Ready to rock
Tankard begins today at Charlottetown Curling Complex
Skip Adam Casey said he’s not feeling any extra pressure as the defending champs heading into today’s first day of play at the P.E.I. Tankard men’s curling championship.
“Provincials is kind of something you gear your season towards and try and make sure you peak at the right time,” he said Thursday night. “I’m certainly not feeling any different this year than I was last year.”
Play begins today at 2 p.m. in the six-team, modified tripleknockout competition at the Charlottetown Curling Complex.
The winner will represent Prince Edward Island at the Tim Hortons Brier from March 5 to 13 in Ottawa.
Casey’s rink from the Silver Fox and Charlottetown clubs includes third David Mathers, who is new to the team this season, second Anson Carmody and lead Robert Doherty.
Casey and Jamie Newson’s rink from the host club have byes into tonight’s 7 p.m. draw.
“He’s definitely the favourite, but I don’t think it’s a wide gap right now,” Newson said of the Casey rink.
Newson has finished second the past two seasons. He’s back this season with a new team that includes third John Likely, second Mark O’Rourke and lead Mark Butler.
He said it is the most experienced team he’s ever skipped with a lot of Brier experience.
“It’s been great,” Newson said. “They bring a lot of knowledge to the game. . . They’ve been through pretty much every situation, so that helps.”
The field also includes teams skipped by Eddie MacKenzie, who won the event in 2011, 2013 and 2014, past champion Robert Campbell, Tyler Harris and Tyler Smith.
Newson pointed out all the teams except the Smith rink, which competed in junior this season, have players who have won the Island title in the past.
Casey said his team is looking forward to starting the quest to repeat after a couple of weeks away from the competitive curling circuit.
“I’ve been looking forward to it the past few weeks and obviously excited to get it started,” said the 26-year-old Winsloe resident and Seven Mile Bay native.