Monday, November 23, 2015

Hardline Curling Brush Update - November 23rd, 2015

Since we opened in 2010, Hardline Curling has built its business on the foundation of one core value - Integrity. Whether dealing with customers, pro-shops, players, the equipment we sell, or the game, our integrity has never been and will never be compromised.

Over the last 2 months, Hardline and those who use its products have been unfairly targeted by groundless accusations and harmful insinuations with respect to the innovative and successful  Hardline icePad curling brush. These accusations have compromised the integrity and trust of not only our company, but of those who play with our gear, whether they are elite or recreational club curlers.

Hardline Curling will no longer sit quiet. Whether it’s on social media or our blog, we will answer those who are failing to give the straight facts. We receive countless emails and calls supporting us, and we owe it to everyone who has put their faith and hard earned dollars into our gear.
Concerning recent WCF rulings, it is important to note that the Hardline icePad is not banned as some have claimed. There are two modifications (inverting the cover and removing the plastic insert) that have to be made for approval in WCF events only, but the icePad is not banned.  In fact, our teams playing in the European championships continue to play with an approved version of the icePad. 

We have been in contact with the WCF concerning equipment. We have made a number of recommendations that would be fair for all suppliers. We have asked the WCF to set parameters as to what is acceptable in terms of performance of brush heads before testing begins. We have asked that Hardline representatives be present for all testing. We have asked what and how tests will be conducted. We have asked Curling Canada to provide all testing data from previous years so we can compare to present day testing. All of our requests have been denied without explanation.

Our recommendations to the WCF even included taking out all intellectual property from suppliers’ pads, with the WCF choosing the fabric. For example, no plastic insert of the icePad, no foil in the Balance Plus pad, no ridges in the Goldline, Asham and Performance pads. Straight fabric on foam. Our opinion is this would ensure fair play for everyone at the Elite level. The WCF did not respond to our recommendation.  While it is an extreme and in our view unnecessary measure, this would ensure fair play if all inserts were removed.

The WCF’s most recent ruling was to take out a part of the icePad’s intellectual property, the plastic insert. The WCF have stated that their decision was based on preliminary test results. We have asked for all the data concerning these tests and the results. Again, the WCF has refused to send us any of this data. 

Hardline believes the WCF has made these recent decisions based on a flawed process and without having concluded all testing required to reach a fair and equitable conclusion. Hardline has engaged legal counsel to, among other things, push for full and complete transparency behind the WCF’s decision-making and to enforce Hardline’s rights as an innovative and hard-working manufacturer. 
  
We stated long ago that any decisions reached should involve all the major stakeholders including players, associations and manufacturers, coming to a decision together regarding what the guidelines should be and what the testing will include going forward. We have also stated that once all the guidelines are set on what is or is not acceptable, an independent testing facility should conduct testing on all products with players and representatives from each stakeholder to oversee all the testing. All results should immediately be given to all stakeholders. This is the only way to ensure a transparent process and optimal solution for all stakeholders.

For the last 4 years, Hardline has manufactured top of the line and innovate equipment without complaint. The recent spate of complaints and accusations are unfounded and damaging to Hardline. Despite making several requests, we have been provided with no evidence to support these exaggerated allegations, such as reports that the icePad makes rocks “move like a joystick”.  We have been sent no evidence because we believe none exists. There is no truth to these allegations. 



Hardline will continue to strive to provide excellent customer service, out-innovate, and out-perform the competition. We are not going away. We are Hardline Nation.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hardline Curling Press Release Nov 18, 2015 - Response to WCF Moratorium

Hardline Curling Press Release November 18, 2015
Response to WCF Moratorium for remainder of 2015/16 Season

Regarding the moratorium being imposed by the World Curling Federation for all WCF events for the remainder of the 2015/16 season, Hardline Curling disagrees with this decision. We have asked the WCF to see the reports that have led to this decision.  We were promised transparency in all testing, and this was assured to us from day one.  We have not yet received any test results or how tests were administered, or what pads were tested.  We feel this decision has been hastily reached without sufficient and proper independent testing.

Foremost, it must be made clear that this decision reached by the WCF does not affect recreational or house league club play, or recreational open bonspiels.   It is only for World Curling Federation events.  Recreational and club players, and non-WCF events including open and fun bonspiels, are still permitted to play with the Hardline icePad in its current form with the Pro cover and plastic insert, and we encourage all our supporters to continue playing with the best curling brush ever designed in your club leagues, recreational play, and fun bonspiels. 

In fact, we encourage all our Hardline Curling and icePad supporters to write the World Curling Federation and show your support of the icePad and oppose this decision.

Our professional Hardline Curling teams and players have been subject to non-stop bullying and accusations of cheating in recent weeks from their opponents, when our teams have done everything to conform to player agreements and the WCF interim decision of November 6th, 2015.  Hardline Curling feels this is bullying at its ugliest form, and goes against the ideals of curling sportsmanship, and it has to stop.

This targeting of the Hardline icePad and its teams has been way overblown by a small but vocal minority of teams and our competitors.  First, we were accused of having "directional fabric", which has been since proven we do not.  Our teams inverted the icePad cover which was agreed upon as an acceptable solution.  Our teams continued to perform well and win events.  Then the treated finish of the icePad cover was brought into question, and when players realized it is not the fabric, a decision is now being made to remove the plastic insert, which by the way was also utilized by other suppliers in their brush heads.  The truth is it is none of these factors.  What will be attacked next?  When will our accusers understand that it is talent, good shot-making, and effective sweeping techniques that help them win games and events?  Testing has confirmed that all brushes with proper sweeping techniques can achieve the same so-called disputed results.  If this is the case, then why is the icePad still being targeted?

