Roar of the Rings

McEwen wins to open Roar of the Rings

Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017

OTTAWA — It takes four years to get here.

Four years of curling in empty — or near empty — arenas all over Canada, all winter long.

Four years of working out, on the ice and off.

Four years of eating nothing that tastes good.

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Jones, Jacobs get official nod from COC

Melissa Martin 2 minute read Preview

Jones, Jacobs get official nod from COC

Melissa Martin 2 minute read Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs made it official on Monday morning, as the curling skips and their teams donned their red Canadian Olympic team jackets in front of media and dignitaries at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut and Sochi chef de mission Steve Podborski were among those present to award the Jones and Jacobs rinks with the official red-and-black team jackets. “I don’t know if I’ll take it off,” Jones quipped. “I may sleep with it tonight.”

It’s still surreal, the curlers agreed, to be officially anointed as members of the Canadian Olympic team. It’s been a whirlwind for them ever since their wins over the weekend, as they breezed through a steady slate of meetings and events. The Jones team hasn’t even had a chance to really celebrate with their families yet, the skip said – or even each other.

“We didn’t have a chance to exhale yesterday,” said Jones, 39, who will make her first Olympic appearance after already being a Canadian and world champion. “We haven’t gotten together as a team and really soaked it all in.”

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Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

KEN GIGLIOTTI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Marcel Aubut claps after giving Jennifer Jones her Olympic team jacket Monday. The Canadian Olympic Committee nominated Canada's winning curling teams, headed by Jennifer Jones and Brad Jacobs respectively, to the Sochi Olympics.

And it turned out nice again

By Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Preview

And it turned out nice again

By Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

Well, that was cathartic.

A curling-rabid province that has never before sent a team to the Winter Olympics will send its first to Sochi in February.

A curling icon who had won everything but the right to represent her country at the Olympics will be that team.

And a city that leads the nation in self-flagellation proved once again it can stage a major sporting event with style and to universal acclaim -- and do it in the most impossible of weather conditions.

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Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Women's champions Jennifer Jones (left) and Jill Officer congratulate (from left) Ryan Harnden, E.J. Harnden and Brad Jacobs after they won the men's final Sunday at the 2013 Roar of the Rings.

Road to Sochi runs through Soo

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Road to Sochi runs through Soo

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

By the time his plane touches down in Sochi, Russia in February, few curlers will have travelled as much as Ryan Fry.

Fry's decade-long journey through a handful of Manitoba teams, to St. John's, Nfld. and finally to tiny Sault Ste. Marie has paid off with a shot at Olympic gold.

Fry, 35, a former Manitoba men's and junior men's champion, on Sunday capped a nearly decade-long, Canada-wide search for curling success with the biggest prize of them all -- the right to represent his country at the Winter Olympics.

The native Winnipegger and his Soo teammates -- skip Brad Jacobs, second EJ Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden -- completed a history-making undefeated run through the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings with a 7-4 win over Calgary's John Morris in the men's final at the MTS Centre Sunday afternoon.

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Monday, Dec. 9, 2013

Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Winnipeg native Ryan Fry has journeyed far and wide in search of curling nirvana. He has found it with skip Brad Jacobs, in the unlikely locale of Sault Ste. Marie.

Roar of the Rings men’s final, Dec. 8, 2013

0 minute read Preview

Roar of the Rings men’s final, Dec. 8, 2013

0 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

An undefeated Brad Jacobs rink came into Sunday's final fresh and full of confidence, while John Morris and his foursome rink returned to the MTS Centre after a semifinal win over Kevin Martin Saturday. Jacobs' winning streak continued, as he won the chance to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in February with a 7-4 win over Morris.

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Jason Halstead
Ryan Fry

Jacobs roars to 7-4 win over Morris, will play for Canada at Olympics

Paul Wiecek 3 minute read Preview

Jacobs roars to 7-4 win over Morris, will play for Canada at Olympics

Paul Wiecek 3 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs will represent Canada in men’s curling at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Jacobs — with Winnipeg’s Ryan Fry at third, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden — completed a history-making undefeated run through the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings with a 7-4 win over Calgary’s John Morris in the men’s final at the MTS Centre Sunday afternoon.

