Back-to-back Brier finalists Team Brendan Bottcher picked a good time to capture their first win of the season.
Bottcher, third Darren Moulding, second Bradley Thiessen and lead Karrick Martin outlasted a stacked field to win the Ashley HomeStore Curling Classic from Penticton, BC with the Canada Cup set to get underway Wednesday in Leduc, Alta.
The Edmonton rink lost just once over the four-day event, beating Jason Gunnlaugson in the quarterfinal, Ross Whyte in the semifinal and Mike McEwen in the final, 4-2.
Team Bottcher are now 18-7 on the season as they enter the Season of Champions opener.
Other squad that competed in Penticton as a tuneup for the Canada Cup included Brad Jacobs (lost in quarters), John Epping (lost in quarters), Brad Gushue (lost in a tiebreaker), Matt Dunstone (lost in a tiebreaker) and Kevin Koe (lost in a second tiebreaker).
Scotland's Bruce Mouat was also there and lost in the semis to McEwen.
The event had a $84,00 purse.
The 2020 Tim Hortons Brier takes place in Team Scott McDonald's hometown of Kingston, Ont., so it's safe to say this season is an important one for the second-year foursome.
Team McDonald haven't played their best this season, posting a 26-25 record through 51 games, going 0-8 over two Grand Slam events against the best rinks in curling.
However, McDonald, third Jonathan Beuk, second Wesley Forget and lead Scott Chadwick put together a strong performance this weekend in Clermont, Quebec to win the Challenge Casino de Charlevoix on the World Curling Tour. The foursome out of the Cataraqui Golf and Country Club went 6-2 at the event with victories over James Grattan, Alek Bedard and Vincent Roberge in the playoffs.
The purse was $27,000.
Team McDonald had a breakout campaign in 2018-19, going 6-5 in their first Canadian championship appearance. Getting back to the Brier in their hometown this season would probably be the highlight of their careers to this point.
South Korea's Team Min Ji Kim added to their solid season in 2019-20 by winning the Boundary Ford Curling Classic in Lloydminster, Alta.
Team Kim went 7-1, beating Sherry Anderson in the semifinal and fellow South Korean squad Team Un-Chi Gim in the final.
Kim, 20, who captured the bronze medal at her first world curling championship last season, picked up her first victory on the Grand Slam tour just a few weeks ago at the Tour Challenge Tier 2.
The purse was $24,000 at this event.
Further East, Charlottetown's Suzanne Birt posted a perfect 7-0 record at the Tim Horton's Spitfire Arms Cashspiel, capping it off with an 8-6 victory over New Brunswick's Sylvie Quillian in the championship tilt.
The 38-year-old Birt made her 10th Scotties Tournament of Hearts appearance in Sydney, NS last year, missing the playoffs with a 6-5 record.
The event had a purse of $14,000.
At the Black Diamond/High River Cash tournament, Calgary's Jeff Harty made his fourth final on the WCT this season and almost won for the fourth time, but lost to China's Zou Quiang 6-4. Quiang went 2-10 at the world men's curling championship last year.
The purse was $7,100.
Mackenzie Zacharias and Sean Grassie won the Sunova Spiel at East St. Paul to close out the week.
The purse was $10,500 for both the men's and women's sides.