Defending champion Team Canada, 14 provincial and territorial champions and three Wild Card teams will open play on March 4 in the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge.
The field was finalized Tuesday night as Curling Quebec named Team Michael Fournier as its representative after provincial regulations forced the cancellation of the provincial men’s championship.
Reigning champs Team Canada, skipped by Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, will wear the Maple Leaf in Lethbridge, but will be pushed hard by the likes Team Alberta of Calgary, as skip Kevin Koe chases his record-breaking fifth Tim Hortons Brier championship as a skip.
Canada’s Olympic men’s team, Team Gushue, will go for a fourth Tim Hortons Brier title in the past six years and will be one of the three Wild Card teams. The Wild Card berths were awarded to the top three teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System that didn’t qualify through their respective provincial or territorial championships. Team Gushue didn’t play in the rescheduled Newfoundland and Labrador championship but had entered in the originally scheduled event in January. That event was delayed until this past weekend because of COVID-related restrictions, and because Team Gushue had entered the provincial championship, it was deemed eligible for the Wild Card berth.
The other Wild Card berths went to Team Matt Dunstone of Regina and Team Jason Gunnlaugson of Morris, Man.
The first draw of the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier is scheduled for March 4 at 6:30 p.m. (all times MT).
Nathan Young’s Newfoundland/Labrador team will be the youngest team in the field; all four players are still eligible to compete in Under-21 juniors competition, and are coached by the legendary Toby McDonald, who guided Team Gushue to the Olympic gold medal in 2006.
The 18 teams have been split into two pools of nine, seeded based on the standing in the Canadian Team Ranking System as of Feb. 14, 2022. As was the case the last time a Canadian men’s championship was hosted in front of fans, the seeding is modified to ensure the host Member Association (Alberta) is in the same pool as Team Canada.
They will play an eight-game round-robin within their respective pools; from there, the top three teams in each pool advance to an expanded playoff field. The second and third-ranked teams in each pool cross over to play in Page playoff qualifier games on Friday, March 11, at 12:30 p.m. The winners advance to play the winners of Pool A and Pool B on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The winners of those games go to the Page 1v2 game, while the losers will compete in the Page 3v4 game.
The standard Page playoffs commence with the winner of the Page 1v2 game on Saturday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m., advancing directly to the final, and the loser plays the winner of the Page 3v4 game (scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday) in the semifinal.
The semifinal (Sunday, March 13, at 11 a.m.) winner takes on the winner of the Page 1v2 game in the final at 6 p.m. on March 13. The winner will represent Canada at the 2022 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, April 2-10 in Las Vegas.
If necessary, only one tiebreaker game will be scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. for third-place only. If there is a tie between more than two teams for the spot, teams will be eliminated by head-to-head record first and then by accumulated last stone draw to determine the two teams that will play in the tiebreaker game. Tiebreaker games will only be played if teams have a better than .500 record (5-3 or better).
Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:
(teams listed according to seeding, and listed in order of skip, vice-skip, second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)
- Alberta, Kevin Koe (John Morris [throws second], B.J. Neufeld [throws third], Ben Hebert, Carter Rycroft, John Dunn; Calgary)
- Ontario, Glenn Howard (Scott Howard, David Mathers, Tim March, Adam Spencer; Penetanguishene)
- Wild Card 2, Matt Dunstone (Braeden Moskowy, Kirk Muyres, Dustin Kidby, Adam Kingsbury; Regina)
- Saskatchewan, Colton Flasch (Catlin Schneider, Kevin Marsh, Daniel Marsh, Pat Simmons, Jamie Schneider; Saskatoon)
- Team Canada, Brendan Bottcher (Patrick Janssen, Brad Thiessen, Karrick Martin, Aaron Sluchinski, Don Bartlett; Edmonton)
- Newfoundland/Labrador, Nathan Young (Sam Follett, Nathan Locke, Ben Stringer, Nicholas Codner, Toby McDonald; St. John’s)
- New Brunswick, James Grattan (Darren Moulding, Pat Dobson, Andy McCann, Jamie Brannen; Oromocto)
- Prince Edward Island, Tyler Smith (Adam Cocks, Ed White, Ryan Lowery, Christopher Gallant; Crapaud)
- Yukon, Thomas Scoffin (Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos, Wade Scoffin; Whitehorse)
- Wild Card 1, Brad Gushue (Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant, Geoff Walker, Jeff Thomas, Jules Owchar; St. John’s)
- Northern Ontario, Brad Jacobs (Marc Kennedy, E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden, Caleb Flaxey; Sault Ste. Marie)
- Manitoba, Mike McEwen (Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski, Colin Hodgson, Rob Meakin; West St. Paul)
- Wild Card 3, Jason Gunnlaugson (Adam Casey, Matt Wozniak Connor Njegovan, Garry Van Den Berghe; Morris, Man.)
- Quebec, Michael Fournier [throws second] (Martin Crête, Félix Asselin [throws fourth], Jean-François Trépanier, Benoit Forget; Dollard-des-Ormeaux)
- Nova Scotia, Paul Flemming (Scott Saccary, Ryan Abraham, Phil Crowell, Kevin Ouellette; Halifax)
- British Columbia, Brent Pierce (Jeff Richard, Jared Kolomaya, Nick Meister; New Westminster)
- Northwest Territories, Jamie Koe (Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod; Yellowknife)
- Nunavut, Peter Mackey (Mark Pillsworth, Jeff Nadeau, Greg Howard, Peter Van Strien; Iqaluit)
For the full 2022 Tim Hortons Brier schedule, CLICK HERE.
TSN/RDS2 , the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise all of the action from Lethbridge.
While currently Alberta permits a 50 per cent capacity limit for live events, the Province of Alberta recently announced that March 1 is the projected date for a return to full capacity.
Curling Canada has opened all capacity limits and ticket packages for fans to fill the ENMAX Centre. If the capacity limit isn’t lifted on March 1 as outlined, and sales exceed 50 per cent of the available seats, customer ticket purchases would be honoured in chronological order of purchase date. Curling Canada and the ENMAX Centre will send communication via email and/or phone with any updates about the event to ticket purchasers as needed.
Click to read at Curling Canada: https://www.curling.ca/blog/2022/02/16/field-is-set/