Team Gunnlaugson – Curling Canada Photo

CONGRATS!!! to Jason Gunnlaugson, Adam Casey, Matt Wozniak, and Connor Njegovan who qualified this morning for the Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon. A last rock draw which needed full sweeping to out-count a pair of Tanner Horgan counters earned the Morris based team a Pre-Trials qualifying game victory and showed that Gunnlaugson is much more than ‘just a hitter’.

And kudos to Horgan and his team who went on to win the second Trials spot with a win over veteran Glenn Howard who eliminated Pat Simmons’ young Winnipeg Beach team of Colton & Tanner Lott and Kyle Doering, the team Horgan had skipped pre-Covid.

On the Women’s side, congrats as well to Krista McCarville’s team and Jacqueline Harrison’s team who were the Women’s Trials qualifiers.


Second time around, Trevor Loreth and his Granite team made no mistake. They had lost the Manitoba Club Championship final two years ago in Melita, the last time the event was played.

This year, in the Nature’s Bounty Manitoba Men’s Club Championship game in Brandon, they won their first Manitoba title with a victory over Andrew Irving and his Fort Rouge team.

First time champions – Trevor Loreth and his Granite team

Tied 2-2 playing the fourth end, Irving made a double kill to lie four but Brad Haight, throwing last stones for Loreth as he has done for years, made good on a draw to the four foot for a single point.

On the next end, it was the Loreth team (Brad Haight, Ryan Lowdon, Brett Cawson) counting three when Irving threw his last – it didn’t curl up enough and he bumped a Loreth stone in for a steal of four. All out attack on the sixth didn’t pay off and the game ended with the Loreth team savouring victory.

In the women’s final between unbeaten teams, Stacey Fordyce (Brandon) led Deb McCreanor 2-0 after three ends but gave up three consecutive singles to trail 3-2 after six. A point on the seventh tied the game and gave McCreanor last rock coming home. McReanor got an early rock behind cover in the four foot circle and in the end, Fordyce was left with only an attempt at a triple raise takeout to salvage the situation. McCreanor and her team (Trisha Hill, Michelle Buchanan, Jennifer Cawson) win their second Manitoba title without having to throw their last rock.

The Loreth and McCreanor teams will have the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the national championship in Ottawa in December.

(3PM: October 31) FORDYCE-MCCREANOR, LORETH-IRVING FINALS IN BRANDON Trevor Loreth and his Granite team will play Andrew Irving (Fort Rouge) in the final of the Manitoba Men’s Club Championship in Brandon.

Trevor Loreth (Granite) – Travis Taylor (Brandon) and it might be that a first end shot by Loreth’s fourth thrower Brad Haight changed the entire game. Haight was perfect with his first shot past a guard tight to the ring to tap out a Taylor biter at the back of the 12 foot circle a foot from the wall. It brought a front biter into play and turned into a deuce when a force or even a steal were real possibilities.

Brad Haight delivers with Ryan Lowden and Brett Cawson prepared to sweep

Although Taylor came back to score two on the second end, the Loreth team controlled play: a blank third end, a two on the fourth, a steal of three when Taylor got a bad luck roll on a last shot runback kill attenpt on end #5. The score was 7-2 after five ends and ended 7-3 in six.

Irving advanced with a win over Dale Fust (LaSalle). With Irving leading by one playing the sixth end, Team Fust skip Randy Neufeld drew the button with his last rock but Irving followed with just enough more weight to angle tap the rock and stick for one. When the Fort ROUge team stole two on the seventh, the game ended.

In the Women’s championship, former champions Stacey Fordyce (Brandon) and Deb McCreanor (LaSalle) will meet in the final.

McCreanor beat Liza Park (Deloraine) in five ends but it took Fordyce’s last rock coming home to defeat Patti Ulrich (St. Vital). Trailing 5-1 after four ends, Ulrich fought back and led 6-5 coming home. Facing four with three in the four foot, with her last rock Ulrich made a delicate angle hit to move two and sit second shot rock half buried. Fordyce threw a light weight hit to corner the Ulrich stone and remove it from the rings. The Brandon team scored four for a 9-6 win.

The finals are set for 5PM at the Brandon Curling Club.

The semi-finals are set in the Nature’s Bounty Manitoba Club Championships at the Brandon Curling Club.

On the Men’s side, Trevor Loreth (Granite) plays Travis Taylor (Brandon) and Andrew Irving (Fort Rouge) meets Dale Fust (LaSalle).

Corey Anderson (Charleswood), the only unbeaten team after the round robin, lost Sunday morning to the Dale Fust team. Trailing by four after four ends, the Randy Neufeld skipped team scored a single on the fifth. Neufeld threw a near perfect guard with his last on end six to set up a steal of three and then made an angle raise takeout on the seventh to set up another steal and lead 7-6 coming home. Anderson’s last rock hit for two did not curl up quite enough and he left the LaSalle team another steal and an 8-6 win.

