Bottcher, Dunstone join Gushue as pre-qualified teams for 2024 Brier
Calgary's Team Brendan Bottcher and Winnipeg's Team Matt Dunstone are joining the defending champions in Team Brad Gushue of St. John's, Nfld., as the pre-qualified rinks for the 2024 Brier, Curling Canada announced on Tuesday.
Curling Canada announced changes to its qualification process for the national championships as well as Olympics Trials at the end of this past season, including the addition of pre-qualified teams to the Scotties and Brier.
For the 2024 Brier, taking place at the Brandt Centre in Regina from March 1-10, the two highest unqualified teams on the 2022-23 Canadian Team Ranking System earned automatic spots.
Bottcher and his new team of third Marc Kennedy, second Brett Gallant and lead Ben Hebert finished second on the CTRS after a strong debut season, highlighted by a 50-18 record and three event wins on Tour.
Dunstone, third B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Lott and lead Ryan Harnden were also in their first year together in 2022-23 and earned the third spot on the CTRS after winning Manitoba playdowns and making the Brier final where they fell to Team Gushue. They finished with a 69-22 record.
Team Gushue, featuring third Mark Nichols, new second E.J. Harnden and lead Geoff Walker, are ranked first on the CTRS after capturing their fifth Brier Tankard since 2017. They will represent Team Canada the Brier in Regina.
A fourth pre-qualified team will be determined via the top spot on the 2023-24 CTRS among non-qualified teams at the conclusion of the provincial and territorial playdowns.
Thanks to their pre-qualified status, Team Bottcher and Team Dunstone will not compete in next season's provincial playdowns.