To our detractors who say we are not co-operating, Hardline Curling has had discussions with the WCF and provided them with several options for an equitable standard for elite level competition, including removing all inserts – plastic inserts, foil, foam ridges – and just have an accepted fabric against a cushion or foam.  It is unfortunate that none of these solutions have been adopted, because we feel that it would provide the proper standard and equal playing field that is being requested, which is what everyone is striving for.

Hardline Curling intends to continue to pursue all options available to us to have the icePad reinstated without exception, through proper independent testing.  We will do what is necessary to protect the intellectual property of the icePad and have it approved for play, all the while continuing to provide our elite teams with the equipment necessary that conforms to the ever-changing regulations to help them perform at their best.

We thank all of our supporters during this time for your continued support.  Your emails, phone calls, and social media messages provide us the strength to continue moving forward.  We continue to be hopeful for a fair and equitable resolution in the near future.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

WEEK # 9 to 11 UPDATE – TEAM HARDLINE CONTINUES TO WIN

It’s been an interesting last couple of weeks in the curling world.  We thank you all for your emails, tweets, phone calls and texts of support for Hardline and the icePad.  It is very much appreciated!  We’re hoping cooler heads will prevail, and a decision will be made shortly.

But for now, let’s get back to some great results for Team Hardline!

Week # 9

The big event in men’s play was in Portage MB for the Canad Inns Curling Classic.  It featured several Hardline teams in action, including Steve Laycock, Reid Carruthers, and Charley Thomas who all qualified for playoffs.  Mike McEwen, 2 time defending champion and 4 of the last 5 years surprised everyone by not qualifying for playoffs for the first time since joining Team Hardline.  Laycock defeated Carruthers in one quarterfinal, while Thomas defeated Morozumi of Japan to also reach semis.  Laycock then beat Thomas in that semi final and went on to claim their first win with Hardline defeating Kevin Koe in the finals!  Congrats Team Steve Laycock!


(Matt Hermiz/TheGraphic/Postmedia Network)

















In Kamloops, Team Dean Joanisse continued their great play reaching the finals of the Hub International Crown of Curling, defeating Kim of South Korea, and Jim Cotter to get there.  In the finals, they lost to Sean Geall by a close 5-4 score! 

In women’s play, Team Allison Flaxey reached the finals of the Stroud Sleeman Cash Spiel.

Week # 10

Week # 10 action saw the top men’s teams playing in Gatineau QC, including one of the hottest teams this year Team Brad Gushue.  Surprisingly, many of the top favorites did not qualify for playoffs, including Edin, Simmons, and Murdoch.  Team Gushue ran the table going a perfect 7-0 to win their 4th event of the season!  Congrats Team Gushue!

Team Gushue (Photo Challenge Chateau Cartier Facebook page)

















In Red Deer AB, the Red Deer Curling Classic was played, and teams Dean Joanisse and Charley Thomas both reached the quarterfinals.

In Champery SUI, Team Peter De Cruz qualified for playoffs in the Champery Masters event, losing in the quarterfinals.

In women’s action, the Canad Inns Women’s Classic was played in Portage MB, and teams Kristy McDonald and Kerri Einarson reached the quarterfinals, and Tracy Fleury made it to the semi finals! Great playing by all!

In Red Deer AB at the Red Deer Classic, Kalynn Park reached the quarterfinals, while teams Chelsea Carey and Nadine Chyz both reached the semi finals!  A nice showing for our teams.

In Moncton NB, Team Theresa Breen were finalists of the Lady Monctonian Invitational.

Week # 11

Week # 11 had all eyes watching the GSOC Masters in Truro NS.  The top 15 men’s and women’s teams were placed in 3 groups of 5 for round robin play. 

In men’s play, defending champion Team Brad Gushue went 4-0 and secured their spot in the playoffs.  Team Mike McEwen went 3-1 and also secured their spot.  Team Reid Carruthers finished 2-2 and qualified direct to the quarter finals with a good shootout score.  Team Steve Laycock also finished 2-2, but had to play Glenn Howard in a tiebreaker, and defeated them to reach the quarterfinals.

In the quarterfinals, it was 2 Hardline battles, with Gushue playing Laycock, and McEwen playing Carruthers.  In the 4th end of the Gushue v Laycock quarterfinal, Brad Gushue slipped and fell face first onto the ice, suffering a cut just above the eye.  It was a very scary situation and play on all 4 sheets came to a stop.  Thankfully, he was ok.  He was taken to hospital for stitches, while the rest of the team played 3 players.  Laycock continued his great play, and Gushue returned in the 7th end, but in the end, Laycock won by a 5-2 score.   In the other Hardline battle, McEwen defeated Carruthers by a 7-4 score.

In the semi finals, Laycock faced a tough Jim Cotter team and went down to defeat by an 8-3 score.  In the other semi final, McEwen faced Kevin Koe, with McEwen scoring a big 3 in the 6th end to take a 5-3 lead.  In the 7th end, McEwen made two great shots to remove all of Koe’s rocks in the house, which led to a blank end.  In the 8th, with time running short for both teams, Koe released his rock with 1 second left on their time clock, but missed his shot to score 2, and McEwen took home the victory.

In the finals, McEwen scored a big deuce in the 6th end, and then forced Cotter to take one in the 7th end.  In the 8th end, McEwen calmly drew to the 4 foot against two counters, and took home the Masters trophy for their 3rd win this year, and 6th GSOC title of their career.

Photo Anil Mungal - GSOC



































In women’s action, Silvana Tirinzoni and Kristy McDonald both finished with 3-1 round robin records and qualified for playoffs.  Tirinzoni faced Kerri Einarson in the quarterfinals, and it was an exciting high scoring game, but in the end, Einarson won by a 10-7 score.  McDonald faced hometown favorite Mary Anne Arsenault in another quarterfinal winning 5-2 to reach the semi finals.  In the semis, skip Kristy McDonald came down with the flu and was unable to play.  Kate Cameron assumed skip duties and the team played with 3 players against Team Homan.  They gave it a valiant effort, but Homan eventually won the game 8-5.  Congrats to all Team Hardline for their great play at The Masters.

