News Canadian Open

Eight Ends: 2023 Co-op Canadian Open preview

CAMROSE, Alta. — Happy New Year, curling fans! The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling kicks off 2023 with the Co-op Canadian Open running Tuesday to Sunday at Encana Arena.

The fourth event of the GSOC season features a stellar field with 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the globe competing for a combined $300,000 prize purse.

Broadcast coverage begins Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on Sportsnet, SN NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Here’s a rundown in Eight Ends of things you need to know before Tuesday’s opening draw.

Quick Links: Tickets | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

First End: The Co-op Canadian Open plays a significant part in the history of the series as it’s the one that kicked off the Grand Slam era in December 2001. Wayne Middaugh captured the inaugural title after defeating Jeff Stoughton in the final. Kevin Martin has won the tournament the most with five titles.

Originally a men’s invitational, a women’s division was added in 2014 with Eve Muirhead taking the first title. Brad Jacobs and Anna Hasselborg, who were victorious the last time the tournament was held in 2020, are the reigning champions.

Second End: The triple knockout preliminary round makes the Co-op Canadian Open unique among the six Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events. Although it may look confusing at first glance, there’s one simple rule to remember: win three games before you lose three games in order to qualify for the playoffs.

There are three brackets titled A, B and C. All teams begin in the A event with the winners staying in A and the losers dropping to B. Once in B, the winners continue along these paths while the losers drop to C. The C side is where teams must win all of their remaining games as another loss sends them packing. Two A teams (3-0 records), three B teams (3-1 records) and three C teams (3-2 records) advance to the quarterfinals in both men’s and women’s divisions.

Third End: What makes triple knockout preferable over round-robin pool play? Teams have more control over their destinies through the triple knockout as they don’t have to worry about tiebreaker draws or where they rank in draw-to-the-button shootout scores in order to sneak into the playoffs.

Also, the way the 16-team triple knockout is set up means every game features teams with identical records in the tournament and every match counts. You don’t have any games featuring teams who have already been eliminated and are just playing to avoid going home winless. As long as teams are playing, they’re still in contention to win it all.

Fourth End: What’s at stake? The championship-winning teams earn $33,000 plus invitations to the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup taking place May 2-7 in Regina.

Although that “may” seem far away (pun intended), it’s crunch time to qualify with only a handful of spots left to be determined. Teams must win a high-profile tournament in order to get in. Notable skips whose teams are still on the outside looking in: John Epping, Colton Flasch and Kevin Koe in the men’s division plus Kaitlyn Lawes, Tabitha Peterson and Casey Scheidegger on the women’s side.

Fifth End: Teams competing in the Co-op Canadian Open also earn bonus points for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the top men’s and women’s teams following the conclusion of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April.

Again, although that’s a few months away, the Princess Auto Players’ Championship is also the next event on the schedule and we’ll start to see some more separation in the standings here this week. Niklas Edin leads the Pinty’s Cup standings in the men’s division with 26 points although Brad Gushue (24) is only two points back. Kerri Einarson tops the women’s division with 30 points and a four-point advantage over Rachel Homan.

Sixth End: Here are some storylines to follow in the men’s division. Joël Retornaz made history during last month’s WFG Masters with his team becoming the first Italian club to capture a title in the series. What’s in store for the encore?

Masters finalist Bruce Mouat is a Co-op Canadian Open title away from completing a career Grand Slam as it’s the only one of the four majors missing from the Scottish skip’s resume.

Despite needing to win a tiebreaker in the WFG Masters, Brad Gushue extended his team’s playoff streak to an impressive 22 consecutive GSOC tournaments. The last time the crew from St. John’s, N.L., didn’t qualify? Right here in Camrose at the 2018 Canadian Open. Surely just a coincidence.

Gushue eliminated Matt Dunstone in the tiebreaker round. Dunstone had been on a roll, currently No. 2 on the year-to-date world rankings, and it’ll be intriguing to see how his Winnipeg club responds here.

Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers has mutually parted ways with third Jason Gunnlaugson. Filling in at third for the Co-op Canadian Open (plus the remaining GSOC tournaments) will be the defending champion himself: Jacobs. How will the Carruthers-Jacobs back-end pairing fare?

Seventh End: Here are some storylines to follow in the women’s division. Kerri Einarson’s team has reached the final in five consecutive GSOC tournaments stretching back to the Princess Auto Players’ Championship last season. Can the Gimli, Man., club make it six straight?

Team Einarson is coming off a championship victory at the WFG Masters. Like Mouat, Einarson is a Co-op Canadian Open title away from claiming the career Grand Slam. Also in that category is Jennifer Jones, whose new team has qualified for the playoffs in two of the three previous GSOC events this season. Jones was a finalist in the Canadian Open in 2015.

Team Homan is the only women’s club that has won the Canadian Open more than once with title victories in 2015 and 2019. After Homan defeated Einarson in the HearingLife Tour Challenge final in October and lost the rematch at the WFG Masters, could we see a rubber match?

Three-time reigning world champion Silvana Tirinzoni and her Swiss side went 0-4 through the WFG Masters and should bounce back here.

Scheidegger won the Canadian Open in 2017 during her GSOC top-tier debut and three teams in the women’s division aim to repeat that feat this time. Italy’s Team Constantini, Team Ackland from Winnipeg and Team Ladouceur of Waterloo, Ont., are all set to compete in their first GSOC tournament.

Eighth End: Single draw tickets plus daily, weekend and full-event passes are available at the box office and online at

Can’t make it to Camrose? Sportsnet will be your destination with the broadcast schedule listed below.

DateTime (ET)Time (PT)DrawChannelOnline
Jan. 12
2 p.m.11 a.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
6 p.m.3 p.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnet East
& Ontario
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
10 p.m.7 p.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnet East,
Ontario, Pacific
& Sportsnet 360
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
Jan. 13
2:30 p.m.11:30 a.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
6:30 p.m.3:30 p.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnet ONESportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
10:30 p.m.7:30 p.m.Triple KnockoutSportsnet East,
Ontario, Pacific
& Sportsnet ONE
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
Jan. 14
2 p.m.11 a.m.Men’s
Sportsnet ONESportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
6 p.m.3 p.m.Women’s
Sportsnet 360Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
10 p.m.7 p.m.Men’s & Women’s
Sportsnet 360Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
Jan. 15
1 p.m.10 a.m.Men’s FinalSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)
5 p.m.2 p.m.Women’s FinalSportsnet East,
Ontario, West
& Sportsnet 360
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (international)

Note: Broadcast schedule subject to change, please visit for any updates.