It is the first time in the history of the Canadian Olympic curling trials that a team, men’s or women’s, has gone undefeated. The Jacobs squad — who are also the defending Brier champions — went 7-0 in the round-robin to advance directly to Sunday’s final.

“Unreal, man. I’m so excited to win this with these three guys,” said Fry, a former Manitoba men’s and junior men’s champion. “We’ve got a team that comes along every once in a while and I’m just so happy to be a part of it...

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Skip Brad Jacobs strikes a pose in his Team Canada apparel after defeating John Morris' team 7-4 in the men's final of Roar of the Rings Olympic Curling Trials at the MTS Centre on Sunday.

Jones rink truly rocks

By Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Preview

Jones rink truly rocks

By Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Jennifer JONES and her team are going somewhere no Manitoba-based curlers have gone before — the Winter Olympics.

For the first time since curling became a full medal sport in Nagano in 1998, a team from Manitoba will represent Canada in Olympic curling and it will be Winnipeg's Jones, who saw a lifelong dream culminate spectacularly Saturday night at the MTS Centre in an 8-4 win over Sherry Middaugh in the women's final of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

"I can't even describe it," Jones sobbed afterward. "You dream of it since you're a little kid and we've had many dreams come true. But this is so rare, this opportunity. Our dreams came true today — and in the most amazing way. It's unbelievable."

The win, which played out in storybook fashion before a huge and partisan hometown crowd, means Jones and her squad -- third Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer and lead Dawn McEwen — will play for Canada at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Feb. 10-21.

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Jason Halstead
Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Skip Jennifer Jones and teammates Dawn McEwen (from left), Jill Officer and Kaitlyn Lawes soak up the moment after earning their Olympic berth Saturday.

Together through thick and thin

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

Together through thick and thin

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

THEY started playing together as teens and grew into almost every success together, becoming Canadian champions, world champions, and mothers.

Now, Jill Officer and Jennifer Jones will move into the last undiscovered part of their curling dream: They are now Olympic athletes. They will wear red jackets in Sochi, like the ones they donned after claiming victory at the MTS Centre on Saturday. The ones that say "Canada" in big clear letters on the front. They put them on in front of so many loved ones: For Officer, that group included her parents and husband, her brother and her best friend.

After the win, she ran over and gave her father and her husband a hug, and that's when it all began to sink in.

"To play at home, in front of all these people, and to have all this support and all our extended families here, it's just incredible," said Officer, 38, the ecstasy of beating Ontario's Sherry Middaugh still playing across her face. "We're just so thrilled, and we just really hope that we can represent Canada really well."

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Jason Halstead
Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Skip Jennifer Jones high-fives Jill Officer (left) during Saturday�s final.

Morris stuns former skip

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Morris stuns former skip

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

Edmonton's Kevin Martin is done, while Calgary's John Morris is just hitting his stride.

The former teammates and 2010 Olympic gold medallists hooked up at the MTS Centre in a semifinal Saturday afternoon at the Roar of the Rings that proved as much about a changing of the guard as a game to determine who would face Brad Jacobs in today's final, where Canada's men's representative for Sochi will be determined.

With a 7-5 loss to Morris, Martin -- the only two-time Olympic medallist for Canada in curling -- emerged from the ice and announced his remarkable career as an Olympian is over.

Asked if he had another four-year Olympic quest in him, Martin was unequivocal.

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

CP
John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Skip John Morris gives the thumbs up as his team snares two points against Kevin Martin (second right) Saturday afternoon at the MTS Centre.

Curling gypsy Fry predicts rockin’ final

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

Curling gypsy Fry predicts rockin’ final

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

IT'S been five years since Ryan Fry packed his curling shoes and left Winnipeg, an itinerant curler looking to invent himself a new adventure.