In other men’s action, in Sarnia ON, Team John Shuster captured the Huron RepoGraphics Oil Heritage Classic, continuing their strong play!  In Medicine Hat AB, Hardline supporters Shaun Meachem won the Medicine Hat Charity Classic, Jason Jacobson reaching semis, and team Peter De Cruz made the quarterfinals.

In women’s action, Team Jacqueline Harrison captured the Gord Carroll Curling Classic for their 2nd win of the season!  Well played ladies!   Team Allison Flaxey also qualified for playoffs, reaching the quarterfinals. 

Hardline WIN Count after Week # 11:  21

Brad Gushue – Stu Sells Oakville
Silvana Tirinzoni – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1
Kerri Einarson – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2
Jacqueline Harrison – OCT Oakville Fall Classic
Brad Gushue – AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic
Shaun Meachem – HDF Insurance Shootout
Dean Joanisse – Cloverdale Cashspiel
Mike McEwen - Point Optical Curling Classic
Allison Flaxey - KW Fall Curling Classic
Michelle Monford - Mother Club Curling Classic
Theresa Breen - Appleton Rum Cashspiel
Tyler Tardi - Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior Cash
Brad Gushue - Swiss Cup Basel
Mike McEwen - Stu Sells Toronto
Tyler Tardi - Abbotsford Junior Cashspiel
Steve Laycock – Canad Inns Men’s Classic
Brad Gushue – Challenge Chateau Cartier Gatineau
Mike McEwen – GSOC Masters
John Shuster – Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic
Shaun Meachem – Medicine Hat Charity Classic
Jacqueline Harrison – Gord Carroll Curling Classic


Sunday, October 18, 2015

TO THE PLAYERS

TO PLAYERS WHO SIGNED PLAYERS AGREEMENT:

Last week, a new pad was introduced at the Stu Sells that had directional fabric, to prove a point that directional fabrics take away from the spirit of the game. The “Blackhead” brushes by our competitor were not only able to manipulate rocks far beyond reasonable expectations of a rock’s natural path, but they also damaged the ice to such an extent as to make it almost impossible to give opposing players the ability to make shots. These “Blackhead” brushes were NEVER intended to be sold.

Players using “Blackhead” brushes were asked to not use these brushes by the players at that event. Their response was that if they had to remove them from the game, then Hardline teams had to stop using the icePad fabric.  Hardline teams, after receiving significant pressure from all the other players, agreed that the “Blackhead” brush has no place in the game, and agreed to these demands, for the good of the game.

Since then, a player-driven agreement was sent for teams to sign, restricting directional fabric for use in games from the WCT and Grand Slams. Top teams signed the agreement, including Hardline teams.  The player agreement clearly states no single manufacturer or supplier is being targeted.  So then why was an ultimatum given to ONLY our Hardline teams not to play with the icePad cover as recently as this weekend?   Somehow, the icePad has also been targeted for having directional fabric. The fabric on the icePad is NOT a directional fabric. Hardline does not know how many times we can repeat the same thing. THE ICEPAD DOES NOT HAVE DIRECTIONAL FABRIC!

We believe you signed this player agreement and were misled into believing the icePad cover falls into the category of restricted fabrics, a self imposed “rule” by players.  The fabric on the icePad fabric has been used for the last 3 years at ALL levels of play.  It is not “new” fabric. 

This player agreement is a knee-jerk reaction to restrict directional fabric and we agree that directional fabric should be outlawed as we stated previously.  But the underlying intention is a blatant attempt by one of our competitors to discredit us due to an erosion in their market share. Some players have refused to sign the agreement for the simple reason of not knowing what they are signing. What is directional fabric?  Other teams have refused to sign the agreement understanding the baseless nature of an attack towards Hardline.  Other players, namely Hardline teams, signed the agreement so as to not be open to criticism by their peers. This is pure bullying by certain non-Hardline players towards Hardline players. Either stop using the icePad or "be looked down upon". 

There are too many questions to be answered before a proper decision can be made.  There has been no due process.   The Hardline icePad has been essentially found guilty without due process.  Why is that? 

The Hardline icePad cover has been played at all levels of play, from recreational to elite level, the last 3 years. Never once has there been a complaint. The “Blackhead” brush was used at one WCT event. After the first day, the number of complaints was staggering. All players were against this brush. How can one compare one established product which has never had a complaint in 4 years to another brush that was introduced and HAD COMPLAINTS FROM THE MOMENT IT WAS USED?

TO THE PLAYERS: We believe you have been misled into believing the icePad fabric belongs on the same restricted list as the “Blackhead’ brush. We ask you to remove this restriction on the icePad, and start asking questions to those responsible, and know all the facts. The integrity of due process, and your own integrity, should not be compromised.


At Hardline, our integrity, and our reputation, as well as every Hardline athlete, from Pro, to 1st year curler, will not be compromised by the few who have a secret agenda. The truth about corporate bullying will come out shortly. Anybody who has ever seen, bought, played against an icePad knows the players assertions about directional fabric on the icePad are baseless and without merit. It is up to you to know that you have every right to leave your name on the list, as long as you are informed about what you signed. Integrity of the game, as well as your own integrity, are both at stake. We ask you to do the right thing – remove any restriction on the icePad.  

