Courtney, Carruthers win Canadian mixed doubles

SASKATOON — Joanne Courtney and Reid Carruthers are the 2017 Canadian mixed doubles curling champions.

Courtney and Carruthers earned a 9-6 extra-end win over Rachel Homan and John Morris in the gold-medal draw on Sunday.

Both teams entered the title draw undefeated, having finished at the top of their respective pools in the round robin, and were tied after eight ends. But Carruthers and Courtney took control in the extra, and when Homan’s final draw was left a sliver exposed, Courtney made no mistake in removing the Homan/Morris counter to score three for the victory.

“It feels amazing. We had a great week,” said Courtney. “(Reid is an) awesome teammate and it was a great battle in the final there.”

“It was an awesome game,” added Carruthers. “(Joanne) bailed me out. She was the true skipper this week. I made a couple of good ones to help her out in this game. It was a lot of fun.”

Edmonton’s Courtney and Winnipeg’s Carruthers will now compete at the 2017 world mixed doubles championship, taking place April 22-29 at Lethbridge, Alta.

Making it to the final capped off a remarkable season for Homan and Courtney, who won the Canadian women’s championship together in February, followed by an undefeated run to bring home the gold medal from the world women’s championship in Beijing in March.

“I didn’t know what this week would look like, coming off of the world championship,” said Courtney. “I just kept trying to throw it close, and it’s been working so far, so we’re really excited.”

And facing her skipper as an opponent was part of the fun, said the Team Homan second.

“The blinders are on. You’re trying to stick to your own processes, but between ends we were chatting,” said Courtney.

Courtney and Carruthers, Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing, and Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson will join Homan and Morris at the 2018 Canadian mixed doubles curling trials in January, which will determine Canada’s team for the mixed doubles competition in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Mixed doubles will make its Olympic debut at the Pyeongchang Games.

But first, Courtney and Carruthers have the job of nailing down a spot for Canada in the Olympic mixed doubles competition. The 2017 world championship will determine the seven teams that will join host South Korea in Pyeongchang. The combined results of the 2016 and 2017 world championships will decide the teams. Canada’s Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff placed fifth last year in Karlstad, Sweden.

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