curling Club in Miramichi, N.B.
Canada’s top men’s and women’s club curling teams will be taking part in the championship, with all 14 of Curling Canada’s Member Associations (10 provinces, three territories and Northern Ontario) represented in both genders. The teams will play a round-robin draw leading to the playoffs Friday and Saturday, Nov. 23 and 24.
Each team is allowed only one player who has played in a provincial/territorial Juniors’, Men’s (Brier), Women’s (Scotties) or Seniors’ championship in the current or previous four curling seasons, or participated in a full-field Grand Slam event in the current or previous four curling seasons.
As well, no player on the teams can have played in a Canadian Juniors, Men’s, Women’s or Seniors national championship in the current or previous four seasons.
[PEI will be represented by the Debbie Rhodenhizer women’s rink from Cornwall and the Jamie Newson men’s squad from the Silver Fox in Summerside.
There will be a lineup change on the women’s team, as lead Cindy Nicholson is out with a knee injury, and Karen Currie will be curling in her place. On the men’s side, skip Jamie Newson sat out the Canadian Mixed championship as he was recovering from an ankle injury (he went instead as coach), but is currently scheduled to compete in the Travelers. Andrew MacDougall will be attending as an alternate for the team. Looking at the other teams, Alison Griffin, who was on PEI’s 2016 Travelers Women’s Championship team, is back at the national Travelers again, competing for Nunavut.
Photo (L-R): Cindy Nicholson, Sandra Sobey (2nd), Karen Currie (seated, lead), Nancy MacFadyen (3rd), Debbie Rhodenhizer (skip)
PEI Men’s representatives (L-R, skip to lead): Jamie Newson, Corey Miller, Patrick Ramsay, Adam Arsenault]
Saskatchewan’s Kory Kohuch team from Saskatoon is the lone former champion in the field; Kohuch, second David Schmirler and lead Wes Lang won the Travelers gold medal in 2014 at Halifax, and with vice-skip David Kraichy were silver-medallists two years ago in Kelowna, B.C.
2016 women’s silver-medallist Morgan Muise and her Alberta team from Calgary (vice-skip Lindsay Allen, second Sarah Evans, lead Sara Gartner) are competing in their third Travelers Curling Club Championship; the Alberta champs finished 3-3 in 2014 at Halifax.
Muise won a bronze medal as an alternate for Andrea Kelly’s Canadian team at the 2005 World Junior Championships in Italy.
The team that raises the most money have the best odds of winning the grand prize: an all-expenses trip for four, including event passes, accommodation and flights, to the 2019 World Financial Group Continental Cup Jan. 17-20 in Las Vegas. You can find more information by CLICKING HERE.
Last year in Kingston, Ont., it was teams from British Columbia (Bart Sawyer’s men’s team from Nanaimo) and Manitoba (Brandon’s Stacey Fordyce) claiming gold medals; it was Fordyce’s second Travelers women’s title.
Since the first Travelers Curling Club Championship in 2009 in Toronto, Alberta has won the men’s title three times, while Ontario and Saskatchewan have claimed two titles and Newfoundland/Labrador and British Columbia each have one.
On the women’s side, Manitoba leads the way with four championships, followed by Ontario with three, and Alberta and Prince Edward Island with single victories.
Media in the Miramichi area are welcome to attend team practice sessions on Monday. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule of practices and games.
The 14 men’s and 14 women’s teams will be split into two seven-team round-robin pools. After a single round-robin, the top three teams in each pool will make the playoffs. The first-place teams will be seeded directly into the semifinals, Friday, Nov. 23, at 6:30 p.m. (all times Atlantic). The second- and third-place teams will meet in crossover quarter-finals Friday at 1:30 p.m., with the winners moving into the semis.
The semifinal winners will play for gold, and the losers will play for bronze, Saturday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m.
Selected games from the 2018 Travelers Curling Club Championship will be live-streamed at www.curling.ca/2018travelers.
Scores and standings from the event will be available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard.
For draw times, team lineups and other event info, go to: www.curling.ca/2018travelers/