Thursday, October 15, 2015

HARDLINE CURLING PRESS RELEASE - OCTOBER 15TH, 2015

Since 2010, Hardline Curling has been in business to serve the curling community and provide curlers with the most innovative curling equipment. In 2012 we introduced the icePad, considered by many the most technologically advanced curling brush ever invented. Before we started selling the icePad in 2012, Hardline Curling submitted it to Curling Canada for testing to get approval. Every year since, we have co-operated with Curling Canada to have the icePad tested, and never once, has there been any negative feedback concerning directional-fabric or ice damage. In the last four years, the icePad has been played with at all Curling Canada and World Curling Federation events including the Canada Cup, Scotties, Brier and World men’s/mixed fours/mixed doubles/seniors. Never once have there been any negative comments about ice damage or directional-fabric issues. The icePad has been using the same fabric since 2013.

Since 2012, thousands of recreational and elite level curlers have chosen to play with and enjoy the many benefits of the icePad. In 2014, two high profile elite teams – Mike McEwen and Reid Carruthers – chose the icePad and both teams had highly successful seasons. Since then, dozens of other elite teams have chosen to play with the icePad and even more teams have approached us for sponsorship. All icePad players have raved about the effectiveness of the icePad.

In recent weeks there has been an elite-level-player movement to remove so-called “directional-fabric” brushes from the elite-level of play only, including, unfairly, the icePad. Some claim that with the power of elite-level sweepers, they have the ability to direct the curling stone, or control it like a “joystick.” This group has brought some unwarranted claims that anyone playing with the icePad has an unfair advantage.

First, we strongly disagree that the icePad cover has directional-fabric. Our fabric is diamond-shaped and not uni-directional. Second, we further disagree with the term “unfair advantage.” “Unfair” would indicate that the icePad is not playing within the rules of curling, which is not true!  “Unfair” would mean that not everyone could play with it when, in fact, the icePad is available for anyone to use and play with.  However, if one chooses not to play with it that is their choice.

Part of this player movement is to enact regulations on what brush fabrics are acceptable. Since there are no regulations for fabrics currently in place, and the icePad was approved for play based on today’s rules on equipment, how can anyone claim our fabric is unfair? The icePad DOES NOT damage or alter the ice in a significant way! In fact, one of our primary marketing messages for years has been that OUR COVERS DAMAGE THE ICE LESS than any of the other fabrics currently on the market.

At the last WCT event in Toronto, a few select teams came out with an extremely abrasive directional fabric that damaged the ice to the extent that opposing players were unable to make shots. We believe that this abrasive brush went against the rules of curling and was used only to try and prove a point against Hardline Curling and the icePad.  From the Curling Canada Rules for General Play for the 2014-2018 season, from article 15, section 1: “A player shall not use footwear or equipment that may damage or affect the playing quality of the ice surface.” This is exactly what this new fabric did and therefore IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN DEEMED ILLEGAL and been removed from play.

Hardline Curling believes that all of this trumped-up controversy has been engineered by a small group of players, acting on behalf of their equipment supplier in order to stop the loss of its market share to Hardline. This is nothing other than corporate bullying. We believe that the laws of this country afford us the right to compete in a fair and open marketplace. In fact, Hardline loves competition. We believe that if equipment companies have the innovative ideas to put out equipment that stays within the scope of the rules, then this can only help grow the sport. Since the 1990's, there have been two major changes in brush technology: the introduction of the oval swivel head brush and the icePad.

If it was felt that the icePad provided an unfair advantage, why were these issues not brought up in the last three years when the icePad has been on tour? Why was this not brought up during the off-season in order to give suppliers a fair chance to adhere to acceptable standards to the elite players? Why should Hardline have to incur extra costs to supply our players with replacements when we have done absolutely nothing wrong? WHY DID CERTAIN TEAMS ON THE CURL CANADA LETTER APPROACH US FOR SPONSORSHIP THIS PAST SUMMER IF THEY THOUGHT THAT THE ICEPAD WAS AN ISSUE?

We are in full agreement that “directional-fabric” brushes to control stones have no place in the game of curling at the elite level. We believe that the WCF should hire an independent organization that has no affiliations with any equipment supplier. Parameters should be set as to what is and is not acceptable. Equipment suppliers should be allowed to be present for all testing. Equipment suppliers should be given access to all data acquired during testing. We want any future rule changes to be fair with no bias towards one supplier over another.

This has been a huge distraction to all elite teams, but especially to our Hardline teams who have taken unwarranted criticism when they have done absolutely nothing wrong within the current rules of play.  To question the integrity of Hardline athletes who use the icePad is totally unacceptable.

Hardline also wishes to clarify the fact that the icePad is still approved at all levels of play, whether you are a club curler, Junior, Senior, Master and at all Provincial, National and World events.

Hardline Curling has received tremendous support over the last few difficult days. The support is very much appreciated, and the vast majority of curlers can see exactly what is happening here.



Archie Manavian
Hardline Curling, President
514-249-5258
877-908-4273

Monday, October 12, 2015

WEEK # 8 UPDATE - McEWEN WINS IN TORONTO!

The top men's teams were in Toronto for the Stu Sells Toronto Tankard, including defending champions Reid Carruthers.  Also in the top field were Gushue, Howard, Jacobs, Shuster, Edin and McEwen.
There were several hard fought games, and after an A semis final loss, McEwen qualified for playoffs through the B event.  In the C event, Gushue and Carruthers fought through and qualified for playoffs.
In the end, McEwen defeated Glenn Howard in the finals by a score of 5-1.  A great 2nd win of the season for Team McEwen.

In Edmonton, the DHD Classic was played, with several top ranked teams from Western Canada, including Steve Laycock, Charley Thomas, and Kevin Koe.  Both Laycock and Thomas reached the playoffs, with Thomas losing in the quarters, and Laycock reaching the semi finals before losing to eventual winner Kevin Koe.

