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Early matchups unveiled at World Financial Group Continental Cup

LONDON, Ont. — Reigning World women’s and men’s champions Rachel Homan and Brad Gushue will kick off and end the day respectively on the opening day of the 2018 World Financial Group Continental Cup, presented by Service Experts.

From left, Team World captain David Murdoch and coach Frederik Lindberg shake hands with Team North America coach Rick Lang and captain Al Hackner, as Nolan Thiessen, who oversaw Wednesday’s drawing of teams, looks on. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Homan’s Ottawa team, which will represent Canada at the Winter Olympics next month in South Korea, will be in the opening draw Thursday morning at The Sports Centre at Western Fair District, representing Team North America in a battle against Team World’s Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland at 9:30 a.m. (all times Eastern).

Gushue and his St. John’s team, meanwhile, will be in the evening draw at 7 p.m., taking on Team World’s Peter De Cruz, also of Switzerland.

The captains and coaches for both teams — Coach Rick Lang and Captain Al Hackner for Team North America; Coach Fredrik Lindberg and Captain David Murdoch for Team World — determined their lineups on Wednesday for the first three days of competition in curling’s version of the Ryder Cup. Those three days will feature three rounds of mixed doubles competition, as well as six rounds of traditional four-player team competition. The lineups for Sunday’s two rounds of skins competition will be set on Saturday afternoon.

There will be two rounds of traditional team competition on Thursday and Friday (9:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. both days), and two more team draws Saturday, 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The mixed doubles draws are at 2:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, and 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. The Saturday draw will see teams switched after four ends, as the 12 remaining players for each team who haven’t played mixed doubles will get in the ice for the final four ends.

The unique format pits Team North America against Team World in various disciplines during four days of competition — traditional team games, mixed doubles, mixed skins and standard skins games. Each segment awards points for wins (or ties). A total of 60 points are available, meaning the side that earns more than 30 points will be declared the champion.

There will be 18 team games (nine men’s and nine women’s) played, each worth one point for a win and a half-point for a tie.

For the first six mixed doubles matches, one point will be awarded for each victory, one-half point if tied. Those totals will be doubled for the 9 a.m. draw on Saturday.

All games are eight ends and there are no extra ends.  There will also be six skins games (those matchups will be decided on Saturday), with each game worth a total of five points to the winner.

The winning side receives $52,000 Cdn ($2,000 per member, including captain and coach), while the losing side gets $26,000 ($1,000 per member, including captain and coach). As well, the side that generates the highest points total from the six Skins games will receive an additional $13,000 ($500 per player, plus captain and coach).

A small block of new tickets for the 2018 World Financial Group Continental Cup has just been released; go to www.curling.ca/2018continentalcup/tickets/ for more information.

For the complete schedule, go to: www.curling.ca/2018continentalcup/draw-schedule/

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for the Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the World Financial Group Continental Cup. As well, games will be streamed live in the U.S. on ESPN3. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the TSN broadcast schedule.

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at https://www.curling.ca/?lang=fr

MATCHUPS

Thursday
9:30 a.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team Tirinzoni (World) vs. Team Homan (North America)
Sheet B — Team Edin (World) vs. Team Shuster (North America)
Sheet C — Team Hasselborg (World) vs. Team Englot (North America)

2:30 p.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A —Neuenschwander/Pätz (World) vs. Homan/Gallant (North America)
Sheet B — Mabergs/Edin (World) vs. Hamilton/Hamilton (North America)
Sheet C — Eriksson/Hasselborg (World) vs. Weagle/Gushue (North America)

7 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)
Sheet B —Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)
Sheet C — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)

Friday
9:30 a.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Englot (North America)
Sheet B — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)
Sheet C — Team Tirinzoni (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)

2:30 p.m.
Mixed Doubles
Sheet A — Fujisawa/Svae (World) vs. Cameron/Kennedy (North America)
Sheet B — McManus/Sundgren (World) vs. Miskew/Hebert (North America)
Sheet C — Tirinzoni/Tanner (World) vs. Courtney/Shuster (North America)

7 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team Edin (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)
Sheet B — Team Hasselborg (World) vs. Team Homan (North America)
Sheet C — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Shuster (North America)

Saturday
9:30 a.m.
Mixed Doubles
(Note — teams will change following the fourth-end break in each game)
Sheet A — Albrecht/De Cruz (World) vs. Englot/Laing (North America)
Sheet B — Knochenhauer/Wranå (World) vs. Peterson/George (North America)
Sheet C — Yurika Yoshida/Ulsrud (World) vs. Geving/Walker (North America)

2:30 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team Hasselborg (World) vs. Team Roth (North America)
Sheet B — Team Ulsrud (World) vs. Team Gushue (North America)
Sheet C —Team Fujisawa (World) vs. Team Homan (North America)

7 p.m.
Team
Sheet A — Team De Cruz (World) vs. Team Shuster (North America)
Sheet B — Team Tirinzoni (World) vs. Team Englot (North America)
Sheet C — Team Edin (World) vs. Team Koe (North America)