Brad Jacobs (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Jacobs leads field for hometown National

November 6, 2014, 1:37 PM

Olympic gold medallists Team Brad Jacobs look to win a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament in their hometown at the National in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., running Nov. 19-23 at the Essar Centre.

Jacobs continues his quest for his first career Grand Slam and leads the field as the top-ranked skip on the World Curling Tour.


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Joining the Jacobs rink in the Soo will be Team Brad Gushue. The St. John’s rink is fresh off of winning the Masters tournament as they aim to sweep the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series.

Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen continues his team’s hot start of the season with four tournament titles and a runner-up finish at the Masters.

Below is the full list of participating teams:


TEAM BLANDFORD

Lineup: Matthew Blandford, Darren Moulding, Brent Hamilton and Brad Chyz

Hometown: Calgary

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 34th

Blandford reached the quarterfinals at the HDF Insurance Shoot-Out to start the season. The team had a promising October with an appearance in the quarterfinals at the Direct Horizontal Drilling Fall Classic and the semifinals at the Medicine Hat Charity Classic.


TEAM BOTTCHER

Lineup: Brendan Bottcher, Tom Appelman, Bradley Thiessen and Karrick Martin

Hometown: Edmonton

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 25th

Bottcher won his first WCT event of the season at the HDF Insurance Shoot-Out in September. The team reached teh final at the Red Deer Curling Classic this past weekend. Martin is the son of 18-time Grand Slam champion Kevin Martin.


TEAM CARRUTHERS

Lineup: Reid Carruthers, Braeden Moskowy, Derek Samagalski and Colin Hodgson

Hometown: Winnipeg

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 15th

Carruthers branched out this season to skip his own team after four seasons with Team Jeff Stoughton where he captured the 2011 Brier and world championships as well as the 2013 National. The all-new Team Carruthers won the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard in October.


TEAM CASEY

Lineup: Adam Casey, Josh Barry, Anson Carmody and Robbie Doherty

Hometown: Charlottetown

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 18th

Casey returned to his home province to skip a new team, the first P.E.I. rink ever to play in a Grand Slam tournament. The rink has reached the final at three World Curling Tour events this season: the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic, the Dave Jones Molson Mayflower Cashspiel and the CookstownCash presented by Comco Canada Inc.


TEAM DE CRUZ

Lineup: Peter de Cruz, Benoit Schwarz, Claudio Paetz and Valentin Tanner

Hometown: Geneva, Switzerland

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 13th

De Cruz defeated Kevin Koe to win the bronze medal at the 2014 world championship. Paetz switched over from Team Michel and replaced Dominik Maerki at second this season.


TEAM EPPING

Lineup: John Epping, Travis Fanset, Patrick Janssen and Tim March

Hometown: Toronto

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 7th

Epping is a two-time Grand Slam champion, capturing the 2008 National and 2012 Players’ Championship. The rink reached the semifinals at the Masters earlier this month and won the Gord Carroll Classic title Sunday.


TEAM GUSHUE

Lineup: Brad Gushue, Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker

Hometown: St. John’s, N.L.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 3rd

The team reached the finals at both the Canadian Open and National last season and broke through to win the Masters earlier this month. Nichols reunited this year with 2006 Olympic gold medal-winning teammate Gushue. The duo also won the National during the 2009-10 season with Ryan Fry and Jamie Korab.


TEAM HOWARD

Lineup: Glenn Howard, Richard Hart, Jon Mead and Craig Savill

Hometown: Penetanguishene, Ont.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 8th

Howard is the four-time National winner and the defending champion but sports a new-look rink this season. Hart came out of retirement to rejoin the team this season while Mead moved over from Team Stoughton.


TEAM JACOBS

Lineup: Brad Jacobs, Ryan Fry, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden

Hometown: Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 1st

The Sochi Olympic gold medallists made it to the semifinals Masters earlier this month. The team also won the Tim Hortons Brier and the world men’s curling championship silver medal in 2013.


TEAM KEAN

Lineup: Mark Kean, Mathew Camm, David Mathers and Scott Howard

Hometown: Stoney Creek, Ont.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 20th

Team Kean reached the semifinals of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard in September. Mathers and Howard won the 2012 Players’ Championship with Team Epping. Howard is the son of Glenn Howard and won the 2012 Brier and world championships as an alternate on his father’s team.


TEAM KOE

Lineup: Kevin Koe, Marc Kennedy, Brent Laing and Ben Hebert

Hometown: Calgary

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 4th

Koe claimed the Tim Hortons Brier in 2014, but formed a new team for this season. Laing won the National last season with Team Howard. Kennedy and Hebert earned the 2010 Olympic gold medal with Team Martin.


TEAM LAYCOCK

Lineup: Steve Laycock, Kirk Muyres, Colton Flasch and Dallan Muyres

Hometown: Saskatoon

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 11th

Laycock represented Saskatchewan at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier. The team reached the quarterfinals at the Masters earlier this month.


TEAM MCCORMICK

Lineup: Heath McCormick, Christopher Plys, Joe Polo and Ryan Brunt (alternate: Colin Hufman)

Hometown: Blaine, Minn.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 30th

McCormick skipped his team to the 2012 U.S. men’s curling championship. His rink finished third at the U.S. Olympic curling trials last season. Plys served as the alternate for the U.S. Olympic team at the 2010 Vancouver Games.


TEAM MCEWEN

Lineup: Mike McEwen, B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld

Hometown: Winnipeg

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 2nd

McEwen is a three-time Grand Slam champion. The team started off this season on a hot streak winning four titles in their first four events and was the runner-up at the Masters.


TEAM MORRIS

Lineup: John Morris, Pat Simmons, Scott Bailey and Nolan Thiessen

Hometown: Calgary

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 6th

Simmons and Thiessen won the Canadian Open and the Brier last season with skip Kevin Koe. They stayed together and added 2010 Olympic gold medallist Morris with Bailey filling in for Carter Rycroft at select events.


TEAM RUMFELDT

Lineup: Rob Rumfeldt, Adam Spencer, Brad Kidd and Jake Higgs

Hometown: Guelph, Ont.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 27th

Rumfeldt edged McEwen in a tiebreaker to reach the quarterfinals of the Canadian Open last season. The team features a new front-end this season in Kidd and Higgs and made it to the semifinals at the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard in October.


TEAM SHUSTER

Lineup: John Shuster, Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner

Hometown: Duluth, Minn.

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 23rd

Shuster has represented the U.S. at the past three Olympics and won the bronze medal at the 2006 Torino Games. He reached the quarterfinals of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard in September.


TEAM STOUGHTON

Lineup: Jeff Stoughton, Rob Fowler, Alex Forrest and Connor Njegovan

Hometown: Winnipeg

WCT Order of Merit ranking: 14th

Stoughton is a three-time Brier and two-time world champion. He won the National in 2013 to complete a career Grand Slam.

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