Fresh off a record-breaking win a year ago in London, Ont., Brad Gushue’s team will begin its chase for another piece of curling history when the 2024 Montana’s Brier, presented by AGI, gets underway Friday at the Brandt Centre in Regina.

Gushue’s St. John’s, N.L., team — rounded out by vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker and coach Caleb Flaxey — is attempting to become just the second team in the rich history of the Canadian men’s curling championship to win three straight titles, matching the run of Randy Ferbey’s Edmonton team, which prevailed in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

Team Gushue won in 2022 at Lethbridge, Alta., and last year at London, Ont., giving Gushue a record fifth win as a skip. Team Gushue will begin its quest for a rare Montana’s Brier three-peat Friday at 6 p.m. (all times Central) against Nova Scotia’s Team Matthew Manuel from Halifax.

The other opening-draw games Friday feature a rematch of the Alberta men’s championship final as Team Aaron Sluchinski of Airdrie takes on four-time Montana’s Brier champ Kevin Koe and his team from Calgary; Team Sluchinski defeated Team Koe in the Alberta final.

Also on Friday, the host-province team, Saskatchewan’s Team Mike McEwen (Saskatoon), takes on Prince Edward Island’s Team Tyler Smith (Crapaud); and Jamie Koe’s Northwest Territories team from Yellowknife is up against Team Quebec, skipped by Julien Tremblay, of Etchemin/Kénogami/Chicoutimi/Victoria.

Soon after the first draw, the action will heat up in the Original 16 Patch as The Reklaws will play a free concert.

Defending champions Team Canada, 14 provincial and territorial champions and three teams that qualified based on Canadian Team Ranking System results (Team Alberta-Koe, Team Manitoba-Dunstone, skipped by Matt Dunstone, and Team Alberta-Bottcher, skipped by Brendan Bottcher) comprise the field in Regina.

The 18 teams are split into two pools of nine. Teams will play a complete eight-game round robin within their pools. From there, the top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs.

There will be no tiebreakers; if teams are tied for a playoff spot, head-to-head results will be the first tiebreaker, and if that doesn’t resolve the tie, Last-Shot Draw rankings will rank the teams — the same formula used at World Championship events and the Winter Olympics.

A modified playoff format will see the first-place team from Pool A meeting second place from Pool B, and vice versa, in the first round of the playoffs at 1 p.m.  on March 8, with the winners going directly to the Page playoff 1-2 game, while the losers meet the third-place finishers in the pools March 8 at 7 p.m. The winners of those games will advance to the Page playoff 3-4 game.

The standard Page playoffs commence with the winner of the Page 1v2 game on Saturday, March 9, at 7 p.m., advancing directly to the final, and the loser plays the winner of the Page 3v4 game (scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday) in the semifinal.

The semifinal (Sunday, March 10, at noon) winner takes on the winner of the Page 1v2 game in the final at 6 p.m. on Sunday. The winner will represent Canada at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship March 30-April 7 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:

(Teams listed according to overall seeding, and listed in order of skip [player calling the shots], vice-skip [player holding the broom for the skip], second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)

* – Denotes provincial champion for provinces with more than one team representing

Pool A

  • 1. Alberta-Bottcher, Brendan Bottcher (Marc Kennedy, Brett Gallant, Ben Hebert, Paul Webster; Calgary)
  • 4. Manitoba-Dunstone, Matt Dunstone (B.J. Neufeld, Colton Lott, Ryan Harnden, Rob Gordon, Adam Kingsbury; Winnipeg)
  • *-5. Manitoba-Carruthers, Brad Jacobs (Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski, Connor Njegovan, Rob Meakin; Winnipeg)
  • 8. Ontario, Glenn Howard [throws second stones] (Scott Howard [throws fourth stones], David Mathers, Tim March, Mathew Camm; Penetanguishene)
  • 9. British Columbia, Catlin Schneider (Alex Horvath [throws lead stones], Jason Ginter [throws third stones], Sterling Middleton [throws second stones], Jamie Schneider, Bryan Miki; Victoria)
  • 12. New Brunswick, James Grattan (Joel Krats, Paul Dobson, Andy McCann, Drew Grattan, Dean Grattan; Oromocto)
  • 13. Northern Ontario, Trevor Bonot (Mike McCarville, Jordan Potts, Kurtis Byrd, Al Hackner; Thunder Bay)
  • 16. Newfoundland/Labrador, Andrew Symonds (Colin Thomas, Stephen Trickett, Alex Smith, Dave Noftall, Jeff Thomas; St. John’s)
  • 17. Yukon, Thomas Scoffin (Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos, Wade Scoffin, Kevin Patterson; Whitehorse)

Pool B

  • 2. Team Canada, Brad Gushue (Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden, Geoff Walker, Caleb Flaxey; St. John’s, N.L.)
  • 3. Alberta-Koe, Kevin Koe (Tyler Tardi, Jacques Gauthier, Karrick Martin, Mike Libbus; Calgary)
  • 6. Saskatchewan, Mike McEwen (Kevin Marsh [throws second stones], Colton Flasch [throws third stones], Daniel Marsh, Pat Simmons, Brent Laing; Saskatoon)
  • *- 7. Alberta-Sluchinski, Aaron Sluchinski (Jeremy Harty, Kerr Drummond, Dylan Webster, Mickey Pendergast; Airdrie)
  • 10. Quebec, Julien Tremblay (Jean-Michel Arsenault, Jesse Mullen, Philippe Brassard, Vincent Roberge, Eric Sylvain; Etchemin/Kenogami/Chicoutimi/Victoria)
  • 11. Nova Scotia, Matthew Manuel (Luke Saunders, Jeff Meagher, Nick Zachernuk, Kim Kelly; Halifax)
  • 14. Prince Edward Island, Tyler Smith (Adam Cocks, Christopher Gallant, Ed White, Paul Flemming; Crapaud)
  • 15. Northwest Territories, Jamie Koe (Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod, Stephen Robertson; Yellowknife)
  • 18. Nunavut, Shane Latimer (Sheldon Wettig, Brady St. Louis, Christian Smitheram, Peter Van Strien, Katie Brooks; Iqaluit)

For the full 2024 Montana’s Brier schedule, CLICK HERE.

TSN/RDS2 , the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise all of the action from Regina.