A sixth end guard touching the centre line by Randy Neufeld (skipping the Fust team) left Corey Anderson nothing but a raise hit facing three. The result was a stolen three for Team Fust.

Team Fust’s opponent, Andrew Irving, advanced with an extra end win over Graham McFarlane (Assiniboine Memorial).

Trevor Loreth and his team lost the final of this event two years ago in Melita. They continued the quest to return to the final by beating Brett MacDonald (Fort Rouge) while Travis Taylor (Brandon) eliminated Paul Scinocca (St. Vital) in their quarterfinal game this morning.

Three time champion Stacey Fordyce and her Brandon team and Deb McCreanor (LaSalle) both finished the round robin undefeated. Fordyce marked up her fifth win Saturday but McCreanor needed a Sunday morning win for #5. Fordyce plays Patti Ulrich (St. Vital) who qualified this morning with a win over Betty Buurma (Carberry).

Mc Creanor plays Liza Park (Deloraine) who lost this morning but advances based on the rpund robin win over Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) who also finished at 3W-2L.

Semi-finals in Brandon are at 1:30PM.


It took until the conclusion of the 9PM Saturday draw, the final round robin draw of the event, to sort out the playoff positions in Pools C & D of the Manitoba Men’s Club Championship underway at the Brandon Curling Club.

In Pool C, Brett MacDonald (Fort Rouge) earned first place with a 5W-1L record by beating Dale Fust (LaSalle) on the late draw. Fust ended round robin play at 4W-2L along with Derek Blanchard (AMCC) and Mark Anderson (Riverview). The second place team is determined based on head to head results which show Fust defeated both Blanchard and Anderson.

In Pool D, Travis Taylor (Brandon) and Andrew Irving (Fort Rouge) won late draw games to finish at 5W-1L to earn the two playoff spots from their group. Allan Croy (Petersfield) and Kelly Marnoch (Carberry) finished at 4W-2 L and out of the playoffs.

Earlier, a Trevor Loreth (Granite) 5-2 win over Kyle Forsyth (Dauphin) earned Loreth the second playoff spot from Pool B with a 5W-1L record. Corey Anderson (Charleswood) had already locked up the first spot with a perfect 6W-OL record.

At the same time as Loreth was winning, in Pool A, Paul Scinocca (St. Vital) posted a 6-2 win over Graham McFarlane (AMCC) giving both a 5W-1L record and the two playoff spots from the pool. The Scinocca win eliminated both Jesse McCullough (Fort Garry) and Darren Perche (Charleswood) who won their final games to improve to 4W-2L.

In the playoff quarterfinals at 9AM Sunday, Scinocca plays Taylor, MacDonald plays Loreth, Irving plays McFarlane, and Anderson plays Fust.

In the Women’s Championship, Stacey Fordyce (Brandon) has completed a perfect 5W-0L round robin and will advance to the playoffs Sunday. The other three playoff positions will be determined on the 9AM draw Sunday. Deb McCreanor (LaSalle) has a 4W-0L record and is assured of advancing. In Pool A, Betty Buurma (Carberry) plays Patti Ulrich (St. Vital). The winner will improve to 4W-1L and grab the second spot from that pool. Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) has a 3W-2L record while Liza Park (Deloraine) is at 3W-1L with a game to play.

(3PM: October 30) MCCREANOR, FORDYCE STILL PERFECT IN WOMEN’S CLUB CHAMPIONSHIPS With three games yet to play as Nature’s Bounty Women’s Club Championship play began Saturday, former champion Deb McCreanor (LaSalle) had a perfect 2W-0L record, tied with Betty Buurma (Carberry).

The two met on the noon draw at Brandon Curling Club, knowing the winner would gain a real advantage looking to tomorrow’s playoff round as only two teams from each round-robin pool will advance.

McCreanor jumped out to a 4-0, three end lead before Buurma scored a single, with a double kill up the centre line facing three. The final score was 7-2 as McCreanor improved to 3W-0L. Patti Ulrich (St. Vital) sits at 3W-1L after a noon draw win over Kristin McLellan (Brandon).

In the other Women’s pool, former three time champion Stacey Fordyce and her Brandon team lead the way with a perfect 3W-0L record. Liza Park (Deloraine) and Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) have 2W-1L records. Fordyce plays Colwell on the 2:30PM draw in a game that will have a big impact on playoff positions.


