Homan, Koe victories shake up teams for Olympic mixed doubles trials

Some of Canada’s biggest curling names had to quickly find another big name to get a second chance at wearing the Maple Leaf at the 2018 Olympic Games.

When Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe won the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings in Ottawa on Sunday and punched their ticket to Pyeongchang, South Korea, it meant a partner swap on some teams bound for the Olympic mixed doubles curling trials on Jan. 2-7.

Mixed doubles — with teams comprised of a male and a female curler — will make its Olympic debut in Pyeongchang.

The 18-team Canad Inns Mixed Doubles Curling Trials in Portage La Prairie, Man., will determine Canada’s first representative in Olympic mixed doubles.

Curling Canada decided it wasn’t good for the country’s medal chances in mixed doubles and full team competition to have the country’s top curlers compete in both in Pyeongchang.

So the Homan and Koe victories took players from those teams out of the mix for mixed doubles and impacted five teams. The five had until Thursday to name a replacement partner.

The following are the changes to the five impacted teams with previous partner in brackets:

— Jennifer Jones (Brent Laing) Mark Nichols.

— John Morris (Rachel Homan) Kaitlyn Lawes.

— Reid Carruthers (Joanne Courtney) Jill Officer.

— Tyrel Griffith (Emma Miskew) Sherry Just.

— John Epping (Lisa Weagle) Sherry Middaugh.

“I think all the matchups are good for all the players for all different reasons,” said Jeff Stoughton, Curling Canada mixed doubles program manager.

“Kaitlyn Lawes has played a ton of mixed doubles, Jill Officer has played lots, Mark Nichols has played a lot of mixed doubles and so has Sherry Just, who Tyrel Griffith picked up. It’s nothing new to them.

“It’s good news for those teams who have played a lot of mixed doubles and understand the game. Now it’s just understanding each other.”

Koe third Marc Kennedy previously played mixed doubles with Lawes, who is Jones’s vice. Jones’s husband Brent Laing is Koe’s second. The Jones team from Winnipeg lost the women’s semifinal to Homan in Ottawa.

Morris and Homan are the top-ranked team in Canada in mixed doubles with Carruthers/Courtney second and Jones/Laing third.

Courtney, Homan’s second, and Carruthers won a silver medal at the 2017 world mixed doubles championship for Canada’s best result in the event.

Canada’s mixed doubles trials will feature 11 curlers whose teams finished second or third at the Roar of the Rings.

Mike McEwen, who lost in the men’s final to Koe, will play with wife Dawn, who is Jones’s lead. The entire Brad Gushue team that placed third in Ottawa will play in the mixed doubles trials with various partners.

“A lot of these teams coming from the trials have played a lot of games and are game-ready,” Stoughton said.

“We’re putting these teams through a bit of a grind. They’re all going to play eight games in three days. It’s a little bit of survival out there as well as skill.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

More Albertans are recovering from COVID-19

69 more recoveries Tuesday, bringing the total to 6,048

Mountain snowpack deeper than usual, but flooding will depend on rain

Big floods in 2013 and 2005 both followed major rainfalls in mountains

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Calgary bans businesses that claim to change sexual orientation or gender identity

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

Canada outspends Ireland, Norway in new pledging on Venezuelan refugee crisis

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

‘I can’t live on:’ Daughter of man fatally shot by Regina police seeks answers

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Alberta legislature to resume with COVID work, other bills, sitting into July

Walt Disney World presenting plans for reopening parks

Walt Disney World presenting plans for reopening parks

‘Amazing Race Canada’ wins big on second night of Canadian Screen Awards

‘Amazing Race Canada’ wins big on second night of Canadian Screen Awards

Quebec to loan up to US$200 million to struggling Cirque du Soleil

Quebec to loan up to US$200 million to struggling Cirque du Soleil

UNB board votes to strip name from law faculty building over links to slavery

UNB board votes to strip name from law faculty building over links to slavery

Most Read