The Pre-Trials get underway today in beautiful downtown Prince George and it’s the last chance for the 12 teams on each side of the draw to make it to the Roar of the
This qualifying system was put into place for this Olympic period after a lot of consultation with all stakeholders, but the loudest voice was obviously the players themselves. It gave the curlers a second chance to make it to the Trials just a few weeks before the event, which means a team can get on a roll heading to Edmonton.
That’s opposed to a team that might have qualified a year prior and gone flat in the
Of course if you are a conspiracy theorist, there’s also a monetary reason here. The Pre-Trials (which just sounds very strange, doesn’t it?) is another event at which the Canadian Curling Association can make money – hopefully. When this was planned out, don’t forget, the national body was looking for dough, big time.
So once we get past that, we can look on the ice. This is being run like a big cashspiel with a triple KO format. A and B winners and the C finalists all get to go to Edmonton.
The major difference between this and a cashspiel is that there’s a heck of a lot more on the line than a cheque.
I think the women’s side is a lot harder to handicap than the men’s. My thinking is that Kelly Scott, Cathy King and Sherry Middaugh will make it through with the final spot going to either Krista McCarville or Eve Belisle. The dark horse would be the junior team of Rachel Homan.
On the men’s half, I think Brad Gushue, Bob Ursel and Jeff Stoughton advance with Wayne Middaugh, Mike McEwan and Kerry Burtnyk fighting it out for the third spot. The dark horse will be Ted Appelman.
One final note: I’m not sure who came up with the name Road to the Roar, but it’s positively, utterly stupid. Sort of like Pre-Trials.