On the ladies side, the Stu Sells Toronto featured several Hardline teams, with Jacqueline Harrison and Theresa Breen both qualifying for playoffs but both losing in the quarterfinals.

In Calgary, one of the top women's events was played - the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Classic and featured several top women's teams including Homan, Jones, and Hardline's Chelsea Carey and Tracy Fleury.  Both Carey and Fleury qualified for playoffs with Fleury going perfect 4-0 in the round robin, while Carey fought hard through the C event to qualify.  Fleury lost to a strong Homan team in the quarterfinals, while Chelsea Carey made it to the finals defeating Michele Jaeggi and Val Sweeting to reach the finals, before losing to Rachel Homan.  This makes back to back runner up finishes for Chelsea Carey's team!

Over in Switzerland, at the Women's Masters Basel, Team Silvana Tirinzoni continued their strong play this season, qualifying A side for playoffs, and defeating Hanah Fleming and Binia Feltscher to reach the finals against Anna Sidorova of Russia.  With a 6-4 lead in the 8th end, Sidorova made an incredible shot to score 3 and win the game 7-6.  A tough loss for Tirinzoni, but a fantastic weekend and the great play continues.

In St Paul MN, Team Courtney George reached the semi finals of the St Paul Cashspiel!  Nice playing!

In BC, Team Tyler Tardi continues their great play by winning the Abbotsford Junior Cashspiel! They are definitely a force to be reckoned with!


Hardline WIN Count after Week # 8:  15

Brad Gushue – Stu Sells Oakville
Silvana Tirinzoni – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1
Kerri Einarson – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2
Jacqueline Harrison – OCT Oakville Fall Classic
Brad Gushue – AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic
Shaun Meachem – HDF Insurance Shootout
Dean Joanisse – Cloverdale Cashspiel
Mike McEwen - Point Optical Curling Classic
Allison Flaxey - KW Fall Curling Classic
Michelle Monford - Mother Club Curling Classic
Theresa Breen - Appleton Rum Cashspiel
Tyler Tardi - Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior Cash
Brad Gushue - Swiss Cup Basel
Mike McEwen - Stu Sells Toronto
Tyler Tardi - Abbotsford Junior Cashspiel

WEEK # 7 UPDATE - GUSHUE WINS IN BASEL!

One of the men's events on the WCT in week # 7 was the Swiss Cup Basel, and several top world men's teams were in the field including Murdoch, Brewster, Ulsrud, Casey, Kauste and Gushue.  
After losing their first game of the event, Gushue went on 8-0 run and won the event for their 3rd win of the year to go along with two finals.

In Vernon BC, Team Dean Joanisse continued their great start to the season with a finals result in the Prestige Hotels and Resorts Curling Classic. Joanisse had wins against Canadian champions Pat Simmons and BC champs Jim Cotter also.   In the rematch in the finals against Pat Simmons took the title over Joanisse.  Keep up the great play Team Joanisse!

On the women's side in the same event, Team Chelsea Carey continued their great play of late earning a finals result, losing to Stefanie Lawton of Saskatchewan.  Another Hardline team, Team Kerri Einarson, also finished with a semi-finals results.  Congrats ladies!

Hardline WIN Count after Week # 7:  13

Brad Gushue – Stu Sells Oakville
Silvana Tirinzoni – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1
Kerri Einarson – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2
Jacqueline Harrison – OCT Oakville Fall Classic
Brad Gushue – AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic
Shaun Meachem – HDF Insurance Shootout
Dean Joanisse – Cloverdale Cashspiel
Mike McEwen - Point Optical Curling Classic
Allison Flaxey - KW Fall Curling Classic
Michelle Monford - Mother Club Curling Classic
Theresa Breen - Appleton Rum Cashspiel
Tyler Tardi - Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior Cash
Brad Gushue - Swiss Cup Basel

Monday, September 28, 2015

WEEK # 6 UPDATE - MCEWEN WINS! 5 MORE WINS FOR ICEPAD!

Week # 6 on the WCT was another great week for Hardline Curling and its teams!

The top men's event was the Point Optical Curling Classic in Saskatoon SK and featured several of the top 10 men's teams in the world.  Several teams were playing the icePad. So many in fact that Mike McEwen tweeted out:

Not so long ago our team was about the only ones, but WOW has it changed - am I in #icePadholyland  ??? @POCC1 #ToonTown @HardlineCurling


In quarter final action, Steve Laycock defeated Charley Thomas, Reid Carruthers beat Bottcher, and Mike McEwen defeated John Shuster.  Brad Jacobs defeated Niklas Edin in the other quarterfinal.

In the semis, Carruthers took 2 in the 8th end to defeat Laycock, and McEwen defeated Jacobs in the other, setting up an all Hardline final.

McEwen took an early 1-0 lead after one, and stole 1 in the 2nd and 3 in the 3rd to take a 5-0 lead, en route to an 8-4 win and the title and defend their win from last year.   This was Team McEwen's first win of the year, after a semis result in their first event in Paradise NL.  Congrats Mike and team, and to all Hardline teams!


In other action on the WCT:

In Kitchener, at the KW Fall Classic, Allison Flaxey continued her recent strong play.   She defeated another Hardline team Jacqueline Harrison coming back from a early 4-0 deficit to win 6-5 in the quarters. In the semi finals, Flaxey stole the 8th end to defeat reigning Ontario champion Julie Hastings by the same 6-5 score.  In the finals, Flaxey faced Erica Brown of the USA, and with two steals of 2 in the game, won by a score of 7-3 and the title!  Congrats Team Flaxey!

In Winnipeg, at the Mother Club Fall Curling Classic, many of our top women's teams in Manitoba took part including Kristy McDonald, Kerri Einarson, Michelle Montford.   McDonald reached the quarters, while Michelle Montford defeated Kerri Einarson in the semis, and went on to win the finals over 10-3 over Beth Peterson.  Congrats to Team Michelle Montford!

