Freshly formed Horgan rink features pair of brothers alongside Moulding, Hodgson

With a month to go until the pebbled ice starts going into rinks across the country, Canada has another new-look men’s curling team.

New team latest in string of Canadian curling changes following Beijing Olympics

Tanner Horgan, seen above during 2021 Canadian Olympic trials, is joining forces with brother Jacob Horgan, Darren Moulding and Colin Hodgson for the upcoming season. (Liam Richards/The Canadian Press)

With a month to go until the pebbled ice starts going into rinks across the country, Canada has another new-look men's curling team.

Darren Moulding, formerly of Team Bottcher, is now going to be skipping a team out of Northern Ontario — Tanner Horgan will throw fourth rocks, his brother Jacob Horgan will play second, and longtime Team McEwen lead Colin Hodgson rounds out the foursome.

"I'm looking forward very much to working with this team on and off the ice. Jacob and Tanner are two incredibly young talented players who have impressed over the past Olympic cycle, including qualifying for the Canadian trials just a handful of years removed from the junior ranks," Hodgson said.

Tanner, 24, made headlines last season by defeating Glenn Howard in the last-chance Olympic qualifier.

Then 23, the skip curled 93 per cent in the final to defeat one of the country's most decorated curlers in Howard.

The Horgan-led team went 1-7 at the Olympic trials.

The Horgan brothers were playing with Kingston-based curlers Jonathan Beuk, Wes Forget and Scott Chadwick. They had formed a team during the previous off-season — Beuk, Forget and Chadwick represented Ontario at the Brier in 2019.

But more change is coming for the Horgans, who are from the greater Sudbury, Ont., region.

"It is great to be back competing in Northern Ontario again. It is where I got my start and this is exactly where I want to take my next step forward," Tanner said.

Tanner and Jacob's sister is curler Tracy Fleury, who is now a member of Team Homan.

Moulding coming off split with Bottcher

Moulding, 39, was cut from his longtime foursome Team Bottcher in the middle of last season.

The team was coming off its first Brier title in 2021 after four consecutive years of reaching the championship game. It was a somewhat bitter dismissal, especially considering Moulding would have had the chance to wear the Maple Leaf as part of Team Canada in his home province of Alberta at the 2022 Brier.

Less than a month after his release from Team Bottcher, Moulding joined James Grattan out of New Brunswick. The team did end up competing at the Brier in Lethbridge, Alta. Moulding would play against his former skip during that Brier, ultimately losing 6-4.

"I am really excited for a new role and challenge with a group of guys that share the same vision," Moulding said.

"I am thrilled to play at the highest level again. It's what I love to do."

WATCH | Bottcher, Moulding discuss split on That Curling Show:

Brendan Bottcher and Darren Moulding open up about Moulding being cut from the team

8 months ago
Duration 45:47
The 2021 Brier champ skip and third join That Curling Show in an attempt to clear the air about why Darren Moulding was cut from Team Bottcher.

Hodgson, originally from Lacombe, Alta., has had a friendship with Moulding for years. The two leaned heavily on each other during the pandemic, calling each other and offering support throughout.

"Darren is a fierce competitor who brings incredible experience and perspective to the group, is a Brier champion and furthermore, has dedicated most of his life to curling in different ways such as working with youth, and being a world leading icemaker," Hodgson said.

Hodgson aiming for 'inclusivity'

Hodgson, now living in Red Lake, Ont., has been an outspoken advocate about mental health in curling and sports.

"What I'm most excited about is the culture we have started building that focuses on promoting the sport not only in our own communities but reaching out to others," Hodgson said.

"I feel a lot of responsibility to help push our sport towards more inclusivity and acceptance so that we truly have a safe and comfortable place for anyone who wants to participate. These are the fundamental reasons why I play and want to achieve success."

Next curling season will feature a completely different look on both the men's and women's side with nearly every competitive team in Canada reassembling in the wake of the Olympics.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Devin Heroux

CBC reporter

Devin Heroux reports for CBC News and Sports. He is now based in Toronto, after working first for the CBC in Calgary and Saskatoon.

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