An all-Manitoba matchup between Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones and Chelsea Carey will kick off next Decembers Canadian Curling Trials at MTS Centre.
Organizers of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings -- which runs Dec. 1-8 and will determine Canada’s men’s and women’s representatives for the 2014 Winter Olympics -- released the draw schedule today.
Twelve of the 16 teams that will compete at MTS Centre, six men’s and six women’s, have now qualified for the Trials, including four from Manitoba -- Jones, Carey, Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen.
The Carey-Jones matchup on the opening draw on the first day will surely be a favourite for local fans, if not necessarily for Carey.
Carey has a gruelling start to her first Trials, with her first two games coming against Jones and defending Canadian champion Rachel Homan -- the two teams widely regarded as the best women’s teams in Canada right now.
"It’s a tough start for us," Carey said today, "but it’s kind of good in a way. If we can get through that first couple days of Jones and Homan and go 1-1 there, then we’ll be in not bad shape.
"You know at the Trials that every game is going to be a battle. The draw is always going to look kind of intimidating."
McEwen plays his first game against Edmonton’s Kevin Martin, who is reeling this week after the sudden resignation of longtime third John Morris.
Stoughton plays his first game against one of the two men’s teams still to be determined.
The final two men’s and two women’s teams won’t be determined until a Pre-Trials event in November. That’s much too late for a draw to be made up, so those teams have simply been slotted into the draw released today as Teams 7 and Teams 8.
You can find the complete draw here.