The long ride is over, and the votes are in.
The Sports Network has just revealed the names of the 16 all-star curling guys who will compete at The Dominion All-Star Curling Skins Game on Jan. 19 and 20 at Casino Rama, just north of Toronto.
Among the usual suspects – such as skips Glenn Howard and Kevin Martin, and thirds John Morris (Martin’s top vote-getter) and Jon Mead (from Team Jeff Stoughton) – there are a couple of welcome surprises.
The Tick Man is in. Ex-Stoughton lead Steve Gould made the cut, finishing third overall at his position. Gould is mostly inactive this season, apart from some mentor duties with the Brad Jacobs foursome.
Now, off you go to the rink for practice rocks, Steve-O.
Gould will be reunited – at the event, at any rate – with his three former teammates, which may (or may not) make for some discomfort. Might he then end up on the same team as one or more of them? See the next-to-last paragraph for how that might happen.
But what about retired third Randy Ferbey? He did NOT make it in, despite ranking among the top thirds some 10 days ago.
Both Gould and Ferbey were on the ballot as per last season’s standing on the Canadian Team Rankings System (CTRS) chart.
Meanwhile, all of Team Kevin Koe (the defending Skins champs) are in, as are the members of Teams Martin and Howard, Stoughton second Reid Carruthers and one member from Team Mike McEwen: third man B.J. Neufeld.
On the outside looking in are some social media wizards who worked hard for over a month to court the public vote: this list includes the remainder of Team McEwen, the members of Teams Jacobs and Brad Gushue… and many more.
So how, you might be asking, will the 16 players be assembled into the four competing teams?
A live draw will be held in Toronto on Jan. 17, bringing the teams together at random – and the affair will be televised on TSN. Show details are sketchy at present, but be sure to check the upcoming January 2013 issue of The Curling News (and the monthly Curling TV/Web Guide) for all the details.
Also… CONTEST ALERT! CONTEST ALERT! Be sure to visit our CONTESTS page for a chance to win VIP treatment for two at the Skins Game, courtesy of Casino Rama and The Curling News! Hurry hard, as the contest closes Dec. 20.
CCA photo of Steve Gould copyright ® by Michael Burns. Click on images to view larger.