by Jill Officer
WINNIPEG – It’s finally official. The Canadian Curling Association announced today that Edmonton will host the 2009 the Tim Hortons Canadian (Olympic) Curling Trials at Rexall Place, December 6-13, 2009 at the 15,000-seat arena.
The CCA also announced that the pre-trials qualifier – the last chance for those teams that haven’t earned a direct Trials berth – will be held in Prince George, British Columbia in November of 2009. The dates have only been tentatively set for this event.
The format for the Trials will be an eight-team round robin with only three teams making the playoff round, unlike the usual four-team page-playoff that you see at all of our national championships. Moreover, the Trials used to feature 10 men’s and women’s teams, but that’s been chopped down to eight.
And for the pre-trials qualifier, it will be a triple-knockout: the A and B winners and C finalists will all qualify for the Trials in Edmonton.
Back to the Brier and the on-ice action!
British Columbia’s Bob Ursel defeated Olympic Gold Medallist and 2007 Brier finalist Brad Gushue of Newfoundland this morning in a tiebreaker. So that sets up our first round of playoffs... they’re in the first end right now, with B.C. taking on Ontario’s Glenn Howard in the 3 vs 4 playoff game. This is also a sudden-death match that could eliminate the defending champs if the Lotuslanders – who are now 8-1 after a poor start to the Brier – have anything to say about it.