Next stop: London!
Field, round-robin pools finalized for Tim Hortons Brier in London
Eighteen teams will head to London, Ont., early next month with dreams of hoisting the Tim Hortons Brier Tankard.
The field, as well as the makeup of both round-robin pools and the final schedule, have all been decided for the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, after the final three provincial champions were decided on Sunday.
Defending champion Team Canada, skipped by Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 14 provincial and territorial champions and three Wild Card teams will open play on March 3 at Budweiser Gardens in London.
Both Team Canada and the host Ontario team from Toronto, skipped by Mike McEwen, will be in action in the opening draw Friday, March 3, at 7 p.m. (all times Eastern).
Canada will be playing a Tim Hortons Brier rookie team from British Columbia skipped by Jacques Gauthier, while Ontario plays Quebec’s Team Félix Asselin.
Meanwhile, the top-ranked team in Canada, Matt Dunstone’s newly crowned Manitoba champs from Winnipeg will kick off their Tim Hortons Brier schedule on Saturday, March 4, against Saskatchewan’s Team Kelly Knapp (Regina).
The 18 teams have been split into two pools of nine, seeded based on their standing in the Canadian Team Ranking System as of Feb. 13, 2023.
Team Brendan Bottcher (Calgary), Team Reid Carruthers (Morris, Man.) and Team Karsten Sturmay (Edmonton) nailed down the Wild Card berths as the highest-placed teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System that didn’t qualify through provincial/territorial championships.
Teams will play an eight-game round robin within their respective pools; from there, the top three teams in each pool advance to an expanded playoff field. The second- and third-ranked teams in each pool cross over to play in Page playoff qualifier games on Friday, March 10, at 1 p.m. The winners advance to play the winners of Pool A and Pool B on Friday at 7 p.m. The winners of those games go to the Page 1v2 game, while the losers will compete in the Page 3v4 game.
The standard Page playoffs commence with the winner of the Page 1v2 game on Saturday, March 11, at 7 p.m., advancing directly to the final, and the loser plays the winner of the Page 3v4 game (scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday) in the semifinal.
The semifinal (Sunday, March 12, at noon) winner takes on the winner of the Page 1v2 game in the final at 7 p.m. on March 12. The winner will represent Canada at the 2023 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Championship, April 1-9 in Ottawa.
If necessary, only one tiebreaker game per pool will be scheduled for Friday, March 10, at 8:30 a.m. for third-place only. If there is a tie between more than two teams for the spot, teams will be eliminated by head-to-head record first and then by accumulated last stone draw to determine the two teams that will play in the tiebreaker game. Tiebreaker games will only be played if teams have a better than .500 record (5-3 or better).
Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:
(Teams listed according to overall seeding, and listed in order of skip [player calling the shots], vice-skip [player holding the broom for the skip], second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant.)
- 1. Manitoba, Matt Dunstone (B.J. Neufeld, Colton Lott, Ryan Harnden, Adam Kingsbury; Winnipeg)
- 4. Alberta, Kevin Koe (Tyler Tardi, Brad Thiessen, Karrick Martin; Calgary)
- 5. Wild Card #2, Reid Carruthers (Derek Samagalski, Connor Njegovan, Rob Gordon, Matt Lorenz, Rob Meakin; Morris, Man.)
- 7. Saskatchewan, Kelly Knapp (Brennen Jones, Mike Armstrong, Trent Knapp, Dustin Kidby, Brian McCusker; Regina)
- 9. Northern Ontario, Darren Moulding [throws third stones] (Tanner Horgan [throws fourth stones], Jacob Horgan, Colin Hodgson, Mike Harris; Sudbury)
- 12. Nova Scotia, Matthew Manuel (Luke Saunders, Jeff Meagher, Nick Zachernuk, Ryan Abraham, Kevin Patterson; Halifax)
- 13. Newfoundland/Labrador, Nathan Young (Sam Follett, Nathan Locke, Ben Stringer, Jeff Thomas; St. John’s)
- 16. Northwest Territories, Jamie Koe (Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod, Stephen Robertson; Yellowknife)
- 17. Nunavut, Jake Higgs (Sheldon Wettig, Brady St. Louis, Christian Smitheram, Terry Lichty; Iqaluit)
- 2. Wild Card #1, Brendan Bottcher (Marc Kennedy, Brett Gallant, Ben Hebert, Paul Webster; Calgary)
- 3. Team Canada, Brad Gushue (Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden, Geoff Walker, Caleb Flaxey; St. John’s, N.L.)
- 6. Wild Card #3, Karsten Sturmay (J.D. Lind, Kyle Doering, Glenn Venance, Kurtis Goller; St. Albert, Alta.)
- 8. Ontario, Mike McEwen (Ryan Fry, Brent Laing, Joey Hart, Richard Hart; Toronto)
- 10. Quebec, Félix Asselin (Martin Crête, Émile Asselin, Jean-François Trépanier, Pierre Charette; Glenmore/Belvédère, Etchemin, Valleyfield)
- 11. British Columbia, Jacques Gauthier (Sterling Middleton, Jason Ginter, Alex Horvath, Rick Sawatsky, Bryan Miki; Victoria)
- 14. New Brunswick, Scott Jones [throws third stones] (Jeremy Mallais [throws fourth stones], Brian King, Jared Bezanson, Chris Jeffrey, Mark Ward; Moncton)
- 15. Prince Edward Island, Tyler Smith (Adam Cocks, Alex MacFadyen, Ed White, Sean Ledgerwood; Crapaud)
- 18. Yukon, Thomas Scoffin (Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos, Wade Scoffin; Whitehorse)
For the full 2023 Tim Hortons Brier schedule, CLICK HERE.
TSN/RDS2 , the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise all of the action from London.
Tickets are available online at curling.ca/tickets, or in person at the Budweiser Gardens box office. For telephone inquiries regarding tickets, call 519-432-8894.