Canada confirm all three line-ups for Omaha
The three teams hoping to continue the stronghold for Canada in Omaha
Curling Canada has now revealed all three teams they hope will continue the Maple Leaf dominance of the Curling World Cup in the second leg in Omaha.
It was announced during the summer that Team Fleury and Team Gunnlaugson would be Canada’s representatives on the second stop of the inaugural four-leg series between 5-9 December - and now the chosen pairing for the mixed doubles has been announced as Taylor McDonald and John Morris.
Canada, of course, won the women’s, men’s and mixed doubles gold medals at the Curling World Cup first leg in Suzhou last month, with Team Homan, Team Koe and Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres sealing their places in May’s Grand Final in Beijing.
McDonald and Morris will now aim to line up against Walker and Muyres in the mixed doubles series climax.
McDonald, 25, joined Team Allison Flaxey as second in March, having spent six seasons with Team Kelsey Rocque, with whom she won the 2014 World Junior Championship.
Morris is the highly experienced former men’s World and Olympic champion who also won gold in the mixed doubles final in Pyeongchang in February alongside Kaitlyn Lawes.
The Canada women’s rink in Omaha will see skip Tracy Fleury joined by third Selena Njegovan (nee Katz), second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish.
It will be one of Fleury’s first major outings with her new team-mates after she took over as skip of the Manitoba-based rink which previously bore the name of Kerri Einarson. Under Einarson, they won silver medals at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in January.
Looking to emulate the first-leg success of compatriots Team Koe will be the Winnipeg-based men’s rink skipped by Jason Gunnlaugson.
Denni Neufeld – brother of Suzhou champion BJ - joined the team as second in the summer, replacing Ian McMillan. Third Alex Forrest and lead Connor Njegovan remain from last season’s highly successful line-up.
Currently ranked 10th in the World Curling Tour Order of Merit, Team Gunnlaugson reached the quarter-finals in five Grand Slam events last season, although they won just once in the round-robin stage at the recent Elite 10 event in Chatham, Ontario, in failing to make the play-offs.