The seven top-ranked men’s teams on the country’s competitive curling scene will be in Moose Jaw November 28-December 2 for the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup – the opening event of the new Season of Champions schedule.
The qualifying criteria for the championship – based on the teams’ performance during the 2011-2012 season – makes it one of the toughest fields to crack in the entire curling world.
The first berth is reserved for the defending Capital One Canada Cup champions and this year the honour goes to Kevin Martin who earned a fourth Canada Cup title with a victory last year in Cranbrook. The 2010 Olympic gold medalist has skipped his teams to four Brier championships as well a world title.
Glenn Howard, the 2010 Capital One Canada Cup winner, qualifies on the basis of last season’s victory at the Tim Hortons Brier, followed by top spot on the podium at the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship. Howard holds a pair of Brier and World championships as a skip and another two playing third for brother Russ.
The remainder of the field is decided by standings in the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) at the conclusion of the past season. With a second-place finish, the Mike McEwen team punched their ticket to Moose Jaw. One of the hottest teams in the country, McEwen has finished second in the Manitoba Brier Tankard playdowns the past two years.
The Kevin Koe team curled their way to the number four CTRS position. Koe came out on top at the 2008 Canada Cup and in 2010 captured the Tim Hortons Brier and the Capital One Ford World Men’s Curling Championship.
John Epping’s Ontario crew held the number five CTRS ranking. A former Ontario junior champion, Epping won the Canadian Mixed Curling Championship in 2006. After playing third for skips Mike Harris and later Wayne Middaugh he moved on to skip his own team in 2010.
Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton, winner of the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier and Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, finished the season in the sixth position. Stoughton’s resume includes three Brier titles and a pair of world championships.
Rounding out the field is 2006 Olympic gold medalist Brad Gushue who took the seventh spot in the CTRS rankings. The pride of Newfoundland/Labrador has represented the province in the Tim Hortons Brier on nine occasions.
“You just can’t get a better field for a curling championship,” notes Host Committee Chair Danielle Sicinski. “And the seven women’s are every bit as impressive… we’ll be introducing them on our website this Thursday. Needless to say, the entire community is very excited to host this event!”
“You Gotta Be There” for the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup – the first major sporting event to be held in Mosaic Place, Moose Jaw’s new state-of-the-art sports and entertainment complex. Get your tickets today by clicking here.