News Champions Cup

KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup preview: What you need to know for season finale

REGINA — It’s a grand finale to the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season as the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup wraps up the 2022-23 campaign starting Tuesday at the Co-operators Centre.

The KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup features 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams who have won titles on tour in order to receive their invitations.

Both divisions are divided into two groups of six teams for pool play. The best six teams overall qualify for the quarterfinals with the top two earning byes to the semifinals.

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

Here’s a rundown of things you need to know before the action gets underway.

Quick Links: Tickets | Scores and Standings | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

What’s at stake?

Although last month’s Princess Auto Players’ Championship is the crown jewel event and the Pinty’s Cup has already been awarded to the season champions, there’s still a lot on the line here in the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup.

Teams will be competing for a $210,000 CAD total purse, split equally between the men’s and women’s divisions. The winning teams each bank $25,000.

Plus, as the final Grand Slam of the season, teams will like to go out on a high note and/or add a juicy cherry on top to a fine year.

A brief history of the Champions Cup

With apologies to Stephen Hawking, this will actually be brief as the event is the youngest of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events.

The Champions Cup was first held in 2016 with Reid Carruthers claiming the inaugural men’s title in an ultra-rare second extra end. After Carruthers accidentally blanked the first round of OT against Team Epping, the Winnipeg skip had to draw for the winning point in the second extra end and his shooter hit the brakes right in time.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Jones edged Rachel Homan in another classic for the women’s title to make it a double win for Winnipeg clubs.

Homan got her revenge the following season winning the first of a record three Champions Cup titles. Oddly enough, all three of Homan’s victories have come in the same venue: WinSport Arena in Calgary.

Brad Gushue is the only repeat winner on the men’s side with his title victory in 2018 making history as he became the first to win all six different events in the series. All your Slams are belong to us, indeed.

Gushue is also the defending champion on the men’s side with Kerri Einarson as the reigning champ for the women’s division.

Men’s Division preview

World champion Bruce Mouat from Scotland will look to bounce back after going 0-5 through the Princess Auto Players’ Championship. It was actually the first time Mouat had gone winless in a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event. While his teammates may have been able to finally rest up since winning gold, Mouat himself has still been a busy lad competing in the world mixed doubles championship in South Korea and reaching the qualification stage.

“Home for a Rest” was probably also the tune spinning in the heads of Gushue, Italy’s Joël Retornaz and Sweden’s Niklas Edin as their teams had also competed in the Princess Auto Players’ Championship straight after the men’s worlds. All three maintained momentum while fighting through fatigue and qualified for the playoffs with Gushue and Retornaz even earning the byes to the semifinals.

The Champions Cup tends to offer an opportunity for teams from outside of the top group of rankings to make their Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling debut and say hello to Team Ferris from Grimsby, Ont., and Regina’s own Team Knapp. Pat Ferris was victorious at the Stu Sells Nissan Brantford Classic while Kelly Knapp took the Saskatchewan Curling Tour’s Players Championship to earn invitations as they were several repeat winners on the qualification list of top events.

Pool APool B
Team CarruthersTeam Bottcher
Team DunstoneTeam Dropkin
Team FerrisTeam Edin
Team GushueTeam Knapp
Team RetornazTeam Mouat
Team WhyteTeam Shuster
Women’s Division preview

Dawn McEwen is coming out of retirement to help spare for Team Einarson. McEwen, who bid farewell following last year’s Champions Cup, will fill in this week for lead Briane Harris, who is away on maternity leave.

Considered one of the greatest leads of all time, McEwen won an Olympic gold medal, two world championships and eight Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles with Team Jones. McEwen hasn’t been out of the game entirely as she has continued to compete in mixed doubles with her husband, Mike McEwen.

Anna Hasselborg will also be absent this week on maternity leave. Agnes Knochenhauer, who is also expecting a baby, is moving up to skip the Swedish squad with alternate Johanna Heldin subbing at second.

Speaking of Team Jones, the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup marks their final event with second Mackenzie Zacharias, who is planning to take a step back from the sport for next season.

Let’s give a warm welcome to Norway’s Team Rørvik, who will be making their Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling debut. Marianne Rørvik, who won the Sun City Cup to qualify for entry, recently skipped her squad to a silver medal at the world women’s curling championship. Rørvik is slotted in the same group as Team Tirinzoni, meaning we’ll see a finals rematch during pool play Friday.

Pool APool B
Team EinarsonTeam Hasselborg
Team FujisawaTeam Homan
Team GimTeam Jones
Team GrandyTeam Peterson
Team LawesTeam Rørvik
Team LadouceurTeam Tirinzoni
Tickets and TV schedule

Full-event, weekday and weekend passes plus single draw tickets are available for the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. Visit the Co-operators Centre box office or to purchase yours today.

Can’t make it to Regina? Live coverage begins Thursday on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

DateTime (ET)Time (PT)DrawChannelOnline
May 4
2 p.m.11 a.m.Round RobinSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
6 p.m.3 p.m.Round RobinSportsnet 360Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
10 p.m.7 p.m.Round RobinSportsnet One,
Sportsnet 360
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
May 5
2 p.m.11 a.m.Round RobinSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
6 p.m.3 p.m.Round RobinSportsnet WestSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
10 p.m.7 p.m.Round RobinSportsnet OneSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
May 6
2 p.m.11 a.m.Tiebreakers (if nec.)
or Men’s Quarterfinals (if no TB)
SportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
6 p.m.3 p.m.Women’s Quarterfinals (if no TB)
or Men’s and Women’s Quarterfinals (if TB)
Sportsnet 360Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
10 p.m.7 p.m.SemifinalsSportsnet One,
Sportsnet 360
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
May 8
1 p.m.10 a.m.Men’s FinalSportsnetSportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
5 p.m.2 p.m.Women’s FinalSportsnet One,
Sportsnet 360
Sportsnet NOW (Canada)
Yare (International)
Note: Broadcast schedule subject to change. Please visit for the latest.