There's exciting, high calibre men's curling in Cochrane this weekend as the Spray Lake Family Sports Centre is hosting the 2021-22 Men’s Provincial Qualifier. The event runs December 3-5 and it paves the road to Canada’s top championship, the Brier. Morgan Muise, Bookings/Programs Supervisor for SLS Family Sports Centre says, “It’s definitely a big deal, we’ve hosted curling Alberta events in the past and they’ve been a mixed provincial qualifier which leads to a national but there’s definitely that prestige around the Brier.”

Draws are Friday, December 3, and Saturday, December 4  at 10 a.m., 2:30 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. Sunday's draw happens at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. 

Muise says, “This one, being a competitive event to qualify for provincials is a big deal for us to show lots of different curlers how awesome our facility is. It’s a good opportunity for us to show off.”

Muise says SLS Family Sports Centre tries to host at least one Curling Alberta event per year and last year they were slated to host the Junior Provincial Championships but unfortunately, the season was cut short in November due to the pandemic. So, being able to have the men’s qualifying playoffs is a great way to re-start. Plus, Cochrane is slated to host the Junior’s again in 2022 so this weekend’s event will be a good way to get ready for that.

As for the Men’s qualifier this weekend, some of the top curling names such as Koe and Bottcher will probably get an automatic spot in the provincial championships but there will be some exciting and entertaining play provided by all the teams in this qualifier.  Muise says, “Alberta’s one of the toughest provinces to get out of and the depths in the men’s field is quite deep. So, there’ lots of teams that are that next level that it will be very exciting to watch. 

So, if you are looking for something to do this weekend head on down to the SLS Family Sports Centre and enjoy some live curling action. The viewing area will be open upstairs and there will be no admission fee for the event, the lounge will be open. Muise says, “We hope that everyone will want to come down and watch some of the action.” SLS Family Sports Centre is participating in the Restrictions Exemption Program so you will have to show your QR code at the main entrance but once inside, you can head upstairs, kick back and enjoy the action.

An additional curling note, Muise herself, is a competitive curler in her own right, and her women’s team, just celebrated the third-year anniversary of their Canadian Club Curling Championship in New Brunswick back in 2018. Her rink is gearing up for their cycle of playdowns and is hoping to qualify in March to play the provincials in April. Muise will also be playing fifth on Maryanne Arsenault’s BC team this year. Muise will be joining them in Kamloops for the provincials, and Scottie’s qualifier and is hopeful she will be tagging along to Thunder Bay for the Scotties. Fingers crossed.