Sports Curling

Some favourites are beginning to emerge at Canada's mixed doubles curling trials in Portage

PHOTOS: Top teams begin to rise

By Aaron Wilgosh, The Graphic

It’s been a busy couple of days at Stride Place.

Canada’s Mixed Doubles Curling Trials are heating up in Portage la Prairie as a few teams have risen to the top of the standings to become front runners for a shot at the 2018 winter Olympics.

“We’re just doing the same things we usually do,” says Brett Gallant, who currently sits first place in Pool A with teammate Jocelyn Peterman. “We’re reading the ice well and Jocelyn has made a couple clutch last shots in every game which really helps. When your last stone thrower is on it tends to go well.”

The duo of Gallant and Peterman sit atop their pool at 4-0 after Draw 9 with teams Carruthers/Officer and Jones/Nichols both right on their heels at 3-1. There are two favourites in Pool B after Draw 9 Wednesday afternoon. Fergusson/Bottcher and Crocker/Walker were both 4-0 heading into Draw 10. Lawes/Morris and Carey/Hodgson both sit 2-1.

“It’s really cool here,” adds Gallant. “The crowds are incredible so far and the venue looks amazing. The ice is in really good condition and we’re having a great time.”

Volunteer Tracey Taylor’s been busy over the last two days and doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. The event has been running smoothly so far as the volunteer staff had a good practice run last year with the provincial championships.

“The crowds have been amazing,” says Taylor. “Some die-hard fans are here at quarter to eight in the morning and they are really surprised with how nice the rink looks, others roll in around noon and stay all night. The volunteers are working hard and the athletes really appreciate it.”

Curling continues all through the week and will wrap up Sunday afternoon when Canada’s Olympic mixed doubles representatives are crowned.

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