A capsule look at the 18 teams that will compete at the Tim Hortons Brier
LONDON, Ont. — A capsule look at the 18 teams competing in the March 3-12 Canadian men's curling championship in London, Ont.
Teams listed by seeding in their pools, athletes from skip to lead, followed by home club.
Matt Dunstone, B.J. Neufeld, Colton Lott, Ryan Harnden (Fort Rouge Curling Club, Winnipeg)
Ranked No. 1 in the Canadian rankings this season, Dunstone is looking for his Brier breakthrough after third-place finishes in 2020 and '21.
Kevin Koe, Tyler Tardi, Brad Thiessen, Karrick Martin (Glencoe Club, Calgary)
Koe is one of six curlers in this year's field looking to win the Brier for a fifth time. Alberta leads all provinces/territories with 29 titles, two more than Manitoba.
WILD CARD 2
Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski, Connor Njegovan, Rob Gordon (Morris Curling Club, Morris, Man.)
This team has had some different looks since Jason Gunnlaugson's departure in December. Brad Jacobs came on board for the Grand Slams and Gordon will play lead at the Brier.
Kelly Knapp, Brennen Jones, Mike Armstrong, Trent Knapp (Highland Curling Club, Regina)
Knapp's lone previous Brier appearance also came in London. He served as an alternate for Steve Laycock in 2011. Jones was also on that team at lead.
Darren Moulding, Tanner Horgan, Jacob Horgan, Colin Hodgson (Northern Credit Union Curling Club, Sudbury)
Moulding, who won the 2021 Brier as vice for Brendan Bottcher, will skip and throw third. Tanner has last rock on a team coached by Mike Harris, who won Olympic silver in 1998.
Matthew Manuel, Luke Saunders, Jeff Meagher, Nick Zachernuk (Halifax Curling Club)
This squad won the provincial crown as a three-man team with Meagher out due to illness. Saunders is the son of six-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Colleen Jones.
NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
Nathan Young, Sam Follett, Nathan Locke, Ben Stringer (St. John’s Curling Club)
At age 21, Stringer is the oldest member of the team. The youngsters were 1-7 in their Brier debut last year and took silver at the national under-21 playdowns.
Jamie Koe, Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod (Yellowknife Curling Club)
The 45-year-old skip is back for a 16th career Brier appearance. His best record came in 2012 at Saskatoon when he posted a 7-6 mark.
Jake Higgs, Sheldon Wettig, Brady St. Louis, Christian Smitheram (Iqaluit Curling Club)
Higgs is back after going winless in his Brier debut in 2020 at Kingston, Ont. He served as coach of the American mixed doubles team at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea.
WILD CARD 1
Brendan Bottcher, Marc Kennedy, Brett Gallant, Ben Hebert (Glencoe Club, Calgary)
This highly decorated team won the Canadian Open in January to rise to No. 2 in the national rankings. Bottcher reached the provincial final but dropped a 6-5 decision to Kevin Koe.
Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden, Geoff Walker (St. John’s Curling Club)
Gushue's team won a national title, Olympic bronze and world silver last year. The rink gets an automatic Brier entry as defending champion.
WILD CARD 3
Karsten Sturmay, J.D. Lind, Kyle Doering, Glenn Venance (St. Albert Curling Club, St. Albert, Alta.)
Sturmay snagged the final wild-card berth over John Epping by just a few rankings points. The Alberta-based team got a late boost by winning a cashspiel in Tempe, Ariz., in late January.
Mike McEwen, Ryan Fry, Brent Laing, Joey Hart (Royal Canadian Curling Club, Toronto)
McEwen will wear Ontario colours for the first time at the Brier. He has represented Manitoba on four occasions and was a wild-card entry three times. Hart's father, Richard, is serving as coach.
Felix Asselin, Martin Crete, Emile Asselin, Jean-François Trepanier, (Glenmore/Belvedere, Etchemin, Valleyfield, Que.)
Crete has the most Brier experience on this squad with nine previous appearances. Asselin won a Canadian mixed title last year in Prince Albert, Sask.
Jacques Gauthier, Sterling Middleton, Jason Ginter, Alex Horvath (Victoria Curling Club)
The 24-year-old skip got a taste of the Brier experience in 2021 as an alternate. Gauthier, won skipped Canada to a world junior title in 2020, is the son of TSN broadcaster Cathy Gauthier.
Scott Jones, Jeremy Mallais, Brian King, Jared Bezanson (Curl Moncton Club)
Mallais has last rock while Jones skips and throws third stones. The 51-year-old Jones made his Brier debut in 2007 with skip Paul Dobson in Hamilton, Ont.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
Tyler Smith, Adam Cocks, Alex MacFadyen, Ed White (Crapaud Community Curling Club)
Smith, 24, played third for Eddie MacKenzie in 2021 and skipped P.E.I. to a 1-7 record last year in Lethbridge, Alta.
Thomas Scoffin, Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos (Whitehorse Curling Club)
Scoffin won a U Sports curling title in 2015 as the University of Alberta Golden Bears skip. This will be his fourth career Brier appearance.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2023.
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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press