CALGARY -- Canadian women's champion skip Kerri Einarson is off to a winning start at the Home Hardware national mixed doubles curling championship.

The Gimli, Man., curler and partner Brad Gushue of St. John's beat Yukon siblings Bayly and Wade Scoffin 9-1 in the opening draw on Thursday.

Canadian men's champion skip Brendan Bottcher didn't enjoy his first game as much as Einarson. The Sherwood Park, Alta., curler and fiancee Bobbie Sauder lost 10-3 to Val Sweeting and Marc Kennedy.

John Epping and Lisa Weagle, Greg Smith and Mackenzie Mitchell, Trevor Bonot and Oye-Sem Won, Darren Moulding and Joanne Courtney, Aaron Sluchinski and Brittany Tran, Felix Asselin and Laurie St-Georges, Robert and Emilie Desjardins, Bryce Everist and Karlee Jones, Kirk Muyres and Laura Walker, Kyler Kleibrink and Chaelynn Kitz and Ryan Fry and Emma Miskew were all victorious on the opening day of competition.

Thirty-five duos are in the event. The top 12 teams emerging from five pools advance to playoffs March 23, followed by the gold-medal game March 25.

The winners earn $50,000 and represent Canada at the world championship if and when the World Curling Federation names a date and a location.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 18, 2021.