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Fields set for 2011 Canada Cup

The men’s and women’s teams for the 2011 Canada Cup of Curling, November 30-December 4 at the Recreation Complex in Cranbrook, British Columbia have been finalized.

Amber Holland, reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion (Photo: Andrew Klaver Photography)

The women’s field includes reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Amber Holland; defending Canada Cup champion Stefanie Lawton; four-time Canadian and one-time world champion Jennifer Jones and two-time Canada Cup winner and 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Shannon Kleibrink.

The men’s field is headed by the reigning Tim Hortons Brier and Ford World champion Jeff Stoughton, defending Canada Cup champion Glenn Howard; 2010 Olympic gold medallist Kevin Martin and 2010 Capital One world champion Kevin Koe.

Most importantly, the winners will become the first teams to qualify for the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, which will determine Canada’s representatives for the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.

The Canada Cup, presented by St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, is now in its ninth season and has undergone a major format change this year as the first event in the Canadian Curling Association’s 2011-12 Season of Champions.

Jeff Stoughton (Photo: Michael Burns Photography)

Instead of 10 men’s and 10 women’s teams in two pools of five each, there are now seven teams of each gender competing in a round robin, with the first place teams advancing to their respective finals, while the second and third place teams meet in semi-finals. TSN will provide coverage of the semi-finals and finals.

The total prize money is $70,000 each for men and women, with the winning teams receiving $26,000. In addition to berths into the 2013 Trials, which will be contested December 1-8 in Winnipeg, the winners will also get invitations to the 2013 World Financial Group Continental Cup, at a site and date to be announced.

The teams qualified for the 2011 Canada Cup by winning the 2010 Canada Cup, 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, 2011 Tim Hortons Brier or by their standing on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) for the 2010-11 season.

Women (Name, City/How qualified)

1. Stefanie Lawton, Saskatoon, SK – Defending Canada Cup champion
2. Amber Holland, Kronau, SK – 2011 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion
3. Jennifer Jones, Winnipeg, MB – CTRS
4. Shannon Kleibrink, Calgary, AB – CTRS
5. Heather Nedohin, Edmonton, AB – CTRS
6. Chelsea Carey, Winnipeg, MB – CTRS
7. Rachel Homan, Ottawa, ON – CTRS

Men (Name, City/How qualified)

1. Glenn Howard, Coldwater, ON – Defending Canada Cup champion
2. Jeff Stoughton, Winnipeg, MB – 2011 Tim Hortons Brier winner
3. Kevin Martin, Edmonton, AB – CTRS
4. Mike McEwen, Winnipeg, MB – CTRS
5. Kevin Koe, Edmonton, AB – CTRS
6. Steve Laycock, Regina, SK – CTRS
7. Brad Jacobs, Sault Ste. Marie, ON – CTRS

In addition to Olympic gold, Martin is also a record-tying four-time winner of the Brier as skip, won the 2008 world men’s and is a three-time winner of the Canada Cup. Howard is a three-time Brier and world champion and seven-time Brier runner-up, while Stoughton has won three Briers in total and, in addition to his world title this past season, also won in 1996.

Ticket packages can be purchased by phone at 250-426-SEAT or 866-580-SEAT, in person at the Cranbrook Rec Plex Box Office (Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 6:00 pm) or the Canada Cup office by phone at 778-520-2011. Great seats are still available.

Since its inception in 2003, the Canada Cup has been won by some of the country’s most successful curling teams. On the men’s side, Kevin Martin (2005, 2006, 2009) and Randy Ferbey (2003, 2004, 2007) are both three-time winners, while Kevin Koe (2008) and Glenn Howard (2010) complete the list of past winners.

On the women’s side, Shannon Kleibrink (2005, 2009) and Stefanie Lawton (2008, 2010) are two-time Canada Cup winners. The other winners were Sherry Middaugh (2003), Colleen Jones (2004), Cathy King (2006) and Jennifer Jones (2007).

The Canada Cup was staged in Kamloops, British Columbia from its inception in 2003 through 2008. In 2009, it was played in Yorkton, Saskatchewan before moving to Medicine Hat, Alberta in 2010.

The 2013 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, presented by Monsanto, will follow the same format as the 2009 Trials, with eight men’s and eight women’s teams competing in a round robin. Six teams will qualify directly into the Trials, with the remaining two from each gender qualifying from a Pre-Trials event.