Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials start Sunday in Edmonton

The much-anticipated Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, presented by Monsanto, get underway Sunday at Rexall Place in Edmonton. Over the course of the week, eight men’s and eight women’s teams will compete for the opportunity to represent Canada at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, when the curling competition takes place February 16-27 at the Olympic/Paralympic Centre. The Trials competition format is a round robin, with the first place teams advancing to their respective finals, while the second and third place teams meet in a semi-final to determine the other finalist.  TSN will televise all draws, leading to the women’s final on Saturday evening, December 12 at 6:00 pm MT/8:00 pm ET and the men’s final Sunday afternoon, December 13 at 1:00 pm MT/3:00 pm ET. CurlTV.com will also provide internet coverage to its subscribers of a game from every round robin draw. The opening women’s draw is at 1:00 pm on Sunday, followed by the men’s first draw at 6:00 pm. The round robin continues Monday through Thursday, with draws at 8:30 am, 1:00 pm and 6:00 pm.  The only exception is Wednesday evening’s draw, which begins at 7:30 pm MT. The women’s line-up is headed by Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones and Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink, the top two seeds.   Jones is the reigning Canadian champion, a three-time (2005, 2008, 2009) winner of the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the 2008 Ford world women’s champion. Kleibrink won the 2005 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Halifax and went on to a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin, Italy.  They are joined by Calgary’s Cheryl Bernard and Saskatoon’s 2008 Canada Cup winner and 2005 Trials third place finisher Stefanie Lawton, both of whom also received berths directly into the Trials, as the number three and four seeds, respectively. Four other women’s teams qualified by winning finals at the Pre-Trials triple knockout competition in Prince George, British Columbia, November 10-14.   Calgary’s Crystal Webster won the A final while Thunder Bay’s Krista McCarville took the B final.  Two-time (2006, 2007) Canadian champion, 2005 Trials runner-up and 2007 world women’s champion Kelly Scott of Kelowna, along with Amber Holland, of Kronau, Saskatchewan, also earned berths via victories in the C finals. On the men’s side, four-time (1991, 1997, 2008, 2009) Brier winner and 2008 world champion Kevin Martin of Edmonton is the number one seed.   Martin also captured the 2001 Trials in Regina en route to a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, Utah. Three-time (1987, 1993, 2007) Brier and world champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ontario is the second seed, with Edmonton’s Kevin Koe and Randy Ferbey, the third and fourth seeds, respectively.  Koe won the 2008 Canada Cup while Ferbey is a record six-time Brier winner. His team has won four Briers (2001, 2002, 2003, 2005) and three Ford world men’s titles (2002, 2003, 2005). Challenging the top four are the winners of the Pre-Trials competition – Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, a two-time (1996, 1999) Brier winner, 1996 world champion and Trials runner-up in 2005, who won the A final; Pat Simmons of Davidson, Saskatchewan, winner of the B final; Toronto’s two-time (1993, 1998) Brier and world champion Wayne Middaugh and Jason Gunnlaugson of Beausejour, Manitoba, both of whom won C finals in Prince George. Edmonton already holds attendance records for a Tim Hortons Brier (281,985 in 2005) and a Ford world men’s championship (184,970 in 2007).  It is expected to surpass the current record of 159,235 for the Trials, set in Halifax in 2005. Draw results via CurlCast will be instantly available on the Canadian Curling Association’s website, www.curling.ca <https://www.curling.ca>. In celebration of the Trials, curlers who represented Canada in past Olympics were invited to be part of the Opening Weekend festivities, including Friday’s Opening Banquet at the Expo Centre and Sunday’s Opening Ceremonies, which begin at 11:00 am.   