In Lower Sackville, NS, Team Theresa Breen, Hardline supporters, won the Appleton Rum Cashspiel, defeating Shannon Tatlock 5-1 in the finals.  It was the first event for Team Breen joining many teams who won their first event playing with the icePad!

And in New Westminster BC, Team Tyler Tardi beat Jordan Kiss by an 8-2 score after 5 ends in the Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior Cash Spiel!  Congratulations!

Hardline WIN Count after Week # 6:  12

Brad Gushue – Stu Sells Oakville
Silvana Tirinzoni – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1
Kerri Einarson – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2
Jacqueline Harrison – OCT Oakville Fall Classic
Brad Gushue – AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic
Shaun Meachem – HDF Insurance Shootout
Dean Joanisse – Cloverdale Cashspiel
Mike McEwen - Point Optical Curling Classic
Allison Flaxey - KW Fall Curling Classic
Michelle Monford - Mother Club Curling Classic
Theresa Breen - Appleton Rum Cashspiel
Tyler Tardi - Anita Cochrane Memorial Junior Cash

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

WEEK # 5 – THREE MORE WCT WINS!

The wins keep coming for Hardline Nation!

One of the big events of the year on tour is the Shorty Jenkins Classic.  For the first time in 18 years, it moved from Brockville to the Cornwall Curling Club, and by all accounts was a huge success.

Brad Gushue went a perfect 5-0 in the round robin and faced John Epping in the quarterfinals.  Gushue prevailed by a 4-3 score, taking one in the 8th to seal the win.  In the semis, Gushue faced another tough opponent in Brad Jacobs, but again got the win 5-3.

In the finals, Gushue faced a formidable Glenn Howard team, who always seems to do well at the Shorty.  The fans were treated to a great game with some amazing shots.  Gushue took a two point lead into the 8th, but Howard scored his deuce to tie.  In the extra end, Howard made an amazing shot to force Gushue into making a tough shot for the win.  Gushue calmly made the shot, and claimed the Shorty Jenkins title!  That makes two event wins and one finals in three weeks for Gushue.  Quite the hot start indeed!















On the ladies side, 12 women’s teams took part, with Allison Flaxey qualifying as one of the four playoff teams.  In the semis, Flaxey faced a tough Marie France Larouche team, and stole the extra end to reach the finals.  In the finals Flaxey played Korea’s EunJung Kim who has been playing very well since the start of the season.  Flaxey down 4-1 after 6 ends, scored a big 3 in the 7th to tie the game at 4-4.  In the 8th, it came down to a measure, but Kim prevailed and scored her one.  Congrats Allison and team on a great event!

Moving west to Edmonton, the HDF Insurance Shootout the men’s event was won by Shaun Meachem of Saskatoon, Hardline supporters.  They defeated Brendan Bottcher in the finals 8-4!  On the ladies side, Chelsea Carey went a perfect 5-0 in the round robin.  In the quarterfinals, Carey beat Casey Scheidegger 6-1, and then faced Stefanie Lawton in the semis.  Chelsea Carey came up just a bit short in the semis, falling 6-3 to Lawton.  A great showing for Team Carey!

Finally out west in Surrey BC, the Cloverdale Cashspiel was good for Hardline, with Dean Joanisse starting off their season on a winning note, winning the finals 8-2 over Chase Martyn.  Tyler Tardi also enjoyed a good event, with a semi finals finish!
















Hardline Win Count after Week 5: 7
Brad Gushue – Stu Sells Oakville
Silvana Tirinzoni – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 1
Kerri Einarson – GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2
Jacqueline Harrison – OCT Oakville Fall Classic
Brad Gushue – AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic
Shaun Meachem – HDF Insurance Shootout
Dean Joanisse – Cloverdale Cashspiel

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

WEEK # 2 – OAKVILLE OCT FALL CLASSIC – JACQUELINE HARRISON WINS

In Oakville ON, the OCT Fall Classic was played with two Hardline women’s teams in action.  Jacqueline Harrison finished the round robin at 3-1 while Allison Flaxey finished at 4-0 and both teams qualified for playoffs on Sunday. 

Flaxey lost her quarter final game to Mallory Kean in a hard fought extra end battle, while Jacqueline Harrison defeated Germany’s Daniela Driendl by scoring 2 in the 8th end to tie, and stealing 2 in an extra end!

In the semis, Harrison had a bit of easier time defeating Ashley Waye 6-0 to advance to the finals.  

In the finals, Harrison along with teammates Janet Murphy, Stephanie Matheson, Melissa Foster and alternate Nicole Westlund defeated Mallory Kean 5-2 and claimed the title!

A great start to the season for Harrison!  Congrats ladies! 


Team Harrison (Photo from Twitter @HughMurf)

WEEK # 2 – TIRINIZONI WINS FIRST GSOC! EINARSON GOES TO THE SHOW!

Paradise NL proved to be paradise after all for two Hardline teams!

Team Silvana Tirinzoni battled hard and overcame much adversity throughout the game and stole a victory from defeat! Down 5-2 after 6 ends, and with opponent Rachel Homan seemingly in control, Tirinzoni with lead Marlene Albrecht, 2nd Esther Neuenschwander, and 3rd Manuela Siegrist battled to take 2 in the 7th end, and stole 2 in the 8th end when Homan’s draw attempt overcurled and slipped past shot rock.  After several playoff finishes and finals over the past year, Tirinzoni finally knocked open that door and won her first GSOC title in her career.  Tirinzoni finished the round robin at 2-2, and with a good shootout score, they finished in 6th place.  They defeated Kelsey Rocque in the quarters and Tracy Fleury in the semis to face Rachel Homan.


