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CIS curlers pushing for Universiade podium finishes

OTTAWA (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) – The Canadian student-athletes who will make up Canada’s men’s and women’s curling teams at the 27th Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain, have won at the CIS and junior levels, and are now ready to add a FISU podium placement to their list of achievements.

Team Canada for the upcoming Winter Universiade. Top, men's team, skip Matt Dunstone, third William Coleman, second Daniel Grant , lead Chris Gallant. Bottom, women's team, skip Breanne Meakin, third Lauren Horton, second Lynn Kreviazuk, lead Jessica Armstrong. (Photos, CCA/Brian Chick)

Team Canada for the upcoming Winter Universiade. Top, men’s team, skip Matt Dunstone, third William Coleman, second Daniel Grant , lead Chris Gallant. Bottom, women’s team, skip Breanne Meakin, third Lauren Horton, second Lynn Kreviazuk, lead Jessica Armstrong. (Photos, CCA/Brian Chick)

Representing Canada in Spain will be the 2014 CIS/CCA champion University of Manitoba men and Carleton University women. Carleton’s Doug Kreviazuk will coach the women’s team, while Manitoba’s Scott Grant will be at the helm of the men’s squad. Brian Chick from the Canadian Curling Association will serve as team leader.

Canada has accrued a combined five curling medals in four previous Universiade competitions, the most recent a third-place finish in 2013 in Trentino, Italy. The Canadian men (2003) and women (2007) have both been crowned FISU champions on one occasion.

The 2015 Winter Universiade runs from Feb. 3-14, in Granada, which is in Southern Spain. The curling competition begins on Feb. 5 and concludes on Feb. 13.

Men’s skip Matt Dunstone is joined by second Daniel Grant, third Jim Coleman and lead Chris Gallant. Dunstone and Grant curled together on the 2013 Canadian junior championship team. Coleman is a veteran of the Manitoba men’s provincial championship tournaments and Gallant has represented his home province of Prince Edward Island at the Canadian junior championship events.

Together, the foursome defeated the University of Alberta Golden Bears to capture gold at the 2014 CIS/CCA national championship. The Golden Bears were skipped by Brendan Bottcher, a former gold-medallist at the junior world championships who skipped Canada’s bronze medal team at the 2013 Universiade.

“The Manitoba team is a young team with lots of experience in big championships,” noted Chick. “They play with a lot of confidence, and they’re not going to be afraid to play anybody in Spain.”

Breanne Meakin, who skipped Manitoba to CIS/CCA gold in 2013, will now lead Canada’s women’s team and is joined by three members of the 2014 CIS/CCA champion Carleton Ravens in Lauren Horton (third), Lynn Kreviazuk (second) and lead Jessica Armstrong.

Meakin, a four-time provincial junior champion, 2009 Canadian junior champion and former world junior silver medallist (2009), was added to the team after Jamie Sinclair left the squad.

“That Carleton team has competed in several World Curling Tour events this year and has beaten some of the best women’s teams in the world,” said Chick. “They were fortunate to pick up Breanne, and especially lucky that she was such a good fit for the team.”

“I have high hopes for both of these teams in Granada,” Chick continued. “We’ve got a bunch of talented athletes who have already shown they can win in juniors, and at the senior level. We’ve got players who are provincial and national champions and consistently play with, and against, some of the best in the world.”

Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index

Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/

TEAM CANADA ROSTERS:

WOMEN
Position – Name – University – Hometown
Skip: Breanne Meakin – University of Manitoba – Winnipeg
Third: Lauren Horton – Carleton University – Almonte, Ont.
Second: Lynn Kreviazuk – Carleton University – Ottawa
Lead: Jessica Armstrong – Carleton University – Ottawa

 MEN
Position – Name – University – Hometown
Skip: Matthew Dunstone – University of Manitoba – Winnipeg
Third: William Coleman – University of Manitoba – Winnipeg
Second: Daniel Grant – University of Manitoba – Winnipeg
Lead: Chris Gallant – University of Manitoba – Charlottetown, P.E.I.

STAFF
Team Leader: Brian Chick (Canadian Curling Association)
Coach (women): Doug Kreviazuk (Carleton University)
Coach (men): Scott Grant (University of Manitoba)       

TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)

Women
Feb. 5 (9:00): Canada vs. South Korea
Feb. 5 (19:00): Canada vs. Japan
Feb. 6 (14:00): Canada vs. Great Britain
Feb. 7 (9:00): Canada vs. Sweden
Feb. 7 (19:00): Canada vs. Switzerland
Feb. 8 (14:00): Canada vs. Spain
Feb. 9 (9:00): Canada vs. Norway
Feb. 9 (19:00): Canada vs. Russia
Feb. 10 (14:00): Canada vs. USA
Feb. 11: Tie-breaking games (if required)
Feb. 12 (9:00): Semifinals
Feb. 12 (16:00): Bronze
Feb. 13 (9:00): Final

Men
Feb. 5 (14:00): Canada vs. USA
Feb. 6 (9:00): Canada vs. Great Britain
Feb. 6 (19:00): Canada vs. Czech Republic
Feb. 7 (14:00): Canada vs. Switzerland
Feb. 8 (9:00): Canada vs. Russia
Feb. 8 (19:00): Canada vs. Spain
Feb. 9 (14:00): Canada vs. Norway
Feb. 10 (9:00): Canada vs. Sweden
Feb. 10 (19:00): Canada vs. Japan
Feb. 11: Tie-breaking games (if required)
Feb. 12 (9:00): Semifinals
Feb. 12 (16:00): Bronze
Feb. 13 (16:00): Final

CANADA’S ALL-TIME UNIVERSIADE RESULTS IN CURLING:

2013 (Trentino, Italy): Women: 6th / Men: Bronze
2011 (Erzurum, Turkey): Women: 6th / Men: 5th
2009 (Harbin, China): Women: Silver / Men: 6th
2007 (Turin, Italy): Women: Gold / Men: 6th
2005 (Innsbruck-Seefeld, Austria): Curling not part of Universiade program
2003 (Tarvisio, Italy): Women: Silver / Men: Gold

About the Winter Universiade
The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.
NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from January 24 to February 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.
Official website: www.granada2015.org

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport
Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships.

About the Canadian Curling Association
The Canadian Curling Association (CCA) is the national sport governing body responsible for the development, promotion and organization of curling in Canada. In cooperation with its Provincial and Territorial Member Associations from across Canada, the CCA provides programs and services to curlers ranging from the youngest ‘little rocker’ (age 7 and up), to those participating at ages 70 and over – and from aspiring Olympians to Canadians with special needs, coaches, curling facility operators, ice makers and officials. The CCA also oversees and provides the comprehensive management of the Season of Champions event portfolio; develops and administers the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) for Olympic qualification; and organizes and operates the championship system for Juniors (under 20), Seniors (over 50), Mixed, Women, Men, University and Wheelchair.