Traditional mixed doubles partners, John Epping and Lisa Weagle were doubed up 8-4 by Switzerland's Melanie Barbezat and Peter de Cruz. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Traditional mixed doubles partners, John Epping and Lisa Weagle were doubled up 8-4 by Switzerland’s Melanie Barbezat and Peter de Cruz. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.

(LONDON, ON) – It was just like any other bonspiel in hundreds of communities across Canada; curlers, rocks, sweeping, yells of, “hurry hard!” The difference at the 2020 Continental Cup in London was the presence of the top international curling talent from Canada, Switzerland, Sweden, and Scotland, the TV cameras, and the stands full of spectators. Oh, and the $80,000 total prize purse on the line.

The feature competition of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions was hosted at Western Fair Sports Centre where the likes of Rachel Homan, John Epping, Anna Hasselborg, Bruce Mouat and eight other teams competed in round robin play as well as skins, doubles, and scrambles formats over four days in January. By the end of play Friday evening, Canada, represented by the teams of Homan, Epping, Kevin Koe, Chelsea Carey, Tracy Fleury, and Brendan Bottcher, had dug themselves a collective hole to the Europeans after two days of competition.

After winning the 2013 World Championship and the 2014 Olympic bronze medal, Even Muirhead, of Stirling, Scotland, knows a thing or two about curling. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
After winning the 2013 World Championship and the 2014 Olympic bronze medal, Eve Muirhead, of Stirling, Scotland, knows a thing or two about curling. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.

In three draws on Thursday Canada couldn’t muster more than 2 points to the Europeans’ 7. The results from Friday were even worse as the Canadians slid into a 13-5 deficit. Saturday morning, Epping and Koe each tied their counterparts Benoit Schwarz and Niklas Edin while Mouat defeated Bottcher.

In the afternoon, the visitors continued to pile on as they picked up 2.5 points to Canada’s 1/2 in mixed doubles match-ups. Heading into mixed scramble Saturday evening, Canada was trailing 17.5 to 6.5 with just nine events remaining on the schedule.

BJ Neufeld sweeps as Selena Njegovan shouts encouragement. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
BJ Neufeld sweeps as Selena Njegovan shouts encouragement. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.

Sunday’s scheduled play begins with a 2pm draw featuring Epping vs Mouat, BJ Neufeld / Selena Njegovan / Ben Hebert / Liz Fyfe vs Edin / Sara McManus / Rasmus Wranå / Agnes Knochenhauer, and Carey vs Silvana Tirinzoni. The 7pm draw will consist of Bottcher vs Peter de Cruz, Koe / Fleury / Colton Flasch / Kristin MacCuish vs Oskar Eriksson / Hasselborg / Christoffer Sundgren / Sofia Mabergs, and Homan vs Eve Muirhead.

Future events on the Season of Champions calendar include the Canadian Juniors in Langely, BC, next week, the Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, SK, beginning 15 February, the Briar February 29, and the Women’s World Curling Championship on March 14 in Prince George, BC.

Pistol Pete, Switzerland's Peter de Cruz is all concentration during mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Pistol Pete, Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz is all concentration during mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
The reigning Olympic gold medalist Agnes Knochenhauer discusses strategy with Swedish national team second, Rasmus Wranå. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
The reigning Olympic gold medalist Agnes Knochenhauer discusses strategy with Swedish national team second, Rasmus Wranå. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
The 2017 world champion, Rachel Homan, deftly delivers her rock during mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
The 2017 world champion, Rachel Homan, deftly delivers her rock during mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
BJ Neufeld eyes his delivery down rink as he and Selena Njegovan tied Agnes Knochenhauer and Rasmus Wranå 7-7 in mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
BJ Neufeld eyes his delivery down rink as he and Selena Njegovan tied Agnes Knochenhauer and Rasmus Wranå 7-7 in mixed doubles play. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Bobbie Lammie of Scotland teamed with Eve Muirhead in defeating Rachel Homan and Ben Hebert 10-2. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Bobbie Lammie of Scotland teamed with Eve Muirhead in defeating Rachel Homan and Ben Hebert 10-2. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Rachel Homan looks on as Ben Hebert guides his rock down rink. The Canadian pair dropped a 10-2 result to Scotland's Eve Muirhead and Bobbie Lammie. Photos from Curling Canada's 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.
Rachel Homan looks on as Ben Hebert guides her rock down rink. The Canadian pair dropped a 10-2 result to Scotland’s Eve Muirhead and Bobbie Lammie. Photos from Curling Canada’s 2020 Continental Cup as part of the Season of Champions at the Western Fair Sports Centre in London, Ontario, on 11 January 2020. Ian Shalapata.