Canada Olympic Trials 2014 Curling: Preview for Saturday's Crucial Matchups

Tim KeeneyContributor IDecember 6, 2013

RIGA, LATVIA - MARCH 24:  Rachel Homan (R) of Canada screams instructions to team mates as Ann Swisshelm of USA looks on in the Bronze medal match between USA and Canada on Day 9 of the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women's Curling Championship at the Volvo Sports Centre on March 24, 2013 in Riga, Latvia.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

We are tantalizingly close to knowing who will advance from the Roar of the Rings and represent the powerhouse that is Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics in February. 

On the men's side of the Curling Olympic Trials on Friday, round-robin play came to a conclusion with 28-year-old Brad Jacobs, the youngest skip in qualifying, beating Ontario's John Epping, 7-4, to make trials history as the first team ever to go undefeated (7-0).

But with one more crucial game on the horizon, Jacobs isn't getting caught up in his historic feat. Per the Winnipeg Sun's Paul Friesen, Jacobs said, "I guess if we just made history, yeah, sure. But the only game that matters now is Sunday's game, so that's what we're looking forward to right now."

Team Jacbos now awaits the winner of Saturday's semifinal between Kevin Martin and John Morris to determine who they will face with a spot in Sochi on the line.

Over on the women's side, we will know Canada's representative a day earlier, as Jennifer Jones is set to take on the winner of Rachel Homan and Sherry Middaugh (who play Friday night) in Saturday's final. 

Let's take a closer look at the crucial curling that awaits us. 


Men's Semifinal: Kevin Martin vs. John Morris

VANCOUVER, BC - FEBRUARY 27:  (L-R) Ben Hebert, Marc Kennedy, John Morris, Kevin Martin of Canada look at their gold medals after the Curling Men's Gold medal game on day 16 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at the Vancouver Olympic Centre on February
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Time: 1:30 p.m. CST, 2:30 p.m. ET

The Old Bear is going to have to teach his young cub a lesson for the second day in a row. 

On Friday, Kevin Martin, who won an Olympic gold medal along with John Morris as his third in Vancouver in 2010, edged his former teammate, 7-6, in a thrilling game that went into extras. 

On Saturday, the two will meet once again in a rematch in order to keep their Olympic hopes alive. You just can't make stuff like this up. 

In addition to its win on Friday, Team Martin looked stronger throughout round-robin play, going 6-1 while Team Morris went just 4-3. But all bets will be off in what should be an absolutely scintillating must-win matchup. 


Women's Final: Jennifer Jones vs. Rachel Homan/Sherry Middaugh

RIGA, LATVIA - MARCH 24:  (L-R)  Rachel Homan, Emma Miskew, Alison Kreviazuk and Lisa Weagle of Canada pose with the their medals after winning the bronze medal on Day 9 of the Titlis Glacier Mountain World Women's Curling Championship at the Volvo Sports
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Date: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013

Time: 6:30 p.m. CST, 7:30 p.m. ET

Team Jennifer Jones rolled through round-robin play, going 6-1 and winning its last four games in order to grab the top spot. Jones, a four-time Canadian champion who won gold at the 2008 World Championships in Vernon but has yet to qualify for the Olympics, now waits to see who she will face. 

During round-robin play, the 39-year-old beat Rachel Homan, 7-6, and Sherry Middaugh, 9-7. She also matched up with Homan at this year's Scotties Tournament of Hearts final, losing, 9-6, to the 24-year-old Ontario native. 

Will we get yet another rematch between those two, or will Middaugh crash the party? Either way, it will be a nail-biting final with a spot in the Olympics on the line.