(2PM: October 30) ANDERSON, LORETH, MCFARLANE ALL CLAIM PLAYOFF SPOTS Trevor Loreth and his Granite team bounced back from last night’s loss to beat Brooks Freeman (Virden) on the Nature’s Bounty Men’s Club Championship noon draw in Brandon. At 4-1, Loreth trails Corey Anderson (Charleswood) in Pool B whose record is a perfect 6W-0L after a last shot victory on the noon draw over Dean North (Carman). Anderson and Loreth are assured of being the two teams advancing to the Sunday playoff round from this group.

In Pool A, Graham McFarlane (AMCC) is also at 5W-0L and assured of advancing to the playoffs following a noon draw victory over Luc Audette (Lorette). Darren Perche (Charleswood) kept playoff hopes alive with an extra end steal to hand Paul Scinocca (St. Vital) a first loss. Scinocca with a 4W-1L record, Perche at 3W-2L, and Jesse McCullough (Fort Garry) also at 3W-2L all still have a chance to be the second playoff team from Pool A.

Pools C&D will be somewhat clarified after the 2:30 draw.

In Pool C, Derek Blanchard (AMCC) leads with a 4W-1L record. He plays 3W-1L Brett MacDonald (Fort Rouge). Dale Fust (La Salle), skipped by Randy Neufeld, is also at 3W-1L.

In Pool D, the situation is identical. Allan Croy (Petersfield), at 4W-1L, plays Travis Taylor (Brandon) who has a 3W-1L record. Andrew Irving (Fort Rouge) has the same 3W-1L record.

(11:30PM, October 29) ANDERSON WINS KEY GAME, IMPROVES TO 5-0 Corey Anderson’s Charleswood team has a perfect 5W-0L record with a game to play on Saturday in the Nature’s Bounty Men’s Cub Championship after a 7-3 victory Friday evening over previously unbeaten Trevor Loreth and his Granite team. At 3W-1L, Loreth is still in second place in Pool B.

Corey Anderson (r) and Justin Reischek consider the options.

With only a game to play on Saturday, Team Anderson may also have a significant advantage in Sunday’s playoff rounds as the other pool leaders and potential playoff teams will play at least two and possibly three games Saturday

In Pool A, Graham McFarlane (AMCC) and Paul Scinocca (St. Vital) are both perfect at 4W-0L with two to play.

In Pool C, Dale Fust’s La Salle team, skipped by Randy Neufeld, has a 3W-0L record and will play three on Saturday. Brett MacDonald (FRCC) and Derek Blanshard (AMCC) both have 3W-1L records and will play two Saturday.

The Pool D leaders, at 3W-1L, are Allan Croy (Petersfield) and Travis Taylor (Brandon). They’ll play two Saturday. At 2W-1L, three teams in Pool D have three games Saturday so more than the others, this group is still wide open. The three include Kelly Marnoch (Carberry), Brad Wainikka (Morden) and Andrew Irving (Fort Rouge)

(5PM OCTOBER 29) LORETH-ANDERSON MATCH A KEY GAME UPCOMING IN BRANDON: It is still too early in the event to make much of the developing story at Manitoba’s Nature’s Bounty Men’s Club Championship but there is no doubt that the late draw (9pm) tonight has a key game in Pool B. Trevor Loreth and his Granite team, at 3W-0L, and Corey Anderson and his Charleswood team, at 4W-0L) both won on the afternoon draw. The two meet tonight and if both continue to lead the way in that pool, the winner of the game will have the advantage in that all-important win between the two.

Play continues through Sunday in the Nature’s Bounty Men’s & Women’s Club Championships in Brandon

In Pool A, with wins this afternoon, Graham McFarlane and his Assiniboine Memorial team improved to 4W-0L while Paul Scinocca of St. Vital improved to 3W-0L.

In Pool C, the Dale Fust team from LaSalle, skipped by Randy Neufeld, is the lone unbeaten team with a 2W-0L record.

In Pool D, Allan Croy of Petersfield (3W-0L) and Kelly Marnoch of Carberry (2W-OL) are still unbeaten.

All records noted are as the 6PM draw goes on the ice in Brandon. Play continues with two draws yet Friday and five on Saturday.

In the Women’s competition, former champion DebMcCreanor’s LaSalle team leads Pool A with a 2W-0L record tied with Betty Buurma and her Carberry team. The Carberry foursome improved to 2W-0L this after when Buurma made a last rock angle raise takeout of a Kristin McLellan rock in the four foot. McLellan, with her last rock had made a double raise to the four foot to sit shot stone.

Former champion Stacey Fordyce and her Brandon team have a 3W-0L record to lead Pool B.


William Lyburn and his daughter Mikaylah have won the NexusBioAg Mixed Dauphin Mixed Doubles Bonspiel, the second event in the new Cargill Curling Training Centre Manitoba Mixed Doubles Tour presented by Asham Curling Supplies.

