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3 local teams ready to rock curling provincials

By Steven Leong on January 29, 2024

With curling season nearing the end, there’s a major event just west of our city in Hinton, Alta., with three Edmonton-based teams hoping to rock the competition and take home gold. The 2024 Alberta Boston Pizza Cup hosts the 12 best men’s curling teams from across the province, with the winner representing Alberta at the 2024 Brier. Out of the 12 teams, three of them curl from here in Edmonton. Here’s each team’s season coming into provincials and why they can make a serious run.

Team Jacques

Team Jacques after qualifying for Men’s Provincials // Facebook: Team Jacques

The team representing the Saville Community Sports Centre will be curling in their fourth provincial championship. They, however, have had quite the roller coaster season. They started by winning only one game in their opening spiel. The team followed that up with a three-win weekend in Okotoks, coming just short of the playoffs. Just two weeks after that, in Airdrie, they were semi-finalists, losing to the eventual winners of the event. After having a bad weekend, only winning one game, they picked it right back up, winning the next event. With tons of momentum, they qualified for provincials with a perfect 3-0 record. This team is rolling with confidence going into provincials and can make a far run.

Team Libbus

Team Libbus posing at the Saville Community Sports Centre // Facebook: Team Libbus / Susanne Pawliuk Photography

Representing the Ellerslie Curling Club, team Libbus has turned many heads this year, being one of the youngest teams in the field. The team will use their previous experience, as Jacob Libbus and Nathan Molberg have been to two junior nationals each. Their season opened at the Saville Community Sports Centre, winning only one of their five games. The following weekend in Okotoks, they went 2-3, just missing out on playoffs. They followed that up with a 1-2 performance back at the Saville Centre. The team knew they had to improve, and their results showed. After a mini break, they returned as semi-finalists at another Saville event. They used that performance and ended up qualifying for men’s provincials with a 4-1 record. Libbus and his team are peaking at the right time, and they’re a team not to take lightly.

Team Tao

Team Tao posing in their University of Alberta Golden Bears gear // Facebook: Team Tao

Also curling out of the Saville Community Sports Centre, Johnson Tao and his team have had quite the season up to this point. As champions of last season’s Junior nationals, the team is holding themselves to high standards, and they’re not disappointing. In their opening spiel, the team barely missed out on playoffs with a 2-3 record but rebounded nicely with a semi-final appearance the next weekend. With a quarter-final finish a few weeks later, the team pre-qualified for men’s provincials because of their performance from last season and this season. The team travelled to Lohja, Finland and represented Canada at the World Junior Curling Championships due to the team winning junior nationals last season. Tao and his team defeated the United States in the gold medal game to capture the title. After the Christmas break, the team went a perfect 5-0 to win the Canada West Championships, furthering their status as one of the best teams in the province. This team is firing on all cylinders and will be one of the favourites to win it all.

The event runs from Feb. 7-11, with all teams competing in a triple-knockout format. From that, the top four teams will make the playoffs. The winner of men’s provincials will represent Alberta at nationals in Regina, Sask. from March 1 to 10. You can watch all the action online through Curling Alberta’s YouTube page.



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