Top talent coming to capital

JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:15 AM ET

OTTAWA - Curling fans will have their pick of events to check out this weekend.

Besides the first televised games, live curling takes the form of the Royal Lepage OVCA Women's Fall Classic in Kemptville, the JSI OVCA Junior Superspiel at various facilities in Ottawa and the MCR Signs Rocking the Rideau Cashspiel.

Sherry Middaugh leads the 24-team field playing in Kemptville for a purse of $15,000 in a triple-knockout format. Middaugh, like another participating skip and past event winner, Jenn Hanna, is on a three-cashspiel win streak. Middaugh has earned $17,200 this year.

Besides Hanna, those wishing to halt the Victoria Harbour skip's string of victories are Mary-Anne Arsenault of Halifax and two Swiss teams, including the 2011 Swiss junior champion Manuela Siegrist.

The 2007 Canadian junior titleholder, Newfoundland's Stacie Devereaux, is also competing.

The curling begins Thursday at 1 p.m. and continues until the final Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Look for a Hanna-Middaugh final.

The juniors, meanwhile, will compete at a number of clubs beginning Friday. There will be oodles of talent on display from Canada, Switzerland, Scotland and the U.S. There is even a mixed team playing on the men's side.

Canada's men's rink will be participating in the first winter youth Olympics this January in Austria. The U.S. men's team skipped by Stephen Dropkin from Boston is the big threat on the men's side. His rink leads the Ontario Junior Curling Tour.

On the women's side, Switzerland's Melanie Barbezat has worlds experience, but she'll face some tough competition. Three squads with local flavour skipped by Lynn Kreviazuk, Lauren Horton and Melissa Gannon are all threats to win.

Look for a Dropkin-Colin Thomas (of Newfoundland) men's final and a Kreviazuk-Barbezat women's final. The finals take place at the Granite club on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Go to ovca.com and follow the links for the draws of the junior and women's 'spiels.

The MCR Signs event at the Rideau is a men's cashspiel with local competitive teams featuring a triple-knockout format. The field is led by Bryan Cochrane and Chris Gardner. Ontario mixed champion Mark Homan is also competing to get warmed up for the upcoming mixed nationals that begin Nov. 12 in Sudbury.

The first televised curling of the season is also this weekend. CBC will air the Saturday quarter-finals of the Capital One Grand Slam of Curling -- the GP Car and Home World Cup of Curling at noon. The semi-finals air that night on CBC Bold at 7 p.m., while the Sunday final is on the full network at 1 p.m. This is the first of the Grand Slams and features Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard, Kevin Koe and Mike McEwen.

WINNER'S CIRCLE

Lauren Mann's rink won the Mount Lawn Gord Carroll Classic last weekend in Whitby. The team, which also includes Patricia Hill, Amber Moulton and Jessica Barcauskas, won $2,600 by defeating Waterloo's Lauran Crocker 7-4. Another Ottawa team qualified on the men's side. Greg Richardson won $1,500.

END NOTES

The men at the RCMP Club are sporting moustaches to support Movember, the prostate cancer fundraiser. They can now win or lose their November games by a whisker.


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