Tier1 Champions Team Tirinzoni  (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)
Team Tirinzoni discuss a shot with coach Gerry Adam (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)

























In Tier2 Tour Challenge action, Team Kerri Einarson of Manitoba ran the table and went a perfect 4-0 in round robin and then defeated Michelle Montford (Hardline team), Jill Thurston, and Chantelle Eberle (skipped by Amber Holland) in the playoffs to win the title!  With the victory, Einarson along with teammates Kristin MacCuish, Liz Fyfe, and Selena Kaatz will play in the next GSOC event – The Masters – in Truro NS!  Congratulations ladies!

Tier2 Champions - Team Kerri Einarson (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)













In other Tier 1 news, Team Kristy McDonald of Manitoba also made their season debut sporting new icePads and finished 3-1 in the round robin including wins over Jennifer Jones, Sherry Middaugh and Anna Sidorova, which qualified them for playoffs.   In the quarterfinals, they came up against the upstart Korean team EunJung Kim and lost 7-2.  A good start to the season!

WEEK # 2 – GSOC MEN’S TOUR CHALLENGE

The Grand Slam of Curling season got underway with a brand new event – The Tour Challenge – in Paradise NL.  By all accounts, the event was a sellout every draw and curling fans were treated to some great early season curling with some tough frosty ice conditions and fog issues!

This event was a new format with a Tier 1 section that had the top 15 men’s and women’s teams, and a Tier 2 section with invited teams across the country, including 5 local men’s and women’s teams.   The winners of the men’s and women’s Tier 2 event would be invited to the next GSOC event, which is the Masters in Truro NS at the end of October.

Hardline was well represented with no less than 13 teams participating, including 9 teams playing the Tier 1 event. 

The event marked the debut of Mike McEwen.  It was the first time on the ice for this year for the # 1 team in the world and the team that won 8 events last year.  Team McEwen went 3-1 in the round robin and qualified for playoffs!
Mike McEwen (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)

Matt Wozniak & Denni Neufeld share a laugh! (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)


Reid Carruthers had a great round robin at 4-0 and qualified for playoffs. 

John Shuster of the USA also qualified for playoffs at 2-2.

Hometown favorites Brad Gushue finished the round robin at 3-1 and also qualified for playoffs.  So 4 of the 8 men’s playoff teams play Hardline and the icePad!

In quarter final action, a Hardline battle featured the 4-0 Carruthers team vs 2-2 Shuster.  In a close game, Shuster broke the game open with a 3 in the 6th end and went on to win 6-4.   Brad Gushue won a close game over Glenn Howard 4-2, and Mike McEwen defeated Brad Jacobs 6-1.  So for the 2nd week in a row, 3 of the 4 semi finalists were icePad teams!

In one semi, John Shuster ran into a tough Kevin Koe and was beaten 9-2.  In the other semi, Brad Gushue faced Mike McEwen in a tight battle.  Tied 3-3 after 6 ends, Brad Gushue scored an important deuce in 7 to go ahead 5-3, and when McEwen couldn’t score his 2 in 8th, Gushue was off to the finals to face Koe.
Team Gushue celebrate a win!  (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)

Brad Gushue (Photo by Anil Mungal - GSOC)

The hometown NFLD crowd was definitely behind Brad Gushue the whole way, and the final game was a back and forth affair.  It seemed every time Team Gushue would gain an advantage in an end, Koe saved his team by making some great shots including a beautiful draw to the button against 4, and a runback double in the 8th end to hold Gushue to only one point and force the extra end.  In the end, Koe had to draw to the 4 foot against two Gushue counters, and won the game.  

All in all, a great week for the Hardline men’s teams in Paradise NL!

Monday, September 14, 2015

WEEK # 1 UPDATE - STU SELLS OAKVILLE TANKARD - GUSHUE WINS!

WEEK # 1 – STU SELLS OAKVILLE TANKARD

The season got underway in Oakville ON from Sept 3 – 7, 2015.   This is a great fun event with several top men’s and women’s teams taking part.  Defending men’s champions Mike McEwen decided to skip this event and begin their season in Paradise NL for the new GSOC Tour Challenge event.  On the women’s side, defending champions Silvana Tirinzoni were on hand to try and defend their title.

Several Hardline teams were there to begin their season.  On the men’s side: Reid Carruthers, Steve Laycock, and Brad Gushue, who were both making their Hardline debuts.  On the women’s side: Silvana Tirinzoni, Chelsea Carey, Allison Flaxey, Jacqueline Harrison, Caitlin Romain, and Courtney George.

This event gave Hardline the opportunity to meet all our teams, take some on ice action photos (see our Hardline Curling Equipment Facebook page), and wish them all a great curling season!  We also got to spend some social time with Team Reid Carruthers, Team Caitlin Romain, and Team Doug Brewer, Hardline supporters!  Thanks for your hospitality!
Out for dinner with Team Reid Carruthers

Caitlin Romain and Kim Tuck enjoying dessert
Enjoy the Blue Jays game with Team Doug Brewer

A little birthday dinner with Team Caitlin Romain


































On the women’s side, Team Silvana Tirinzoni with new coach Gerry Adam qualified for playoffs, beating Anna Hasselborg in the quarterfinals, before losing the semi finals to eventual winners Rachel Homan.

On the men’s side, it was a great event for our teams.  Carruthers, Laycock and Gushue all made the playoffs and each won their quarterfinal games.  In one Hardline battle semi- final, Gushue defeated Laycock 8-6, while Carruthers held off Jim Cotter by a score of 5-4 in an extra end.  

This set up a Hardline battle final between Gushue and Carruthers, which Gushue won by a 5-3 score.  With the win, they joined a number of teams that won their first event playing with the icePad! 











