Team Jacobs returns to the ice at Canada Cup with Kennedy to fill in for Fry

A new-look Team Brad Jacobs will have a fellow Olympian in tow at this week’s Canada Cup as the rink attempts to put recent distractions aside and continue a strong first half of the season.

Marc Kennedy will fill in for third Ryan Fry, who is taking an indefinite leave after his disqualification from a bonspiel last month in Red Deer, Alta.

Kennedy, who won Olympic gold in 2010 and returned to the Games this year, was available as a replacement since he’s taking a break from competitive play this season. The veteran left-hander will practise with the team Tuesday at Affinity Place ahead of a two-game opening day Wednesday.

“It’s the first time Brad will see the rock come out from the other hack,” said Team Jacobs coach Adam Kingsbury. “But I think that can just be a positive thing. Just that mindful focus on making sure that the broom is in the right spot and making sure that the communication is crystal clear.

“But outside of that, I think the team is pretty lucky to have someone of Marc’s calibre be willing to step in at a time like this.”

Jacobs, who skipped his team to an Olympic title in 2014, is coming off a win at last month’s Grand Slam stop in Thunder Bay, Ont., and is currently ranked seventh in the world.

Fry recently announced that he would be taking a break from the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-based team to focus on his “growth and self-improvement.” His decision came after his team was ejected from the Red Deer Curling Classic for what organizers called unsportsmanlike behaviour resulting from excessive drinking.

Fry, who was playing as a substitute at the World Curling Tour event, was kicked out along with teammates Jamie Koe, Chris Schille and DJ Kidby. All four players issued statements to apologize for their actions.

Team Jacobs later announced that Kennedy would fill in for Fry at the Canada Cup and Matt Wozniak would serve as a substitute at the Dec. 11-16 National in Conception Bay South, N.L.

The rest of the men’s field at the Canada Cup includes Regina’s Matt Dunstone, Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher, Calgary’s Kevin Koe, Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers and Toronto’s John Epping.

Reigning world champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg headlines the women’s side. Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, Winnipeg’s Alli Flaxey, Edmonton’s Laura Walker, Calgary’s Chelsea Carey, Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., and Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson are also in the field.

An extra women’s team was added due to a virtual tie for the final qualifying spot in the 2017-18 Order of Merit standings.

The winning teams will be guaranteed berths into the Pre-Trials ahead of the 2021 Olympic Trials. The Canada Cup champions will also qualify for a Curling World Cup event next season.

Kennedy announced last March that he would be taking a break this season to recharge and rest a nagging hip injury. He took on a consulting position with Curling Canada and has been practising through the autumn.

The 36-year-old won Olympic gold with skip Kevin Martin at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Kennedy teamed with skip Kevin Koe last season but they did not reach the podium at the Pyeongchang Games.

Even with limited practice time, Kingsbury predicted a smooth transition with Kennedy joining Jacobs, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden.

“I don’t foresee it being an issue at all,” he said. “The guys have known each other for a really long time. They’ve both experienced very similar things in the sport.”

Round-robin play continues through Saturday morning and the finals are set for Sunday.

Just Posted

Red Deer loses out on funding for addiction clinic

$8 million divided among eight communities

More residential snow plowing could be done in Red Deer this winter

New proposed plowing protocols to be presented to city council Monday

Red Deer region’s unemployment drops in November

Provincially and Canada-wide November jobless rate increased

Influenza B is circulating in central Alberta

No flu deaths reported yet in Alberta

Fashion Fridays: Ethical and sustainable gifts for the season

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Your community calendar

Tuesday The Central Alberta Council on Aging will hold its Christmas General… Continue reading

Let’s cancel ‘OK Boomer’ in 2020, and the humblebrag, too

NEW YORK — Either loudly sing your own praises or don’t in… Continue reading

Officials list pot vape brands reported in US outbreak

NEW YORK — Health officials investigating a nationwide outbreak of vaping illnesses… Continue reading

Nine Lessons and Carols concert performed Monday in Red Deer

There’s no admission charge to the event at Gaetz Memorial United Church

How to put a stop to bullying

In the years since he left school, Tad Milmine has become interested… Continue reading

New Lacombe community health centre is ready to open its doors

A new community health centre opens next week in Lacombe, bringing many… Continue reading

Ponoka County struck by large amount of unpaid property taxes

CAO now has some discretion in cancelling certain tax penalties

Field coming together for 2020 Champions Cup in Olds

Just five months out from the Humpty’s Champions Cup curling event, big… Continue reading

Most Read