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Team Carruthers adds Schneider at third after departure of Jacobs

Reid Carruthers Reid Carruthers - The Canadian Press

Reid Carruthers has returned to the skip position for his four-man team and added Catlin Schneider to the lineup to fill a vacancy caused by the departure of Brad Jacobs.

Carruthers started last season as fourth for the Winnipeg-based team but later switched positions with Jacobs, who threw third stones. Jacobs left the squad after the season-ending Grand Slam to skip Brendan Bottcher's previous rink.

Schneider, meanwhile, recently became a free agent when his British Columbia-based team announced it was parting ways.

"Fitting our portfolio of what we do and how we approach the game, he fits the bill perfectly," Carruthers said Friday from Winnipeg. "I'm excited about the opportunity to play for a couple more years and put everything I have into it."

Carruthers was sixth in Canada and 11th in the world in the season-ending rankings. The foursome also includes second Derek Samagalski and lead Connor Njegovan.

The 39-year-old skip said he had some calls from different players and was looking at options over the last week or two. Carruthers added that sticking with his teammates was his "No. 1 choice from the beginning."

"We've 100 per cent committed to each other to use the experience of Brad leaving as kind of like — not a wake-up call — but a kick in the pants to put that extra effort in and work harder, stay united as a group, use it almost like a motivating factor," he said.

"We got to that point and we were lucky that Catlin was a free agent."

Schneider has previously played on teams skipped by Matt Dunstone, John Morris and Colton Flasch. He skipped B.C. to a 4-4 record at the Montana's Brier last March and won bronze at the 2020 playdowns with Dunstone.

"For us, Catlin fits the bill exceptionally well as far as having a guy come in and play third and be comfortable in that spot," Carruthers said. "It's something that he was really excited about and I had some really good one-on-one honest conversations with him about what I thought and what he thought. We just really synced up."

Carruthers, 39, won a Brier and a world title in 2011 as a second for a team skipped by Jeff Stoughton. He later went on to skip his own team and also played third for Mike McEwen.

Carruthers won the PointsBet Invitational last fall and topped Braden Calvert to win the Manitoba playdowns. The team finished the campaign with a 43-28 record.

"For me, I'm looking at it like this as likely — not binding here — but likely my last couple of years playing competitively," Carruthers said. "I may or may not play the next quad.

"If I am going to do it, (I want) to play with guys that I really enjoy not only competing with but the time off the ice with (them) is (also) very important."

Carruthers has also served as coach of Team Kerri Einarson, which had its streak of four straight national titles end last winter. Carruthers plans to work with them again but they have yet to begin talks given the recent changes with his team.

The Canadian Curling Trials to determine Canada's representatives for the 2026 Milan Olympics will be held in November 2025 at Halifax. The Canadian Pre-Trials, which will round out the fields at the Trials, are set for October 2025 in Wolfville, N.S.

The mixed doubles trials have been moved up in the calendar for this quadrennial. That event is set for Dec. 30-Jan. 4 in Liverpool, N.S.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.

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