Among those attending will be members of the late Sandra Schmirler’s gold medal team and the Mike Harris silver medallist team of 1998, Kelley Law and her bronze medal team from 2002 and Russ Howard, a member of the gold medal-winning Brad Gushue team of 2006 and now a TSN curling commentator. Other guests taking part in the Opening Ceremonies include Jim Armstrong, the 2009 world wheelchair curling champion who will also skip Canada at the 2010 Paralympic Games curling competition, March 13-20 in Vancouver. For Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings ticket information, visit www.ticketmaster.ca <https://www.ticketmaster.ca> or phone 780-451-8000. These Trials will be the fifth such competition to determine Canada’s representatives at the Winter Olympics. In 1987, the Labatt National Curling Trials were held in Calgary and won by Vancouver’s Linda Moore and Calgary’s Ed Lukowich.  Moore would go on to win a gold medal while Lukowich received a bronze medal at the 1988 Olympic Winter Games in Calgary, when curling was a demonstration sport. For the 1992 Olympics in Albertville, France, rather than conduct a Trials competition, the CCA decided in advance that the winners of the 1991 Labatt Brier and Scotties Tournament of Hearts, ultimately Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Victoria’s Julie Sutton, would represent Canada.   Martin finished fourth while Sutton won a bronze medal, when curling was still a demonstration sport. In 1997, the Trials were held in Brandon, Manitoba and won by Toronto’s Mike Harris and Regina’s Sandra Schmirler.  Schmirler went on to capture the first official gold medal for women at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano (Karuizawa), Japan while Harris earned a silver medal. In 2001, the Trials were staged in Regina and won by Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and New Westminster’s Kelley Law.  Martin then earned a silver medal at the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City (Ogden), Utah, while Law won a bronze medal. At the 2005 Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Halifax, the Brad Gushue team of St. John’s, which was being skipped by Russ Howard, and Shannon Kleibrink of Calgary emerged victorious.   Gushue’s team won a gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Turin (Pinerolo), Italy, while Kleibrink earned a bronze medal. 2009 TIM HORTONS ROAR OF THE RINGS CANADIAN CURLING TRIALS DECEMBER 6-13, REXALL PLACE EDMONTON, AB WOMEN Teams listed in order of skip, third, second, lead, alternate and coach TEAM BERNARD Calgary CC, Calgary, AB Cheryl Bernard Susan O’Connor Carolyn Darbyshire Cori Bartel Kristie Moore Dennis Balderston TEAM HOLLAND Kronau CC, Kronau, SK Amber Holland Kim Schneider Tammy Schneider Heather Kalenchuk Jolene Campbell Merv Fonger TEAM JONES St. Vital CC, Winnipeg, MB Jennifer Jones Cathy Overton-Clapham Jill Officer Dawn Askin Jennifer Clark-Rouire Janet Arnott TEAM KLEIBRINK Calgary Winter Club, Calgary, AB Shannon Kleibrink Amy Nixon Bronwen Webster Chelsey Bell Heather Nedohin Ron Meyers TEAM LAWTON Nutana CC, Saskatoon, SK Stefanie Lawton Marliese Kasner Sherri Singler Lana Vey Beth Iskiw Brian McCusker TEAM McCARVILLE Fort William CC, Thunder Bay, ON Krista McCarville Tara George Kari MacLean Lorraine Lang Ashley Miharija Rick Lang TEAM SCOTT Kelowna CC, Kelowna, BC Kelly Scott Jeanna Schraeder Sasha Carter Jacquie Armstrong Helen Radford Gerry Richard TEAM WEBSTER Calgary CC, Calgary, AB Crystal Webster Lori Olson-Johns Sam Preston Stephanie Malekoff Sherry Anderson Gord Trenchie 2009 TIM HORTONS ROAR OF THE RINGS CANADIAN CURLING TRIALS DECEMBER 6-13, REXALL PLACE EDMONTON, AB MEN Teams listed in order of skip, third, second, lead, alternate and coach TEAM FERBEY Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, AB Randy Ferbey (third stones) David Nedohin (fourth stones) Scott Pfeifer Marcel Rocque Dan Holowaychuk – TEAM GUNNLAUGSON Beausejour CC, Beausejour, MB Jason Gunnlaugson Justin Richter Braden Zawada Tyler Forrest Ted Appelman Calvin Edie TEAM HOWARD Coldwater & District CC, Coldwater, ON Glenn Howard Richard Hart Brent Laing Craig Savill Steve Bice Scott Taylor TEAM KOE Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, AB Kevin Koe Blake MacDonald Carter Rycroft Nolan Thiessen Jamie King John Dunn TEAM MARTIN Saville Sports Centre, Edmonton, AB Kevin Martin John Morris Marc Kennedy Ben Hebert Adam Enright Jules Owchar TEAM MIDDAUGH St. George’s Golf and Country Club, Toronto, ON Wayne Middaugh Jon Mead John Epping Scott Bailey Trevor Wall – TEAM SIMMONS Davidson CC, Davidson, SK Pat Simmons Gerry Adam Jeff Sharp Steve Laycock Warren Jackson Barry Fiendell TEAM STOUGHTON Charleswood CC, Winnipeg, MB Jeff Stoughton Kevin Park Rob Fowler Steve Gould Randy Dutiaume Norm Gould