The Grand Slam of Curling is celebrating a special anniversary Wednesday.
It was on this day in 2012 when Sportsnet purchased the Grand Slam of Curling and made a commitment to the series like no other.
Sportsnet has helped the Grand Slam of Curling expand to a whole new level from four men’s and one women’s event to seven men’s and six women’s events with total purse money rising to $2 million per season. Television coverage has also grown exponentially and fans simply can’t get enough of the series.
In honour of this occasion, let’s take a look at some of the most memorable moments during the past five Grand Slam of Curling seasons:
2012 Masters: Brantford, Ont.
The first Grand Slam of Curling event under Sportsnet’s ownership kicked things off with a bang featuring two tiers with 68 teams in action. Team Koe defeated Team Cotter in the men’s final as Kevin Koe won his first Grand Slam as a skip following five runner-up finishes. Team Homan captured the inaugural Masters women’s title for the Ottawa crew’s first of many Grand Slam championships.
Team Homan (and famous hockey dad Walter Gretzky) celebrate with the Masters trophy in Brantford, Ont. (Anil Mungal)
2013 Masters: Abbotsford, B.C.
Martin. Howard. No. 1 and No. 2 on the all-time Grand Slam wins lists faced off in the men’s final one more time with Glenn Howard winning 7-4.
Team Howard takes the celebration walk down the sheet at the 2013 Masters. (Anil Mungal)
2014 Players’ Championship: Summerside, P.E.I.
Legendary skip Kevin Martin retired on top winning his record 18th Grand Slam. The 2010 Olympic gold medallist defeated the reigning Olympic champs Team Jacobs in the men’s final. Meanwhile, Olympic gold medallists Team Jones capped a dream season winning the women’s title as skip Jennifer Jones captured her fifth Players’ Championship.
Going out in style: Kevin Martin retires after winning his 18th Grand Slam at the 2014 Players’ Championship. (Anil Mungal)
High-fives for Team Jones, winners of the 2014 Players’ Championship. (Anil Mungal)
2014 Masters: Selkirk, Man.
It was the shot seen ‘round the world. Mike McEwen’s jaw-dropping pinball shot to score four points in the men’s final stands as one of the best (if not the best) in Grand Slam of Curling history. However, it wasn’t enough to topple Team Gushue, who won the championship bout 8-6. Gushue’s win snapped a four-year title drought and opened the floodgates as the first of six titles the team has won in three years. Meanwhile, Val Sweeting made a last-minute call to Cathy Overton-Clapham to fill in at third and the super spare helped Sweeting win her first career Grand Slam women’s title.
2015 Elite 10: Fort McMurray, Alta.
The first new Grand Slam of Curling event created since Sportsnet’s acquisition is also the most unique with match-play rules. Team Edin got the handle of things early riding ridiculous runbacks to the final, but McEwen emerged victorious to become the first Elite 10 champion.
Team McEwen celebrates after winning the inaugural Elite 10 in Fort McMurray, Alta. (Anil Mungal)
2015 Players’ Championship: Toronto
Team Jacobs wanted to win a Grand Slam title badly during the 2014-15 season as it was the one glaring omission on the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., crew’s resume. They came close during the 2014 National in their hometown, falling to McEwen in the final, but turned the tables at the Players’ Championship. Jacobs stole the eighth end to beat McEwen and finally claimed his first Grand Slam. It was also at this event where we said farewell to two all-time greats as Jeff Stoughton and Heather Nedohin stepped back from competitive curling.
Team Jacobs and the Pinty’s crew celebrate with the Players’ Championship trophy. (Anil Mungal)
2015 Tour Challenge: Paradise, N.L.
One of the new entries to the Grand Slam of Curling, the inaugural Tour Challenge women’s final between Team Tirinzoni and Team Homan has become known as the “fog bowl” as the fog rolled in during the match. Homan’s last shot didn’t go as planned as Tirinzoni stole two points to win her first title in the series.
No filter: Silvana Tirinzoni had to deal with the fog during the 2015 Tour Challenge Tier 1 women’s final. (Anil Mungal)
2015 Canadian Open: Yorkton, Sask.
Homan shook off the Tour Challenge loss and went on an incredible hot streak capped with a historic third consecutive major win at the Canadian Open. Team Epping was on an epic run as well. Skip John Epping shot the lights out making raise takeouts from every angle including the shot of the year in the semifinals (see below). Epping threw 100 percent in men’s final to beat Team Gushue.
2016 Elite 10: Victoria
Team Homan continued to break new ground as the first women’s crew to compete in a Grand Slam of Curling men’s event in the Sportsnet era. Homan re-wrote the record books again scoring a win over Team Thomas, the first for a women’s team over a top-ranked men’s squad in series history.
Rachel Homan and John Epping face off in round-robin play at the 2016 Elite 10. (Anil Mungal)
2016 Players’ Championship: Toronto
It’s all about Eve Muirhead at the Players’ Championship. Muirhead’s Scottish team, which became the first non-Canadian squad to win a Grand Slam title in 2013, captured their third Players’ Championship title in four years with all three won at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. Cathy Overton-Clapham was once again the super spare here joining Muirhead when third Anna Sloan was injured. Gushue defeated the defending champ Jacobs on the men’s side to win his third Grand Slam of Curling title of the season. Gushue also completed a career Grand Slam having captured all four of the original championships.
Team Muirhead celebrates with the Players’ Championship. (Anil Mungal)
Team Gushue raises the Players’ Championship trophy high at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. (Anil Mungal)
2016 Champions Cup: Sherwood Park, Alta.
The newest Grand Slam of Curling event wrapped up 2015-16 although it seemed like neither Team Carruthers nor Team Epping wanted the season to end as the men’s final required not one but two extra ends. Carruthers drew for the win in the rare double OT.
2016 Masters: Okotoks, Alta.
There were first-time winners on both sides with Team Edin becoming the first non-Canadian men’s squad to claim a Grand Slam title — with two more championships to follow later in the season — while Team Flaxey stunned the women’s field with steals in the tiebreaker, quarterfinals and semifinals before defeating Team Homan 6-3 in the championship final.
When in Alberta: Team Flaxey celebrates in style with the Masters trophy. (Anil Mungal)
2017 Canadian Open: North Battleford, Sask.
Casey Scheidegger not only made her elite-level Grand Slam of Curling debut, she went 1-for-1 winning her first major championship too. Scheidegger stole in the final frame to edge Tirinzoni for the Canadian Open title. Elsewhere, Gushue won his seventh GSOC title just one month after returning from a hip/groin injury. Gushue was already in mid-season form throwing 100 percent in the men’s final to beat Edin.
Sisters Casey and Jessie Scheidegger hug after winning the 2017 Canadian Open. (Anil Mungal)