A talent-laden contingent of 14 teams from across Canada will hit the ice Sunday at the Prince Albert Golf and Curling Centre for the 2022 Canadian Mixed Curling Championship.
The championship will kick off with a pair of draws on Sunday, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. (all times Central Standard), and will feature numerous teams and players seeking history.
Topping the list will be the Quebec team skipped by Félix Asselin from Dollard-des-Ormeaux. Asselin, backed up by Laurie St-Georges, his brother Émile Asselin, Emily Riley and coach Michel St-Georges, will be aiming to give Quebec its third consecutive Canadian Mixed championship — all with completely different lineups. No province or territory has won three straight Canadian championships with totally different teams since Manitoba did it at the 1929, 1930 and 1931 Briers.
Quebec will be bringing some momentum to Prince George, inspired by 2021 Canadian mixed champs Team Jean-Michel Ménard capturing the gold medal at the 2022 World Mixed Championship last month in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Team Jean-Sébastien Roy started the Quebec win streak with his victory at the 2020 Canadian Mixed in Saguenay, Que.
There are numerous other past national champs in the field, headed by 1994 champ Grant Odishaw, who’s skipping Team New Brunswick from Moncton. Odishaw is participating in his ninth Canadian mixed, and his first since 1997, and he can break the record currently held by Robert Campbell for the longest gap between Canadian championship victories. Campbell won Canadian Mixed 22 years apart, and should Team Odishaw prevail, his titles would be 28 years apart. Odishaw is backed up by vice-skip Shaelyn Park, second Sam Forestell and lead Krista Flanagan.
The home team, Team Shaun Meachem from Swift Current, features the front end of Chris Haichert and Teejay Haichert, who played the same positions on Max Kirkpatrick’s Canadian championship team in 2015 — Saskatchewan’s most recent win at the Canadian Mixed.
Also, vice-skip Kelly Schafer has an abundance of international experience from when she lived in Scotland; she participated in three Winter Olympics as a member of Team Great Britain, and also won three World Championship medals — silver in 2010 in her adopted hometown of Swift Current, and bronze in 2007 in Aomori, Japan, and 2017 in Beijing.
Paul Flemming’s Nova Scotia team from Halifax will be looking to give its skip a third national mixed title. Flemming skipped Nova Scotia to victories in 1999 and 2003, albeit with different lineups than his current foursome of vice-skip Marie Christianson, second Scott Saccary and lead Marlee Powers.
Team Northern Ontario, featuring skip Trevor Bonot and vice-skip Jackie McCormick, won the 2017 Canadian mixed crown in Yarmouth, N.S., and went on to win a silver medal for Canada at the 2017 World Mixed Championship in Champéry, Switzerland. The Thunder Bay squad is rounded out by Mike McCarville and Amanda Gates; the same lineup posted a 6-4 record at the 2021 Canadian Mixed in Canmore, Alta.
Jamie Koe, meanwhile, will return as Northwest Territories skip, looking to improve on the silver (2015) and bronze (2019, 2021) medals he’s won at previous editions of the Canadian Mixed Championship. The 15-time Tim Hortons Brier rep from Yellowknife will be backed up by vice-skip Margot Flemming, second Cole Parsons and lead Megan Koehler.
Rounding out the field are Alberta’s Team Morgan Muise (a former Everest Canadian Curling Club champion) from Calgary/Cochrane; B.C.’s Team Miles Craig from Victoria/Duncan; Manitoba’s Team Corey Chambers from Miami; Newfoundland and Labrador’s Team William Butler from Stephenville/St. John’s; Nunavut’s Team Peter Mackey from Iqaluit; Ontario’s Team Scott McDonald from St. Thomas; Prince Edward Island’s Team Dennis Watts from Summerside; and Yukon’s Team Terry Miller from Whitehorse.
The championship features 14 teams (10 provinces plus Northern Ontario, Northwest Territories, Nunavut and Yukon) seeded and separated into two pools of seven teams each. The teams first play a round robin within their pool. At the conclusion of the round robin, the top four teams in each pool advance to the Championship Pool, when the teams play the teams from the opposite pool, carrying forward their full win-loss records. Meanwhile, the bottom three teams in each pool will go to the Seeding Pool, where they will compete against the three teams from the opposite pool to determine the final standings and set up the seedings for the 2023 Canadian Mixed Championship in Swift Current.
The Championship Pool concludes on Friday and will be followed by two semifinals Saturday, Nov. 12, at 10 a.m., pitting 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 in the Championship Pool standings. The two winners then advance to the gold-medal final Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. while the two losing teams meet in the bronze-medal game at the same time.
All games throughout the competition are eight ends. Also, no tiebreaker games will be played at the conclusion of either round. Instead, any unsolvable ties for position after head-to-head results will be determined by accumulated Draw Shot results.
Live-streaming coverage of the 2022 Canadian Mixed will be available on Curling Canada’s YouTube page. You can access the broadcast schedule by CLICKING HERE.
For event, team and draw information, visit www.curling.ca/2022mixed.
Draw scores/standings will be immediately available on Curling Canada’s scoring website.
Prince Albert was where Saskatchewan last hosted the Canadian Mixed. In 2005, Mark Nichols skipped Newfoundland/Labrador to its only Canadian mixed championship.
Prince Albert also hosted the 1984 edition, when the home team skipped by Randy Woytowich prevailed. Other Saskatchewan-hosted Canadian Mixed championships took place in 1978 in Saskatoon (won by Saskatchewan’s Team Bernie Yuzdepski), Swift Current in 1993 (won by Nova Scotia’s Team Scott Saunders), Kindersley in 1997 (won by Northern Ontario’s Team Chris Johnson) and Weyburn in 2001 (won by Quebec’s Jean-Michel Ménard).
The Canadian Mixed Championship made its debut in Toronto in 1964 and has been won a leading 11 times by Alberta. Saskatchewan is next with 10 titles.
Saskatchewan’s most recent victory came in 2015 when Team Max Kirkpatrick of Swift Current prevailed in North Bay, Ont.