He found it, along with a Brier trophy, but we'll come back to that later in the story. The point is this: How big an adventure Sochi would be, curling under the spotlight of a nation and with a podium finish oh-so-likely. Fry, the former Manitoba junior champion and son of local curling icon Barry Fry, and his teammates on skip Brad Jacobs' Sault Ste. Marie-based rink are just one win away, with the Roar of the Rings final set for 2 p.m. today.

If they lose to John Morris, rolling undefeated through the round robin of these Olympic trials will have meant nothing.

If they win though, it means -- well, it's hard to know these things, before they happen. "Until we're sitting there... with the coaches and our team and just start BS-ing about things we're going to see over some beers, I don't know," Fry said, after the team practiced on Saturday. "I don't know what the Olympics are all about, other than watching them on TV. Right now, it's about getting prepared for the game."

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Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013

CP
John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS archives
Ryan Fry would love to take in the sights of Sochi, but there�s one big hurdle left to clear this afternoon.

Officer, Jones look toward next quest: Olympic gold

Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

Officer, Jones look toward next quest: Olympic gold

Melissa Martin 3 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

They started playing together as teens and grew into almost every success together, becoming Canadian champions, world champions, and mothers.

Now, Jill Officer and Jennifer Jones will move into the last undiscovered part of their curling dream: They are now Olympic athletes. They will wear red jackets in Sochi, like the ones they donned after claiming victory at the MTS Centre on Saturday. The ones that say “Canada” in big clear letters on the front. They put them on in front of so many loved ones: For Officer, that group included her parents and husband, her brother and her best friend.

After the win, she ran over and gave her father and her husband a hug, and that’s when it all began to sink in.

“To play at home, in front of all these people, and to have all this support and all our extended families here, it’s just incredible,” said Officer, 38, the ecstasy of the win over Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh still playing across her face. “We’re just so thrilled, and we just really hope that we can represent Canada really well.”

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Jill Officer (centre right) and Jennifer Jones (centre left) begin the next stage of their on-ice partnership and off-ice friendship with a quest for a gold medal in Sochi, Russia.

Men’s Roar final could get ‘a little bit nuts’

Melissa Martin 4 minute read Preview

Men’s Roar final could get ‘a little bit nuts’

Melissa Martin 4 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

It’s been five years since Ryan Fry packed his curling shoes and left Winnipeg, an itinerant curler looking to invent himself a new adventure.

He found it, along with a Brier trophy, but we’ll come back to that later in the story. The point is this: How big an adventure Sochi would be, curling under the spotlight of a nation and with a podium finish oh-so-likely. Fry, the former Manitoba junior champion and son of local curling icon Barry Fry, and his teammates on skip Brad Jacobs’ Sault Ste. Marie-based rink are just one win away, with the Roar of the Rings final set for 2 p.m. Sunday.

If they lose to John Morris, rolling undefeated through the round robin of these Olympic trials will have meant nothing.

If they win though, it means — well, it’s hard to know these things, before they happen. “Until we’re sitting there... with the coaches and our team and just start BS-ing about things we’re going to see over some beers, I don’t know,” Fry said, after the team practiced on Saturday. “I don’t know what the Olympics are all about, other than watching them on TV. Right now, it’s about getting prepared for the game.”

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Ryan Fry (centre) has a similar intensity to teammates Brad Jacobs (left) and E.J. Harnden, as was evident after their win over Kevin Martin Thursday.

Jones rink punches ticket to Sochi

Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Preview

Jones rink punches ticket to Sochi

Paul Wiecek 5 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Jennifer Jones and her team are going somewhere no Manitoba-based curlers have gone before — the Winter Olympics.

