Olympic dreams are still alive for the 18 teams who will be competing at the inaugural Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials in just over two weeks.
The list of the 18 teams has now been confirmed, as in some some cases players had to be replaced because they were victorious at the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings earlier this month in Ottawa, and will be competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in the four-player team men’s and women’s events.
The 2018 Canad Inns Canadian Mixed Doubles Trials, scheduled for Jan. 2-7 at Stride Place in Portage la Prairie, Man., will decide Canada’s first entry into the Winter Olympics mixed doubles competition; mixed doubles is making its debut as an official medal sport in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
And there will be a wealth of Olympic experience in the field, including past gold-medallists Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Jill Officer and Dawn McEwen (all in 2014), John Morris (2010), and Brad Gushue and Mark Nichols (both 2006).
In fact, two entries consist of only Olympic gold-medallists: Jones and Nichols, and Lawes and Morris.
The 18 teams will be split into two nine-team pools, based on their seedings in the Canadian Mixed Doubles Rankings (CMDR).
The teams will play a single round-robin within their pools, before eight teams (first and second in each pool, and the next four best win-loss records) move onto the playoffs.
Here’s a look at the two pools, in order of their CMDR seeding:
1. Jocelyn Peterman (Calgary)/Brett Gallant (St. John’s)
4. Dawn McEwen/Mike McEwen (both Winnipeg)
5. Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg)/Mark Nichols (St. John’s; replaces Brent Laing)
8. Nancy Martin (Saskatoon)/Catlin Schneider (Regina)
9. Jill Officer (Winnipeg; replaces Joanne Courtney)/Reid Carruthers (Winnipeg)
12. Kim Tuck/Wayne Tuck (both Strathroy, Ont.)
13. Emilie Desjardins/Robert Desjardins (both Chicoutimi, Que.)
16. Shannon Birchard/Jason Gunnlaugson (both Winnipeg)
17. Sherry Just (Prince Albert, Sask.; replaces Emma Miskew)/Tyrel Griffith (Kelowna, B.C.)
2. Chelsea Carey (Calgary)/Colin Hodgson (Winnipeg)
3. Kalynn Park (Edmonton)/Charley Thomas (Calgary)
6. Kaitlyn Lawes (Winnipeg; replaces Rachel Homan)/John Morris (Canmore, Alta.)
7. Laura Crocker (Edmonton)/Geoff Walker (St. John’s)
10. Marliese Kasner (Shellbrook, Sask.)/Dustin Kalthoff (Saskatoon)
11. Val Sweeting (Edmonton)/Brad Gushue (St. John’s)
14. Nicole Westlund-Stewart/Tyler Stewart (both Kitchener, Ont.)
15. Dana Ferguson (Edmonton)/Brendan Bottcher (Sherwood Park, Alta.)
18. Sherry Middaugh (Victoria Harbour, Ont.; replaces Lisa Weagle)/John Epping, Toronto