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As 3-man Howard crew secures Brier berth, key choice looms forward of nationals | CBC Sports activities Categorical Instances

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After securing a provincial title with a three-man lineup, the members of Workforce Glenn Howard can be Regina-bound in a couple of month to play within the Montana’s Brier.

What stays unsure is whether or not the short-handed crew will add a participant — and in that case, who — for the Canadian males’s curling championship.

Howard’s standing stays unsure as a consequence of lingering ache in his surgically repaired left knee. Son Scott Howard skipped the crew to victory ultimately week’s Ontario playdowns and can doubtless throw final stone once more on the March 1-10 nationals at Brandt Centre.

“Over the subsequent few minutes — most likely per week or so — we’ll begin batting out some names and see who [might] match that mould for our crew to offer us the very best likelihood to hopefully win this factor,” Scott mentioned.

The elder Howard served as a coach final week within the London, Ont., suburb of Dorchester. He hasn’t performed a aggressive sport in nearly two months and stays out indefinitely.

Scott ran the desk in his place and made a draw to the button for an 8-7 extra-end win over Jayden King within the ultimate.

“One of the best half is I felt so assured,” Scott mentioned Monday. “I felt snug truly the entire week skipping and having that final rock.”

Doable additions

The youthful Howard normally performs third however has skipped every so often through the years. He additionally guided the crew to victory at a bonspiel final month in Penticton, B.C., when Glenn’s knee “seized up” halfway by way of the occasion.

The Penetanguishene, Ont.,-based facet, which additionally contains lead Tim March and second David Mathers, doesn’t use a daily fifth participant. Adam Spencer and Wayne Middaugh have served as crew alternates every so often previously.

If the crew decides so as to add a participant, it could actually decide up anybody who performed within the Ontario championship or any free agent who hasn’t competed in one other provincial/territorial playdown this season, a Curling Canada spokesperson mentioned in an e mail.

Three-man squads are used sometimes in crew curling however generally will be fairly efficient.

One of many extra notable examples got here in 2022 when Brad Gushue received the Brier with out vice Mark Nichols, who missed the ultimate weekend as a consequence of a optimistic COVID-19 check.

WATCH | That Curling Present peeks into way forward for Pan Continentals:

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Curlers Darren Moulding, Chelsea Carey and Colin Hodgson are behind the profitable bid for Lacombe, Alta. to host the 2024 Pan Continental Curling Championships. They plan to include an athlete-first method into each factor of the occasion.

Nonetheless, the Brier is a 10-day competitors from begin to end. The bodily toll on a short-handed squad could be extra important than at a shorter occasion like a provincial playdown or a Grand Slam.

Final week, March threw the primary three rocks of every finish for the crew earlier than sweeping the subsequent 5. His physique “took a reasonably large beating,” Scott mentioned, including that physiotherapy was wanted after each sport.

“It is not such as you get a break right here or there being the opposite-side sweeper,” Scott mentioned. “He is sweeping exhausting each single rock … all through 10 ends, it is a daunting activity for certain.”

Scotties draw launched

Defending champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., Calgary’s Brendan Bottcher and Winnipeg’s Matt Dunstone are a few of the Brier headliners. The total 18-team discipline can be finalized Feb. 11.

Additionally Monday, Curling Canada launched the draw for the Feb. 16-25 Scotties Event of Hearts in Calgary.

Canada skip Kerri Einarson, who’s aiming to win a report fifth straight Hearts crown, will open in opposition to Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges on the WinSport Occasion Centre.

Winnipeg’s Kate Cameron and Corryn Brown of Kamloops, B.C., rounded out the 18-team discipline primarily based on their positions within the Canadian rankings.

Winnipeg’s Jolene Campbell missed the cutline by simply 1.25 rating factors.

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