Homan, Sweeting ready to roll at provincials

Rachel Homan at the 2015 Meridian Canadian Open in Yorkton, Sask. (Anil Mungal)

The provincial curling championships are coming to Sportsnet with cross-country action setting the stage for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and the Tim Hortons Brier.

Some interesting story lines have already emerged making these events ones you don’t want to miss.

Sportsnet’s provincial coverage kicks off with the Manitoba women’s championship where a new champion is set to be crowned. Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg will not defend the title as she holds the auto-berth to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts as Team Canada. Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson, winner of the inaugural GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2 event in September, has had to settle for runner-up at the past two provincials and eyes the opportunity to finally represent Manitoba.

Two-time Canadian champion Rachel Homan headlines the field at the Ontario Scotties where she returns to provincials for the first time since 2013. Homan and her Ottawa-based team are in the midst of a banner season having won a record three consecutive majors on the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling circuit.

Edmonton's Val Sweeting looks for a three-peat in Alberta but her biggest challenge could come from rising rookie Kelsey Rocque. The back-to-back world junior champ from Edmonton has surged up the World Curling Tour's order of merit rankings this season and could pose a threat for the title.

Men's provincial championship action on Sportsnet begins with the Ontario Tankard where Toronto's John Epping attempts to represent the province for the first time in his career at the Tim Hortons Brier. Epping is heating up at the right time having won consecutive tour titles at the Meridian Canadian Open and U.S. Open of Curling events. Fifteen-time champion Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., is back in the mix after failing to qualify for provincials last year, however, vice skip Wayne Middaugh sustained a fractured tibia recently and his team is on the hunt for a suitable spare.

Manitoba could see another heavyweight tilt between Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers and Mike McEwen. Team Carruthers edged out the No. 1 ranked rink on tour for the title a year ago and the two are once again near the top of the order of merit this season.

Draws airing on Sportsnet will also be streaming online at Sportsnet.ca/live, on the Sportsnet App, and Rogers Anyplace TV.


Women's Provincial Championships

Date Province Draw Eastern Time Pacific Time Channel
Jan. 23 Manitoba Page Playoff 7 p.m. 4 p.m. Sportsnet ONE
Jan. 24 Ontario Semifinal 9 a.m. 6 a.m. Sportsnet East & Ontario
Jan. 24 Manitoba Semifinal 10 a.m. 7 a.m. Sportsnet West & Pacific
Jan. 24 Alberta Semifinal 11:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. Sportsnet ONE
Jan. 24 B.C. Semifinal 2 p.m. 11 a.m. Sportsnet Pacific
Jan. 24 Ontario Final 2 p.m. 11 a.m. Sportsnet East & Ontario
Jan. 24 Manitoba Final 2:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. Sportsnet West
Jan. 24 Alberta Final 4 p.m. 1 p.m. Sportsnet ONE
Jan. 24 B.C. Final 7 p.m. 4 p.m. Sportsnet ONE

Men's Provincial Championships

Date Province Draw Eastern Time Pacific Time Channel
Feb. 7 Ontario Semifinal 10 a.m. 7 a.m. Sportsnet ONE
Feb. 7 Ontario Final 3 p.m. Noon Sportsnet ONE
Feb. 13 Manitoba Page Playoff 7 p.m. 4 p.m. Sportsnet ONE
Feb. 14 Manitoba Semifinal 10 a.m. 7 a.m. Sportsnet East, Ontario, West & Pacific
Feb. 14 Alberta Semifinal 11:30 a.m. 8:30 a.m. Sportsnet ONE
Feb. 14 B.C. Semifinal 2 p.m. 11 a.m. Sportsnet Pacific
Feb. 14 Manitoba Final 3 p.m. Noon Sportsnet East, Ontario & West
Feb. 14 Alberta Final 4 p.m. 1 p.m. Sportsnet ONE
Feb. 14 B.C. Final 7 p.m. 4 p.m. Sportsnet 360

Note: TV schedule subject to change.