Early matchups unveiled for 2017 World Financial Group Continental Cup

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LAS VEGAS — Both the reigning world men’s and women’s curling champions will be on the ice on Thursday morning to kick off the 2017 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Boyd Gaming.

The captains and coaches for both teams — Coach Rick Lang and Captain Debbie McCormick for Team North America; Coach Pål Trulsen and Captain Andy Kapp for Team World — set their lineups on Wednesday morning at the Orleans Arena for the first three days of competition in curling’s version of the Ryder Cup. Those three days will feature three rounds of mixed doubles competition, as well as six rounds of traditional four-player team competition. The lineups for Sunday’s two rounds of skins competition will be set on Saturday afternoon.

World men’s champion Kevin Koe of Calgary will get on the ice for Team North America in the morning draw at 9 a.m. (all times Pacific) Thursday, taking on Team World’s veteran Thomas Ulsrud of Norway. Meanwhile, Swiss world women’s champ Binia Feltscher of Team World takes on Team North America’s Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg.

Mixed doubles competition gets underway Thursday at 1:30 p.m., with the most interesting matchup looking like Team North America’s tandem of leads, Ben Hebert and Dawn McEwen, taking on the duo of Ulsrud and Japan’s Yurika Yoshida.

On Friday at 1:30 p.m., the husband and wife pairing of Jones and Brent Laing takes on another Norway-Japan combination in Mari Motohashi and Christoffer Svae.

There will be two rounds of traditional team competition on Thursday and Friday (8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. both days), and two more team draws Saturday, 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.

The mixed doubles draws are at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9 a.m. on Saturday. The Saturday draw will see teams switched after four ends, as the 12 remaining players for each team who haven’t played mixed doubles will get in the ice for the final four ends.

The unique format pits Team North America against Team World in various disciplines during four days of competition — traditional team games, mixed doubles, mixed skins and standard skins games. Each segment awards points for wins (or ties). A total of 60 points are available, meaning the side that earns more than 30 points will be declared the champion.

There will be 18 team games (nine men’s and nine women’s) played, each worth one point for a win and a half-point for a tie.

For the first six mixed doubles matches, one point will be awarded for each victory, one-half point if tied. Those totals will be doubled for the 9 a.m. draw on Saturday.

All games are eight ends and there are no extra ends.  There will also be six skins games (those matchups will be decided on Saturday), with each game worth a total of five points to the winner.

The winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side that generates the highest points total from the six Skins games will receive an additional $13,000 ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).

MATCHUPS

Thursday
9 a.m.
Team
Sheet A — Anna Hasselborg (World) vs. Jamie Sinclair (North America)
Sheet B — Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Kevin Koe (North America)
Sheet C — Binia Feltscher (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)

1:30 p.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A —Anna Hasselborg/Oskar Eriksson (World) vs. Jamie Sinclair/Korey Dropkin (North America)
Sheet B — Yurika Yoshida/Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Dawn McEwen/Ben Hebert (North America)
Sheet C — Christine Urech/Rasmus Stjerne (World) vs. Kaitlyn Lawes/Marc Kennedy

6:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Niklas Edin (World) vs. Heath McCormick (North America)
Sheet B —Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Chelsea Carey (North America)
Sheet C — Rasmus Stjerne (World) vs. Reid Carruthers (North America)

Friday
9 a.m.
Team
Sheet A — Binia Feltscher (World) vs. Chelsea Carey (North America)
Sheet B — Niklas Edin (World) vs. Reid Carruthers (North America)
Sheet C — Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Jamie Sinclair (North America)

1:30 p.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A — Irene Schori/Mikkel Poulsen (World) vs. Jocelyn Peterman/Chris Plys (North America)
Sheet B — Sara McManus/Christoffer Sundgren (World) vs. Jill Officer/Reid Carruthers (North America)
Sheet C — Mari Motohashi/Christoffer Svae (World) vs. Jennifer Jones/Brent Laing (North America)

6:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Rasmus Stjerne (World) vs. Kevin Koe (North America)
Sheet B — Anna Hasselborg (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)
Sheet C — Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Heath McCormick (North America)

Saturday
9 a.m.
Mixed Doubles
(Note — teams will change following the fourth end break in each game)
Sheet A — Franziska Kaufmann/Johnny Frederiksen (World) vs. Vicky Persinger/Kevin Koe (North America)
Sheet B — Agnes Knochenhauer/Rasmus Wranå (World) vs. Amy Nixon/Heath McCormick (North America)
Sheet C — Chinami Yoshida/Håvard Vad Petersson (World) vs. Laine Peters/Tom Howell (North America)

1:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Satsuki Fujisawa (World) vs. Jennifer Jones (North America)
Sheet B — Rasmus Stjerne (World) vs. Heath McCormick (North America)
Sheet C —Anna Hasselborg (World) vs. Chelsea Carey (North America)

6:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Thomas Ulsrud (World) vs. Reid Carruthers (North America)
Sheet B — Binia Feltscher (World) vs. Jamie Sinclair (North America)
Sheet C — Niklas Edin (World) vs. Kevin Koe (North America)

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