Curling dreams will be coming true for the 28 teams that open the 2015 Travelers Curling Club Championship on Monday at the Ottawa Hunt and Golf Club.
This is the seventh edition of the Travelers Curling Club Championship. This week-long round robin takes place in a different Canadian city each year and offers Canada’s top club curlers an elite national championship experience. Curling Canada’s 14 Member Association teams (from 10 provinces, three territories and Northern Ontario) will battle to make the playoff rounds on Friday and Saturday.
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 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.
And while these aren’t the curlers you watch routinely on television, there are some notable names in the field that will contest the men’s and women’s championships.
On the men’s side, a name that immediately jumps out is Andrew Hackner, second for Team Northern Ontario from Geraldton. Hackner is the son of two-time Brier and world men’s champion Al Hackner. In addition to his curling credentials, Andrew Hackner played in two CIS Men’s Basketball Final 8 national championship tournaments as a member of the Lakehead University Thunderwolves.
Hackner’s skip, Mike Assad, skipped Northern Ontario to a 5-6 record at the 2001 Brier, and has played in three Canadian Mixed championships.
On the women’s side, Nova Scotia skip Monica Moriarty is the sister of Colleen Jones, and was a member of Colleen’s 1982 Scott Tournament of Hearts-winning team. Moriarty also played with Jones at the 1984 and 1989 Hearts, and was an alternate on the Jones-skipped Nova Scotia teams in 1994 and 1996. Additionally, she threw lead rocks for Paul Flemming’s 1999 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship gold-medal team.
Since the inaugural Travelers Curling Club Championship in 2009 in Toronto, Alberta has won the men’s title three times, while Saskatchewan has claimed two titles and Ontario one.
On the women’s side, Ontario has won three times, followed by Manitoba with two and Alberta with one.
At the 2014 Travelers Curling Club Championship in Halifax, Saskatchewan’s Kory Kohuch won the men’s title, while Ontario’s Kerry Lackie won the women’s crown.
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. 27, at 6:30 p.m. (all times Eastern). 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 gold- and bronze-medal games are set for Saturday, Nov. 28, at 10 a.m.