Jones draws Carey to kick off GSOC season at Elite 10

Jennifer Jones shoots a stone during the 2018 Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Team Jennifer Jones and Team Chelsea Carey will launch a new season of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling with a historic Princess Auto Elite 10.

Previously a men’s invitational, the Princess Auto Elite 10 has expanded this year with the addition of a women’s division. This now brings things level as all seven Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournaments include both men’s and women’s divisions.

The full draw schedule has been released for the Princess Auto Elite 10 — running Sept. 26-30 at St. Clair Campus Arena in Chatham-Kent, Ont. — with two women’s matches scheduled for opening night. Reigning world champions Team Jones of Winnipeg play the new Team Carey squad from Calgary/Edmonton and 2018 Olympic gold medallists Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden go up against Players’ Championship winners Team Jamie Sinclair from Blaine, Minn.

This will be the first large-scale tournament for plenty of new-look teams that retooled their rosters over the off-season as they prepare for the long road to the 2022 Winter Olympics. Jones has acquired Jocelyn Peterman (formerly with Team Carey) with longtime second Jill Officer stepping back into an alternate role. Carey cleaned house adding third Sarah Wilkes (Team Shannon Kleibrink), second Dana Ferguson and lead Rachel Brown (both previously with Team Val Sweeting).

Reigning Brier champions and world silver medallists Team Brad Gushue lead things off on the men’s side against Winnipeg’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson with former Team McEwen lead Denni Neufeld at second.

Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers, with former rival Mike McEwen now tossing fourth stones, take on 2014 Olympic gold medallists Team Brad Jacobs from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

An all-Ontario battle between Toronto’s Team John Epping and Team Glenn Howard from Penetanguishene wraps up the opening draw. It’ll be an interesting clash as Team Epping now includes second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill, who won 12 Grand Slams during their tenure with Howard, while Howard has added former Team Epping lead Tim March.

To view the full draw schedule of matches, CLICK HERE.

Ten of the top men’s teams and 10 of the top women’s teams from around the world were invited to the Princess Auto Elite 10 based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit week one standings.

The Princess Auto Elite 10 features unique match play rules where teams compete to win the most ends per game by either scoring two or more rocks (with the hammer) or stealing at least one rock (without the hammer). Games are played to eight ends. If a game is tied after eight ends, a draw-to-the-button shootout will determine the winner.

Teams earn three points for a regulation win, two points for a shootout win and one point for a shootout loss. Both men’s and women’s divisions will be split into two pools for round-robin play with the top six teams overall qualifying for the playoffs.

Winners of the Princess Auto Elite 10 earn berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup running April 23-28 at Saskatoon’s Merlis Belsher Arena. Points are also on the line in the race for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the season champions.

Tournament passes, weekend passes and single draw tickets are now available for the Princess Auto Elite 10, visit Ckelite10.goigniter.com to purchase yours today.

Can’t make it to Chatham-Kent? Broadcast coverage of the Princess Auto Elite 10 begins Sept. 27 at Noon ET on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and gsoc.yaretv.com (international). For the full broadcast schedule, CLICK HERE.

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