Kerri Einarson shoots a stone during the Boost National women's final on Dec. 16, 2018, in Conception Bay South, N.L. (Anil Mungal)

What’s on tap for Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling

January 1, 2019, 12:33 PM

Happy New Year, Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling fans!

It might be hard to believe but we’re beyond the midway point of our season with four events down and only three more to go beginning with next week’s Meridian Canadian Open.

We’ve seen plenty of exciting action among the world’s best teams and we’re stoked to see how the rest of the season unfolds. Here is a quick rundown of what’s coming up in 2019.

Meridian Canadian Open: Jan. 8-13, North Battleford, Sask.

Format: 16 men’s teams, 16 women’s teams

What a way to ring in the New Year with the third major of the season.

Teams were chosen from both the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit and year-to-date ranking systems plus a few surprises. Saskatoon’s Team Kirk Muyres and Team Elena Stern of Switzerland secured their spots by winning the Tour Challenge Tier 2 titles in November while Saskatoon’s Team Rylan Kleiter, who recently captured their third consecutive junior men’s provincial championship, and North Battleford’s own Team Robyn Silvernagle received sponsor’s exemptions.

The Meridian Canadian Open is unique among the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events as its preliminary format is triple knockout instead of round robin. There’s an easy way to remember how the bracket format works: win three games to qualify for the playoffs, lose three games and you’re out.

This will be the second time in three seasons North Battleford’s Civic Centre hosts the Meridian Canadian Open. Fans two years ago were treated to an incredible run from Team Casey Scheidegger. The Lethbridge, Alta.-based club was competing in its first top-tier Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event and not only qualified out of the triple knockout C brackets but went all the way to the final and stunned Team Silvana Tirinzoni picking up the winning stolen point in the eighth end to capture the women’s title.

The men’s final saw a heavyweight tilt between Team Brad Gushue and Team Niklas Edin with Gushue emerging on top in a preview of that year’s world championship gold-medal game.

Edin also finished runner-up at last year’s Meridian Canadian Open in Camrose, Alta., with Team Peter de Cruz stealing singles in the seventh and eighth ends of the men’s final. Team Chelsea Carey topped Team Michelle Englot for the women’s title.

Meridian Canadian Open quick links: Tickets | Teams | Game Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

Players’ Championship: April 9-14, Toronto

Format: 12 men’s teams, 12 women’s teams

The best teams of the season are invited to the prestigious Players’ Championship with selection based on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date rankings. This will be the 27th running of the crown jewel event on the World Curling Tour as it actually predates the formation of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series.

The Players’ Championship has found a home at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre with the venue formerly known as Maple Leaf Gardens holding the event for the fifth consecutive season and sixth time in seven years. Team Kevin Koe claimed the Players’ Championship men’s title last season defeating Edin in the men’s final while Team Jamie Sinclair stunned Team Jennifer Jones on the women’s side to become the first U.S.-based squad to win a title in the series.

The Pinty’s Cup will also be awarded following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship to the overall season champions.

Humpty’s Champions Cup: April 23-28, Saskatoon

Format: 15 men’s teams, 15 women’s teams

The top winners of the year clash in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale at the new Merlis Belsher Place. The criteria for entry to the Humpty’s Champions Cup is you have to win a high-profile title to get in.

Spaces have been filling up fast with Team Anna Hasselborg, Team John Epping, Team Brad Jacobs and most recently Team Ross Paterson booking their spots by claiming titles. Team Brad Gushue and Team Rachel Homan will also get the opportunity to defend their Humpty’s Champions Cup titles from last season. Check out the growing list of teams by clicking here.

That’ll wrap up this season but stay tuned for information on our 2019-20 campaign!