All you need to know ahead of the GSOC Elite 10

Tune in to Sportsnet, March 17-20, where for the first time ever, Rachel Homan's rink will take on the men for the Grand Slam of Curling's Elite 10.

The 2015-16 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season resumes Thursday for the Elite 10 in Victoria.

This exciting match-play format event features nine of the top men’s curling teams in the world plus special guests Team Homan.

Our Eight Ends takes you through all you need to know for the Elite 10:

1st End: Homan faces the men’s field

The Ottawa-based rink of Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Joanne Courtney, and Lisa Weagle will make history as the first women’s team to compete in a Pinty’s GSOC men’s invitational since Sportsnet acquired the series in 2012.

Team Homan already etched their names in the record books once this season by becoming the first women’s rink to win three consecutive Pinty’s GSOC championships taking home the Masters, National, and Canadian Open titles.

Homan’s first task will be Canadian Open men’s champion John Epping from Toronto during Draw 2.

2nd End: Match play is the name of the game

The Elite 10 is a unique event in that it features match play where teams compete to win the most ends per game rather than total points accumulated.

To win an end, the team with the hammer must score two or more points while the team without the hammer must steal at least one point. The hammer switches sides following a blank end.

While you might be thinking, “that sounds a lot like a skins game,” the main difference in match play is points do not carry over in the event of a blank end — all ends are worth one point each.

3rd End: A brief history of the Elite 10

No sarcasm here, this one is actually brief as it’s only the second time the event has been held.

The inaugural Elite 10 took place last season in Fort McMurray, Alta. Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen captured his second Pinty’s GSOC title of the season defeating Niklas Edin of Sweden in the final.

Edin was the human highlight reel during the event becoming the master of the ridiculous runback with crazy shots like this one:

Team Edin heated up at just the right time of the season as they followed up their strong Elite 10 performance by winning the gold medal at the world championship.

McEwen and Edin meet in a rematch during the opening draw.

4th End: From the Brier to the Elite 10

McEwen is back to defend his Elite 10 title and is fresh off of representing Manitoba at the Tim Hortons Brier for the first time in his career.

Joining McEwen from the Brier is the champ himself Kevin Koe of Alberta as well as runner-up Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Saskatchewan’s Steve Laycock.

5th End: Dunstone to sub on Team Thomas

Canadian junior champion Matt Dunstone joins the field straight from winning the bronze medal at the world juniors in Denmark to fill in on Charley Thomas’s team.

Dunstone skipped his own rink to a runner-up finish at the Manitoba Viterra Championship provincials and made some must-see shots along the way.

The 20-year-old from Winnipeg made his Pinty’s GSOC series debut in December subbing for Carter Rycroft on Pat Simmons’s squad.

6th End: Recapping the first half

The 2015 portion of our season saw four different teams win our first four events.

Koe claimed the inaugural Tour Challenge title, McEwen was victorious at the Masters, Gushue captured the National, and Epping earned the Canadian Open.

Will we see one of those four teams win their second of the season or will a new winner emerge?

7th End: The Draw

Time (PT) A B C
Thursday, March 17      
11:30 AM Carruthers vs Gushue Edin vs McEwen Laycock vs Bottcher
4:00 PM Bottcher vs Edin Koe vs Laycock Epping vs Homan
7:30 PM Koe vs McEwen Homan vs Carruthers Gushue vs Thomas
Friday, March 18      
8:00 AM Homan vs Thomas Laycock vs Edin Carruthers vs Epping
11:30 AM   Thomas vs Epping Edin vs Koe
3:00 PM Bottcher vs Koe Gushue vs Homan McEwen vs Laycock
7:30 PM Epping vs Gushue McEwen vs Bottcher Thomas vs Carruthers
Saturday, March 19      
9:00 AM   Tiebreakers (if necessary)  
1:00 PM   Quarterfinals  
7:30 PM   Semifinals  
Sunday, March 20      
1:00 PM   Final

Note: Schedule subject to change. All times listed as Pacific Time (PT).

8th End: TV Schedule

Can’t make it to Victoria? Sportsnet will have you covered. Want to watch the Elite 10 online? This one’s on the house as our streaming package is free for the Elite 10, click here to watch.

Date Draw ET PT Channel
Thursday, March 17        
  Round Robin 2:30 PM 11:30 AM Sportsnet
  Round Robin 7:00 PM 4:00 PM Sportsnet East, West & Pacific
  Round Robin 10:30 PM 7:30 PM Sportsnet
Friday, March 18        
  Round Robin 2:30 PM 11:30 AM Sportsnet ONE
  Round Robin 6:00 PM 3:00 PM Sportsnet
  Round Robin 10:30 PM 7:30 PM Sportsnet East & Ontario
joined in progress West & Pacific
Saturday, March 19        
  Quarterfinals 4:00 PM 1:00 PM Sportsnet
  Semifinals 10:30 PM 7:30 PM Sportsnet
Sunday, March 20        
  Final 4:00 PM 1:00 PM Sportsnet

Note: TV schedule subject to change.

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