Congratulations to all our teams!



NEW POWERRIB TECHNOLOGY

New for this year is our PowerRib technology which gives sweepers added grip on our handles.  Apply more pressure without fear or losing your grip!  Combined with the icePad, you’ll be sweeping even faster than before.  Mike McEwen said, “@HardlineCurling's #PowerRib grip handles w/ tapering are unmatched for grip strength & control - and with the icePad brush combo? #epic”  We agree!
 
Get yours today!




TEAM BRAD GUSHUE JOINS HARDLINE CURLING


SPRING / SUMMER 2015 UPDATE

The new curling season is here, and we’ve been working hard to get things ready!  The word is spreading about the icePad, and more and more teams are making the switch.   Other companies have started to come out with their own version, and others may follow also, but rest assured – the icePad is still the fastest, most efficient curling brush on the planet.

Here at Hardline, we’re very appreciative of all the teams that approach us to play with the icePad.  We like to call our teams and supporters “Hardline Nation” and we use that hashtag on Twitter to indicate that our supporters are growing in numbers, and that we feel a close bond with our teams. 

We had a number of teams join our already impressive list over the spring and summer, while others saw the major advantage of playing with the icePad and opted to stay with Hardline through until the next Olympic cycle of 2017/18. 

We’re ecstatic to report that our relationship with our two major teams – Mike McEwen and Reid Carruthers – is in place through 2017/18!


Other teams to join Hardline Nation over the spring and summer (in no particular order):
Steve Laycock – SK
Chelsea Carey – AB
Peter De Cruz – Switzerland
Brock Virtue – AB
Kristy McDonald – MB
Kerri Einarson – MB
Michelle Montford – MB
Cathy Overton-Clapham – MB
Matt Dunstone – MB
Krista McCarville – NO
Caitlin Romain – ON
Jacqueline Harrison – ON
Aku Kauste – Finland
Courtney George – USA
Jamie Koe – NWT
Geri-Lynn Ramsay – AB
And many more…including one major team that just came on in September.  See the next blog post for details!

Thank you Hardline Nation for all your support!  Have a great season!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Team Carruthers Represents Manitoba at The Brier

History was made at this year's Brier for Hardline Curling!

With Team Carruthers winning Manitoba and earning their ticket to Calgary, the icePad would be in play at the Brier for the first time!

The week started off great for lead Colin Hodgson who won the Ford Hot Shots event, winning a 2 year lease on a Ford F150 truck!


Colin also had the distinction of throwing the first rock for Hardline at the Brier.  You can see the video here:  https://youtu.be/ONy6A5zu-hM

This was Reid Carruthers 4th trip to the Brier, but his first as a skip!  The team played well all week long, making some great shots and earning some big wins, but in the end, Team Carruthers finished with a 4-7 record, while Colin Hodgson earned 1st all star team honors at the lead position.

Thanks to Team Carruthers on helping Hardline Curling make history!



Saturday, February 21, 2015

Team John Shuster wins USA Nationals - will represent at world's in Halifax

After joining Team Hardline back in September 2014, Team Shuster had a strong fall season and earned enough points to secure top spot in points earnings.  Shuster finished the round robin with an 8-1 record, good for 1st place.  

They played Craig Brown in the 1vs2 page playoff game, winning it and earning their berth in the final.

With the team earning enough points, they did not need to win the final to secure their entry to the world's in Halifax, but Shuster left no doubt with a 8-5 win over Brown again.

Good luck at the World's in Halifax!  We'll be watching!


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Team Reid Carruthers Wins 2015 MB Safeway Championships

It was a dream final for Hardline Curling in Manitoba!

For Team Reid Carruthers, it was a dream come true!

After losing their 2nd game, they regained their focus and played lights out the rest of the way, earning victories to finish in the 1vs2 game in page playoffs.  They would face their Hardline Curling teammates, Team Mike McEwen.  McEwen got off to a strong start, leading 4-1 after 6.  In the 7th end, Carruthers faced a very tough double to stay in the game, and he executed to perfection.  You can see the shot here:  https://youtu.be/Ja9ft4mxBeU

From there, Carruthers turned the game around and earned a hard fought come from behind win against McEwen on some very questionable ice.

McEwen then faced his longtime rival, Jeff Stoughton, in the semi finals.  And with a great double takeout in the 10th, McEwen earned his place in the finals in a rematch against Carruthers and a Hardline Curling dream final.  The icePad would be going to the Brier!

In the finals, it was a close game until the 6th end, when faced against 3, McEwen drew a little heavy and gave a steal of 3 and 4-1 lead to Carruthers.

McEwen managed to make it 4-3 after 8, and with a single in the 9th, Carruthers took a 5-3 lead into the 10th.  But with a last takeout, Carruthers and team sealed the victory and booked their ticket to the Brier in Calgary!  See the last shot here:  https://youtu.be/WIuQaSqD8pg



News & Notes:
Over in Switzerland, Team Silvana Tirinzoni played in their national championships, and earned a silver medal by reaching the finals, but losing to Team Alina Paetz.  
In BC, Team Dean Joanisse also earned the silver medal at BC provincials losing a hard fought battle in an extra end against Jim Cotter.
In Quebec, Team Mike Fournier fought hard and made it to the finals, but lost to Jean-Michel Menard who earned his way to another Brier in Calgary.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

Team Felix Asselin wins QC Junior Provincials

Team Felix Asselin from Glenmore Curling Club won the QC junior provincials and earned their 3rd championship in four years, and a trip to Corner Brook NL!

At nationals, Team QC was the only team to beat eventual champions, Braeden Calvert of MB.  QC also made it to a tie breaker against Team SK to make the playoffs.  Team QC had a great week, and was one win away from making playoffs.  Congratulations!