Friday, 26 January 2018

#STOH2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Pressure In Penticton
The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts hits the ice in B.C.

It's that time curling fans.  We have seen grand slam wins.  We have watched Olympic trials high's and low's.  We have cheered on our favourite teams throughout grueling provincial playdowns.  The time has finally arrived where the hard work, sweat and tears will pay off....The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts are upon us.

The pressure will be high in Penticton for a number of reasons.  Obviously the sole survivor will go on to represent Canada at the upcoming world championships and earn their return ticket next year as #TeamCanada at the Scotties but the entire event will be feeling some pressure as well.

This year's Scotties features a format change.  We welcome a new team.  Change can be welcomes with open arms or discarded before the first rock is thrown.  Everyone seems to have an opinion on this event and all eyes will be watching to see how it plays out on the ice....perhaps with an increased sense of either enthusiasm or criticism.

With all the changes and increased debate surrounding the lead-up to the 2018 Scotties, you know #TwineTime could not hit the ice solo for this preview blog post.  I had to go out and find an experienced player who has been to a Scotties.  Who has experienced pre-qualification.  We have participated in the new pool play format.  Join me in welcoming the newest member of the #TwineTime family: Cathlia Ward!

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

#PowerRankings W24

#BetweenTheSheets:  Hopp Schwiiz Rules The House
Switzerland teams collect tour wins all over the globe this week

As January 2018 becomes nothing more than a failed lead stone that sailed through the house, the curling world is getting ready for the big events of the 2017/18 season.  The 2018 Winter Olympics are right around the corner.  The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts hits the ice this upcoming weekend.  Provincial tankard events are about to get under way as well and the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier field will soon be finalized.  Sooooooo much curling!!

But ask yourself this, which nation did you think would enter February 2018 looking like the strongest curling nation on the planet?  Most of you would probably say Canada right?  A few would say Sweden.  Both would be great guesses.

How many of you expected Switzerland?  #HoppSchwiiz certainly made a claim to cover the pin with their results on the ice this weekend.

Sunday, 21 January 2018

2018 Winter Olympics 50/50 Pool

#BetweenTheSheets: Can YOU Win Olympic Gold?
Enter the #TwineTime 50/50 pool and try to navigate the Olympic draw

The countdown is on rock heads and stones.  We are inching closer and closer to the pinnacle of sport: The Olympic Games!  The 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea are literally right around the corner now.  With the games set to kick-off with the Opening Ceremonies on February 9, the close to the opening month of the year means the high drama and intensity of Olympic coverage is set to take over the eyes of the world.

As a fan, ask yourself the following questions:
  • Do you like watching curling?
  • Do you like raising money for a good cause?
  • Do you like winning money?
If you answered yes to at least one (hopefully all) of the questions above, read on dear friend.  #TwineTime has a deal for you!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018


#BetweenTheSheets: Bracketology is Back!
Curling's best dreaming of Red Rings, Red Rings, Red Rings

It's Bracket Busting Time Baby!  And if the brackets are out and we are talking about curling it can only mean one thing.  Welcome to the first Grand Slam of Curling event of the calendar year: The Meridian Canadian Open!

Ok I know, the idea of "bracketology" is not the same with curling as it is with the #MarchMadness NCAA basketball tournament.  And yes, I realize most tour events throughout the year employ a similar triple knockout bracket structure.  To that I say....stop killing my buzz and lets just enjoy the one slam event with a completely different format (ie: no pool play/round robin/tie breaker drama) alright?

We can do some seed projection, which can be interesting since technically there are no "seeds" and a speculated #1 might be facing a speculated #2 or #3 in the opening round.  But that can be fun as well!  We can discuss quadrant favourites.  We can identify #BracketBusters.  What's not to love here?

Sunday, 14 January 2018

AusOpen Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi
The first grand slam of the tennis season kicks off in Melbourne

Memories of one-year ago are overflowing through me this week as the Australian Open kicks off in Melbourne.  Last year at this time I was Down Under soaking in the sun (a little too much perhaps) and checking off a huge sporting bucket list item, attending the Australian Open!

For those who are sports fans, not just tennis fans, I would highly recommend making the trip and checking out the #AusOpen.  The cost of tickets is VERY affordable.  The weather is PERFECT!  The tennis action is OUTSTANDING!  My first night I was watching #GOAT Roger Federer take on a personal fav of mine, Austrian Jurgen Melzer in R1 action en route to claiming another slam title.

The big questions heading into 2018 are whether Mr. Federer can collect grand slam title #20 and what to make of a WIDE open women's draw with the absence of Serena Williams?

Saturday, 13 January 2018

CJCC2018 Preview

#BetweenTheSheets: Junior Showdown in Shawinigan
The Canadian Junior Curling Championships hit the ice in La belle province

The season of champions continues in Shawinigan, Quebec when the 2018 New Holland Canadian Junior Curling Championship gets underway this weekend.  With the Olympic trials in the past and other big events like the European Curling Championships and Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in the rear view mirror, it is time for the Canadian junior teams to take centre stage.

The junior championships are the epitome of the #growthesport movement.  The opportunity to compete at a national championship can be the springboard towards future success in the sport, just ask past Canadian champs Kevin Martin, Brad Gushue, Jennifer Jones, Rachel Homan, John Morris, Kaitlyn Lawes and many others.

Will we see a future men's and/or women's Canadian, World and/or Olympic champion hit the ice at the 2018 Canadian Junior Curling Championship?  Time will tell....but the field is stacked with talent and experience.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

STOH2018 Playdowns Part II

#BetweenTheSheets: Playing for Penticton
Who will punch their ticket to B.C. for the Scotties?

Oh how I love January.  Sure the weather turns frightfully cold but all it does is provide incentive to stay indoors and watch more curling!  With the Scotties and Brier playdowns in the calendar and more and more member associations finally streaming playdown games and playoffs, the options are plentiful for the curling fan who doesn't want to miss any of the action.

The top women's teams in Canada are now "Playing for Penticton" and trying to win a provincial/territorial championship to earn their spot at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.  We began to fill in the blank spaces Sunday evening and we will fill out the rest of the bingo card at the end of the upcoming weekend.

Get ready folks.....this is going to be an action-packed weekend of curling action coming from the ice house to your house.

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

CMDT2018 & STOH2018 Playdowns

#BetweenTheSheets: Packing Playdown Pressure 
Olympic aspirations, Scotties hopes and Brier dreams on the line

Pressure pushing down on me
Pressure down on you no man ask for
Under pressure that brings a building down
Splits a family in two
Puts people on streets

Here we go!  The pressure has been mounting for weeks.  For months.  For years.  The time has come to step up, prep the brooms, shine up the slider and either earn a crowning achievement or suffer a sports moment disappointment.

We are barely fresh into 2018 and all ready the curling season continues with the high pressure events on the calendar.  The final stop on the #Roadto2018 will reach its destination when the Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Trials hit the ice in Portage.  With the Olympic men's and women's team fields being finalized, the final Olympic ticket to be punched is Team Canada's entry in the mixed doubles discipline.  The final Olympic dreams will come to an end for 34 athletes while 2 will be the final curling athletes to don the #TeamCanada jackets.

But championship dreams are not just hinged on Olympic aspirations this week either.  The 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts and 2018 Tim Hortons Brier field will start to be filled in by the end of the weekend.  6 provincial/territorial Scotties berths are on the line in addition to 1 provincial Brier spot up for grabs.

We have A LOT of curling to discuss this week curling fans....

<Ed. Note: The NWT Scotties section has been updated>