For the first time since curling became a full medal sport in Nagano in 1998, a team from Manitoba will represent Canada in Olympic curling and it will be Winnipeg’s Jones, who saw a lifelong dream culminate spectacularly Saturday night at the MTS Centre in an 8-4 win over Sherry Middaugh in the women’s final of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

 

“I can’t even describe it,” Jones sobbed afterward. “You dream of it since you’re a little kid and we’ve had many dreams come true. But this is so rare, this opportunity. Our dreams came true today — and in the most amazing way. It’s unbelievable.”

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
From left: Dawn McEwen, Jennifer Jones, Jill Officer and Kaitlyn Lawes celebrate after defeating Sherry Middaugh 8-4 in the women's final of Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials at the MTS Centre Saturday night.

Roar of the Rings women’s final, Dec. 7, 2013

0 minute read Preview

Roar of the Rings women’s final, Dec. 7, 2013

0 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

After a stellar week, Jennifer Jones and her foursome faced Sherry Middaugh in the women's final of the Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials. Much to the delight of fans at the MTS Centre, the Jones rink won 8-4, and will represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia in February 2014.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Jason Halstead / Winnipeg Free Press
Skip Jennifer Jones delivers a stone.

Morris stuns Martin 7-5 in men’s curling semifinal

Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Morris stuns Martin 7-5 in men’s curling semifinal

Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin is done, while Calgary’s John Morris is just hitting his stride.

The former teammates and 2010 Olympic gold medallists hooked up at the MTS Centre in a semifinal Saturday afternoon at the Roar of the Rings that proved as much about a changing of the guard as a game to determine who would face Brad Jacobs in today’s final, where Canada’s men’s representative for Sochi will be determined.

With a 7-5 loss to Morris, Martin — the only two-time Olympic medallist for Canada in curling — emerged from the ice and announced his remarkable career as an Olympian is over.

Asked if he had another four-year Olympic quest in him, Martin was unequivocal.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Ruth Bonneville / Winnipeg Free Press
John Morris reacts after beating former skip Kevin Martin 7-5 in Saturday's Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials semifinal at the MTS Centre Saturday.

May the best woman win

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

May the best woman win

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Coldwater, Ont.'s Sherry Middaugh -- of all people -- is the last remaining obstacle standing between Jennifer Jones and the Winter Olympics.

Middaugh -- a perennial also-ran at major Canadian curling events -- stunned defending Canadian women's champion Rachel Homan 10-4 in the semifinal of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings on Friday night to advance to tonight's final at the MTS Centre against Jones, where the winner earns the right to represent Canada in Sochi in February.

Middaugh, 47, was asked Friday night what it would mean to finally not only win the big one, but the biggest one of all, after decades of trying. "It would be an absolute dream come true -- especially all the years I've been around the game," said Middaugh. "And I know the hard work we put into it. And we're the best of friends on and off the ice. So it would mean a lot."

And so with that, Winnipeg's Jones will have the advantage tonight of hammer, choice of rocks, a hometown crowd and an opponent in Middaugh who has -- despite more than 20 years of trying -- never finished higher than third at a national Canadian Curling Association championship.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

CP
John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Sherry Middaugh in action Friday night.

Final analysis

2 minute read Preview

Final analysis

2 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Viewer's guide to women's Roar of the Rings final

 

The skips: Jennifer Jones vs. Sherry Middaugh

The time: 6:30 p.m., MTS Centre, TSN

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

CP
John Woods / THE CANADIAN PRESS
Sherry Middaugh in action Friday night.

McEwen still has hands full

2 minute read Preview

McEwen still has hands full

2 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

NOW his bid to become an Olympian is over, the really stressful part of the week begins for Mike McEwen.

The Winnipeg skip, who was eliminated from playoff contention at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings on Friday with a 5-4 loss to Edmonton's Kevin Koe, still has a wife in the competition -- Jennifer Jones lead Dawn McEwen, whose Olympic dreams remain very much alive.

So even as he was licking his own wounds on Friday, McEwen's attention was already shifting to the biggest game of his wife's life -- tonight's women's final at the MTS Centre that will determine who represents Canada in women's curling in Sochi.

