If you are an opportunist, the grand slam of curling #ChampionsCup men's final is perfect for you! We have a battle on the ice of two teams looking to finally escape from under the radar on tour and soar to the top of mountain. Both Team Epping and Team Carruthers have been pushing the more notable, top ranked teams in the world for two seasons now but 2015/16 is the breakout for both. Sure Carruthers won the Manitoba provincials last year. And yes, I realize Epping did break through the glass ceiling earlier this season with a slam victory but this is a chance to truly elevate either team into the next stratosphere of curling contenders.
Throughout the event in Strathcona County, the talk in the stands (and among most media to be honest) has been tossing around names like Gushue, Koe, McEwen, Edin, Murdoch during championship prediction debate. #TwineTime is equally as guilty of this, having predicted a Gushue over Murdoch final. Where are all those teams right now? Either drinking in the social house or on a flight back home. While the debate among fans has been focused on other teams, quietly Team Epping and Team Carruthers have been going about their business, winning games and navigating the tough field to find themselves playing on May 1. Side note #curling fans.....can you believe we are watching and talking about curling in May? Wow!! #growthesport
Let's go to a Tale of the Tape comparison to preview the men's final:
Team Epping Team Carruthers
3-1 RR, def. Simmons (QF) Road to the Final 3-1 RR, def. Koe (QF), Gushue (SF) McEwen (SF)
Winner (Canadian Open) Best #gsoc Season Result Runner Up (National, Elite 10)
As we see above, Epping is having a career year in claiming their first ever grand slam title. Carruthers has been close as well, losing two grand slam finals this season. Now, to be fair, skipper Reid Carruthers does have a grand slam title under his belt (National, 2013) back when he curled with Jeff Stoughton. But he is yet to captain the ship towards the elusive title. The question now is whether Team Epping can add to the career season or whether Team Carruthers can finally kick the grand slam final monkey off their backs? Here is the #TwineTime preview: