Carruthers, Officer off to solid start at Canadian mixed curling trials

PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Man. — Reid Carruthers and Jill Officer are off to a solid start at the Canadian mixed doubles curling trials.

The pair improved to 2-0 in Pool A with a 10-3 win over Nancy Martin and Catlin Schneider in the fifth draw Tuesday, the first day of competition. Carruthers and Officer also captured a 6-3 victory over Jennifer Jones and Mark Nichols in the third draw.

Carruthers, the 2017 world mixed doubles silver medallist, needed a replacement for this event after his 2016-17 partner Joanne Courtney qualified for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea with Rachel Homan’s foursome.

"I’m really happy with how we are throwing the rock, talking about paths and doing all the little things that go into mixed doubles," Carruthers said of his new partner.

Brett Gallant and Jocelyn Peterman are also 2-0 in Pool A. They beat Wayne Tuck and Kimberly Tuck 11-4 in the opening draw before earning a 7-6 victory over Robert Desjardins and Emilie Desjardins in the fifth draw.

Martin and Scnheider, Jones and Nichols and Desjardins and Desjardins are all tied for third in the standings with 2-1 records.

In Pool B, Brendan Bottcher and Dana Ferguson improved to 3-0 with a 6-4 victory over Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas. Geoff Walker and Laura Crocker also have three wins following a 9-3 win over Dustin Kaltoff and Marliese Kasner. Colin Hodgson and Chelsea Carey downed Tyler Stewart and Nicole Westlund-Stewart 7-3 while Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris crushed Sherry Middaugh and John Epping 11-2 in the other late draws.

Play resumes Wednesday with six more draws.

The first- and second-place team in each pool will advance along with the next four teams in the overall standings. Tiebreakers and the opening round of the playoffs begin Friday and the final is scheduled for Sunday.

The Pyeongchang Games are scheduled for Feb. 9-25.