"I'm super excited for her. I think Brent Laing and I have a date on Saturday, with probably a couple of cold ones in our hands to try and watch," laughed McEwen, referencing the second for Glenn Howard who is Jones' partner.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Boris Minkevich
Mike McEwen will be cheering tonight.

Undefeated, but unfulfilled

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Undefeated, but unfulfilled

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Not Brad Gushue. Not Mike Harris. Not Kelley Law or Cheryl Bernard or Shannon Kleibrink. Not even Kevin Martin or Sandra Schmirler.

No, not until Sault Ste. Marie's Brad Jacobs did it Friday morning at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at the MTS Centre has a team gone through the round robin undefeated at a Canadian Olympic Curling Trials.

With a 7-4 win over Toronto's John Epping, Jacobs and his team -- Winnipeg's Ryan Fry at third, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden -- finished the round robin a perfect 7-0 and now advance directly to Sunday's men's final, where a trip to Sochi to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in February will be on the line.

But with so much still on the line for his team in an event where there really is no second place, Jacobs was decidedly low key when he was informed he'd made trials history with his unblemished round-robin record.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

BORIS MINKEVICH / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Brad Jacobs made history Friday morning by going undefeated in the Olympic trials round robin.

Stoughton hits button with barb

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Stoughton hits button with barb

By Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

And in the end -- just like in the beginning and in the middle -- Jeff Stoughton just couldn't help himself.

"I can get in trouble here," Stoughton correctly predicted at the MTS Centre on Friday morning when asked his thoughts on playing a meaningless round-robin game against Ontario's Glenn Howard on the final draw of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.

And then, as he has done so often before in a 25-year curling career, Stoughton did just that anyway and pulled the trigger:

"Oh what the heck -- We know what P.E.I. and Nova Scotia feel like on a Wednesday during the Brier."

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

CP
JOhn Woods / the canadian press
Skips Jeff Stoughton (right) and Glenn Howard did their best to entertain fans during a meaningless game Friday at the MTS Centre. Stoughton also kindly provided some entertaining commentary before the match.

Carey crew exits with pride intact

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

Carey crew exits with pride intact

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

As Chelsea Carey's hopes for Sochi withered under Sherry Middaugh's hammer, the Winnipeg skip gave the hometown crowd one last reason to applaud her.

That moment came on her last rock of the 10th end of Friday afternoon's tiebreaker. It was a pretty shot, as the rock made a silky curl around a sentinel in the 12-foot paint and cosied up beside one of the Middaugh squad's red stones. When it came to a stop, the skip turned to her third, Kristy McDonald, and gave a little shrug. It was the best she could do on the last of her two and the crowd issued a warm ovation.

If Middaugh had missed, Carey could have stolen to tie the game. But Middaugh didn't miss. Her last stone jostled up and sent Carey's rock groaning away from the button. With that, Middaugh scored the deuce, won 6-3, and secured her rink a spot in Friday night's semifinal against Canadian champion Rachel Homan. And Carey, she walked off the MTS Centre ice to one final round of applause. She'd curled 93 per cent that game, her best showing of the week.

"We didn't play that bad, it just didn't go the way we needed it to go," she said. "That's curling, that's sports... sometimes it just doesn't go your way."

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

CP
John Woods / The Canadian Press
Skip Chelsea Carey yells to her sweepers in Friday�s tiebreaker against Sherry Middaugh. Middaugh won 6-3.

Manitoban on Sochi Paralympic rink

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Preview

Manitoban on Sochi Paralympic rink

By Melissa Martin 3 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

WHILE the Roar of the Rings rumbled into its final days, five curlers were formally revealed in Canadian colours, looking to throw to the podium in Sochi.

They will not wield brooms. Instead, this group will roll into the 2014 Paralympics as the national wheelchair curling squad, hunting for Canada's third straight gold since the sport was added to the Paralympics in 2006. This time, they have a Manitoban on board.

"We expect to be top three in the world," said Paralympic chef de mission Ozzie Sawicki, at an MTS Centre press conference on Friday. "We believe in the athletes. We believe the opportunity is there."

The experience is there as well, as three of the five team members have been to the Paralympics before. Lead Sonja Gaudet, from B.C., was part of the original Torino crew, and threw again in Vancouver in 2010. Second Ina Forrest has a gold medal from Vancouver as well, and former able-bodied Brier curler Jim Armstrong is back in the skip's seat after leading the team to gold in 2010 and a world championship gold earlier this year.

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Melissa Tait / Winnipeg Free Pre
Melissa Tait / Winnipeg Free Press
The Canadian curling team for the 2014 Paralympic Winter Games was introduced at the MTS Centre on Friday. From left: skip Jim Armstrong, third Dennis Thiessen, lead Sonja Gaudet, alternate Mark Ideson. Absent is second Ina Forrest.

What’s up

1 minute read Preview

What’s up

1 minute read Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

At a glance

WINNIPEG -- Results and standings following Thursday's draws at the Roar of the Rings, a tournament to determine the Canadian representatives for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, held Dec. 1-8 at the MTS Centre (all times Central):

MEN

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Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

At a glance

WINNIPEG -- Results and standings following Thursday's draws at the Roar of the Rings, a tournament to determine the Canadian representatives for the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, held Dec. 1-8 at the MTS Centre (all times Central):

MEN

Middaugh hammers Homan 10-4, will face Jones in women’s finals

Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Preview

Middaugh hammers Homan 10-4, will face Jones in women’s finals

Paul Wiecek 4 minute read Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Coldwater, Ontario’s Sherry Middaugh ­— of all people — is the last remaining obstacle standing between Jennifer Jones and the Winter Olympics.

Middaugh — a perennial also-ran at major Canadian curling events — stunned defending Canadian women’s champion Rachel Homan 10-4 in the semifinal of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Friday night to advance to Saturday’s final at the MTS Centre against Jones, where the winner earns the right to represent Canada in Sochi in February.

Middaugh, 47, was asked Friday night what it would mean to finally not only win the big one, but the biggest one of all, after decades of trying. “It would be an absolute dream come true -- especially all the years I’ve been around the game,” said Middaugh. “And I know the hard work we put into it. And we’re the best of friends on and off the ice. So it would mean a lot.”

And so with that, Winnipeg’s Jones will have the advantage tonight of hammer, choice of rocks, a hometown crowd and an opponent in Middaugh who has — despite over 20 years of trying — never finished higher than third at a national Canadian Curling Association championship.

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Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

JOHN WOODS / The Canadian Press
Skip Sherry Middaugh yells to her sweepers on her last shot of the women's semifinal against Rachel Homan Friday. Middaugh defeated Homan 10-4.

Carey out of Olympics, turns attention to provincials

2 minute read Preview

Carey out of Olympics, turns attention to provincials

2 minute read Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Chelsea Carey’s Olympic dream finally came to a halt with the last rock of Friday afternoon, as she fell 6-3 to Ontario skip Sherry Middaugh in a tiebreaker draw at the Roar of the Rings.

With that, Middaugh claimed the second spot in tonight’s semifinal against reigning Scotties champion Rachel Homan. The winner of the semifinal will battle Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones in the Saturday final, fighting for the right to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

In a classic curling moment, early in the 10th end Middaugh stopped on of her own rolling rock with her foot, apparently mistakenly believing it was headed out of play. In fact, the rock was sliding towards the house. That meant Carey had the right to place it where she saw fit – but when she did, the crowd at MTS Centre cried out in disapproval.

Responding to the audience vote, Carey moved it back out of the house, and fans applauded roundly when they liked the placement.

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Friday, Dec. 6, 2013

Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press
Carey and her rink will turn their attention to the provincial championships in January, ready to work towards a trip to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in February.

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