Canadian curling’s best on ice in Kelowna

Eighteen of the top men's rinks in the nation gather at Prospera Place this week for Canadian Open of Curling

Kelowna's Ty Griffith (left) and Rick Sawatsky will be sweeping for skip Jim Cotter when the local team takes to the ice this week at the Canadian Open Grand Slam of Curling at Prospera Place.

Jim Cotter knows very well mediocrity won’t get it done this week at Prospera Place.

With 18 of the country’s best rinks taking to the ice in Kelowna for the second Grand Slam event of the curling season, only the finest and most consistent shotmaking will be enough to challenge for the top prize of $20,000.

Cotter and his Vernon/Kelowna foursome will be put to the test right from the get-go on Wednesday night at the Canadian Open of Curling when they take on 2010 Canadian champion Kevin Koe of Calgary in the opening draw.

“They’re all world-class teams, they’re the best there are, so you’re not going to have any easy games this week,” said Cotter. “You have to play well and go out and execute your shots and if you don’t, it’s going to be a pretty tough week.”

The line-up in Kelowna reads like a who’s-who of Canadian men’s curling with the likes of Koe, Glenn Howard, Jeff Stoughton, Brad Gushue and Mike McEwen all chasing $100,000 in total prize money.

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin has been forced to withdraw from the event due to hernia surgery. In his absence, third John Morris will skip the Martin foursome.

The Cotter team, featuring third Jason Gunnlaugson, second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky, has enjoyed some success of its own this season, including a berth in the final of the first Grand Slam event of the season, the Rogers Masters, last month in Brantford.

Coincidentally, it was Koe who defeated Cotter 7-5 in the final as the Vernon/Kelowna crew picked up $11,000 for its effort.

As much as the cash is nice, Cotter said his team’s primary objective in the Slam events is to earn valuable points towards a berth in the Canadian Olympic pre-trials next November in Kitchener.

“The Olympics, that’s the ultimate goal so every time we play we want to get points and there’s a lot of this riding on this one,” Cotter said. “You play for points, you play to win,  and the money is the bonus.”

In addition to Ty Griffith and Rick Sawatzky, both from Kelowna, there will be some other local flavour at this Grand Slam event. Kelowna’s Jeff Richard will be playing third for New Westminster’s Brent Pierce rink

“It’s a unique feeling to be playing at home,” said Richard, the 2010 B.C. men’s champion “It’s the first curling event ever in Kelowna’s big arena, so we are excited to compete with the top teams in the world.

“It’s been a highly successful season so far and this Grand Slam event will be a great tune-up before provincials in February.”

The Pierce rink will play its first game at 9 a.m. Thursday against Manitoba’s Rob Fowler.

Tickets for the Canadian Open are available at the Prospera Place box office, or online at www.selectyourtickets.com

For more information on the Grand Slam of Curling, visit worldcurl.com

Teams:

Jim Cotter

Peter DeCruz

John Epping

Rob Fowler

Brad Gushue

Jake Higgs

Glenn Howard

Brad Jacobs

Mark Kean

Kevin Koe

Steve Laycock

William Lyburn

John Morris (Kevin Martin)

Mike McEwen

Brent Pierce

Rob Rumfeldt

Jeff Stoughton

Draw times @ Prospera Place:

Wednesday, Dec. 12—7 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 13—9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Friday, Dec. 14—9 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 8 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15—9 a.m., 12:30 p.m. (1/4 finals), 4:30 p.m. (semifinals)

Sunday, Dec. 16—10 a.m. (Final)

 

Just Posted

Kelowna takes to high altitude skating

Kelowna’s Landmark 6 building is the scene of synthetic skating this weekend

Petition filed to supreme court on Peachtree Village

A petition was filed Wednesday by the Friends of Beach Avenue Association

Kelowna pot dispensary launches petition

One of the medical marijuana dispensaries being sued by the City of Kelowna is fighting back

Ethel Street to reopen in Kelowna as upgrade work wraps up

Design work has already started for the next phase of Ethel Street’s active transportation corridor

Accident near Kelowna shopping centre

Fender bender on Springfield Avenue across from Orchard Park Mall

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Rockets stop two-game slide with win over Giants

Dillon Dube scores the game winner on a third-period power play Friday in Langley

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Kelowna company offering calibration service cameras

Speedy Glass has been selected as one of 50 service centres

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Big White has wet opening day

The resort only opened four out of 19 lifts

Most Read