More trials spots awarded!

Team Roberge, of Etchemin, Que., secured a berth into the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials. (Photo, Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael)

Numerous teams clinch trials spots in Ottawa on Saturday

A slate of teams determined their paths to represent Canada in four-player curling at the Olympic Winter Games on Saturday night at the RA Centre in Ottawa.

Four teams have cemented their spots with wins tonight in either the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by AGI, in Saskatoon and the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials in Liverpool, N.S.

Team Mike McEwen (5-1; West St. Paul, Man.) had a back-and-forth affair with Team Jason Gunnlaugson (1-5; Morris, Man.). But after all of the rocks settled, McEwen claimed the win and the first of two spots available in the men’s competition at the Trials Direct-Entry event. Gunnlaugson opened the scoring with a three-ender in the first, but McEwen replied with a score of four in the second end to take control back en route to the 9-8 win.

Shortly after, Matt Dunstone (5-1; Regina) scored a deuce in an extra end against Glenn Howard (2-3; Penetanguishene, Ont.) to secure an 8-6 victory. The win punched Team Dunstone’s ticket to the Tim Hortons Curling Trials.

Gunnlaugson, Howard, and Colton Flasch (1-4; Saskatoon) will still have a chance to qualify for the trials through the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials.

Suzanne Birt fell short to Team Laura Walker on Saturday night. (Photo, Curling Canada/Claudette Bockstael)

On the women’s side, Team Kelsey Rocque (3-1; Edmonton) locked up its trials berth during the team’s final round-robin game against Corryn Brown (1-3; Kamloops, B.C.) by a score of 8-5. Rocque was efficient with the hammer and also stole two in the seventh. 

Suzanne Birt and her team from Cornwall/Montague, P.E.I., did Team Brown a favour by keeping its chances at qualifying for the Trials alive with an 8-5 win against Laura Walker (2-2; Edmonton). 

Team Brown and Team Birt finished tied for fourth place at 1-3, but Team Brown gets the advantage based on head-to-head results. Team Brown will play Team Walker on Sunday for the third and final Trials berth. Because Team Walker had the better record (2-2), it only needs to win once today (the first game is at 3 p.m.); Team Brown would need to defeat Team Walker twice to earn the Trials berth (a second game would take place at 8 p.m.)

The loser of the series will join Team Birt at the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials for a last-chance event.

Team Vincent Roberge (4-0; Etchemin, Que.) ran the table in the men’s Pre-Trials Direct-Entry event by winning the A-B qualifier game against JT Ryan (4-2, Winnipeg) by a score of 5-4. Roberge will advance to Liverpool, and Ryan will have one more chance to move on in the trials process. He’ll take on Sean Grassie (4-2; Winnipeg), who ground through the C-Event with four consecutive wins for the last spot.

The Canadian Trials and Pre-Trials Direct-Entry events continue on Sunday with draws at 10 a.m., 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. (if necessary) (all times ET).

For playoffs and rankings scenarios associated with the men’s Trials Direct-Entry event, click here. 

For playoffs and rankings scenarios associated with the women’s Trials Direct-Entry event, click here.

For the men’s Pre-Trials Direct-Entry tournament bracket, click here.

For the women’s Pre-Trials Direct-Entry tournament bracket, click here

Live scoring and standings for the events are available here.

Live streaming for all draws is available on Curling Canada’s YouTube page.

This story will be published in French as soon as possible here.

Curling Canada