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Canadian teams open Universiade curling competition this weekend in Krasnoyarsk, Russia

A pair of University of Alberta teams will open the curling competition at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia, this weekend.

Kristen Streifel, left, and Karsten Sturmay will skip Canada’s teams at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Russia. (Photos, Curling Canada)

Kristen Streifel’s women’s team and Karsten Sturmay’s men’s team will hit the ice at the Ivan Yarygin Sports Palace in Krasnoyarsk, looking for Canada’s first double-podium result at the Winter Universiade since 2003 at Tarvisio, Italy, where curling was introduced as a Universiade medal sport.

Streifel, backed by vice-skip Danielle Schmiemann, second Selena Sturmay, lead Jesse Iles, alternate Paige Papley and coach Garry Coderre, will take on China at 9 p.m. on Saturday, while Sturmay, vice-skip Tristan Steinke, second Chris Kennedy, lead Glenn Venance and coach Rob Krepps will play Sunday at 2 a.m. ET against South Korea. Canada’s opening day at Universiade will be completed with the women’s team taking on Japan at 7 a.m. ET.

Both University of Alberta teams qualified for the Universiade by winning gold medals at the 2018 USPORTS Canadian University Curling Championships in Leduc, Alta.

The winning men’s team also featured Jason Ginter in the lineup; he can’t play in Krasnoyarsk as he’s too old (the competition is open to post-secondary students between the ages of 17 and 25), but he will accompany the team as an assistant coach.

Schmiemann will be Canada’s flag-bearer for the Opening Ceremony, which is scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m. ET. Schmiemann was a member of Kelsey Rocque’s gold-medal team (coached by Coderre) at the 2017 Winter Universiade in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

At this point, only Canada’s team lineups are confirmed; countries aren’t required to submit their official lineups until the team meeting today.

Sturmay and Papley will head into Universiade with podium experience already this season; on Saturday, they won silver medals at the 2019 World Junior Championships in Liverpool, N.S. Sturmay skipped Canada’s team, with Papley playing lead.

Streifel, Schmiemann and Iles also are former World Junior medallists. Schmiemann and Iles were members of Rocque’s 2015 World Juniors gold-medal team (with Streifel as the team alternate). Two years later, Streifel skipped Canada to a bronze medal.

Canada has won numerous Winter Universiade medals over the years, including Team Rocque’s gold medal in 2017 — just Canada’s second Universiade gold. Brittany Gregor captured the women’s gold in 2007 at Pinerolo, Italy.

Other Canadian medallists include:

  • Breanne Meakin, women’s silver in 2015 at Granada, Spain
  • Brendan Bottcher, men’s bronze in 2013 at Trentino, Italy
  • Hollie Nicol, women’s silver in 2009 at Harbin, China
  • Mike McEwen, men’s gold in 2003 at Tarvisio, Italy
  • Krista McCarville, women’s silver in 2003 at Tarvisio.

The Canadian women’s round-robin schedule looks like this (all times Eastern):

  • March 2 — 9 p.m. vs. China
  • March 3 — 7 a.m. vs. Japan
  • March 4 — 2 a.m. vs. Sweden
  • March 4 — 9 p.m. vs. Switzerland
  • March 5 — 7 a.m. vs. Great Britain
  • March 6 — 2 a.m. vs.  Czech Republic
  • March 6 — 9 p.m. vs. Russia
  • March 7 — 7 a.m. vs. Italy
  • March 8 — 2 a.m. vs. South Korea

Here’s the Canadian men’s round-robin schedule:

  • March 3 — 2 a.m. vs. South Korea
  • March 3 — 9 p.m. vs. Great Britain
  • March 4 — 7 a.m. vs. U.S.A.
  • March 5 — 2 a.m. vs. Russia
  • March 5 — 9 p.m. vs. Switzerland
  • March 6 — 7 a.m. vs. Sweden
  • March 7 — 2 a.m. vs. Czech Republic
  • March 7 — 9 p.m. vs. China
  • March 8 — 7 a.m. vs. Norway

The top six teams after round-robin play make the playoffs, with the first- and second-place teams getting byes into the semifinals March 9 at 4 a.m. ET; the third-place team takes on the sixth-place team, while the fourth- and fifth-place teams play on March 8 at 9 p.m. ET, with the winners going to the semifinals.

The gold- and bronze-medal games are set for March 10 at 3 a.m. ET.

Live scoring will be available on the official event website, https://krsk2019.ru/en Additionally, keep checking curling.ca for stories throughout the competition.

There will be live streaming of the 2019 Winter Universiade, including selected curling matches, at www.fisu.tv/ as well as FISU’s Youtube channel.

For information on the Canadian athletes competing in all sports at the Winter Universiade, go to usports.ca/en/international/universiades/winter-2019