William & Mikaylah Lyburn (l) defeated Katie McKenzie & Thomas Dunlop in the Dauphin ‘Spiel final

The Lyburns had a perfect weekend, winning six games in what was both a show of support for the fledgling Mixed Doubles Tour and a tune-up for a Mixed Doubles event this weekend in Okotoks, AB.

The Lyburns had a 5W-0L record after the round robin portion of the event and defeated Katie McKenzie & Thomas Dunlop in the championship game.

McKenzie & Dunlop had finished the round robin at 3W-2L, tied with Chris & Lorne Hamblin and with Lisa Hale & Ray Baker. They ranked second based on the tie-break of best pre-game button draws. Hale-Baker defeated the Hamblins in the 3-4 ranking game.

Hannah McQuay & Keith Pottle had a 1W-4L record while Kristen Beaumont & Steve Michaleski were winless after the round robin but defeated McQuay-Pottle in the 5-6 ranking game.

It was the second of two 6-team Cargill Curling Training Centre Mixed Doubles Tour events. The first, played in Morris in September, was won by the nationally ranked Manitoba Mixed Doubles team of Kadriana Sahaidak & Colton Lott.

A total of 10 different teams have now competed in the two Mixed Doubles Tour events. The third event in the series is scheduled for December in Brandon.


CurlManitoba Release: Brandon Curling Club will host the Nature’s Bounty Club Championships October 28-31 as 28 Men’s teams and a dozen Women’s teams from across Manitoba gather to vie for an entry in the 2021 Everest Canadian Club Championship.

The event is the first of two to be held this season for the competitive club-level curlers. These October Men’s and Women’s championships are happening because of covid-enforced postponement last spring. The winners in Brandon will have an opportunity to represent Manitoba at the Nationals in Ottawa in late-November. A second club champions’ playoff will take place in March of 2022.

The women’s competition in Brandon offers no fewer than four Canadian and Manitoba champion teams. Marlene Lang’s St. Vital foursome would be considered defending champion as they won in 2020 in Melita but did not have a chance to compete at the national level due to covid-cancellation. With one player change, the Lang team also won the 2015 Manitoba title.

Among the challengers are the last eight Manitoba champion teams. Lang in 2015 and 2020; local favourite Stacey Fordyce and her Brandon team won the 2013 and 2017 Manitoba and Canadian titles; Tracey Andries and her Fort Rouge team won Manitoba and Canada in 2016 and also won Manitoba in 2014; and Deb McCreanor’s LaSalle team were the 2018 Manitoba champions.

In fact only two of the champion teams since the inaugural event in 2009 are not represented in Brandon when you include Lori Pelissier who skipped a team to victory in 2012 and Fordyce’s win in 2010 with a slightly different team.

The 2020 champion Andrew Wickman is absent from the men’s field. However the finalists in Melita, Trevor Loreth and his Granite team, will be among the teams to beat in Brandon. Unlike the Women’s field, only one intact Men’s champion team will compete this weekend – the 2019 champion Derek Blanchard and his Assiniboine Memorial foursome. Riverview’s 2017 champion skip Mark Anderson returns with one member of his former champion team.

Scattered throughout the men’s field are a handful of individuals who have won the Club Champions event in the past along with some former Manitoba junior and mixed champions and many former Junior Men’s and Men’s champion competitors.

The championships have been presented as an open-entry event as it is too early in the season to have tried to conduct qualifying events. In the men’s event this weekend are representatives of 13 rural Manitoba clubs and seven Winnipeg clubs. In the women’s event are six rural Manitoba clubs and four Winnipeg clubs. Overall, 24 different Manitoba curling clubs and communities will be represented in the competitions.


(CurlManitoba Release) Beth Peterson and her Assiniboine Memorial team of Jenna Loder, Katherine Doerksen and Melissa Gordon & Fort Garry’s Corey Chambers, with Julien Leduc, Devon Wiebe and Stuart Shiells won the provincial curling championship berth bonspiels hosted by the Steinbach Curling Club on the October 15-17 weekend.

Team Peterson was undefeated in the six-team women’s event while Team Chambers had a single loss in the 10-team men’s event.

In the Scotties berth playoff round, Team Peterson faced Kristy McDonald and her Granite team (Lisa Blixhavn, Lindsay Warkentin, Raunora Westcott) twice on Sunday, winning both times with key three-enders. In the early game Sunday, Team Peterson scored three coming home to tie and then stole a point for a 9-8 victory. In the final, Team Peterson stole a three on the fifth end to take a 6-3 lead enroute to an 8-6 win.

Team Peterson will join the teams of Tracy Fleury, Mackenzie Zacharias, Darcy Robertson, and Kristy Watling who have already qualified to compete in the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Bayer in Carberry, December 14-19, 2021.

The national championship Scotties event takes place in Thunder Bay, ON, January 28 – February 6, 2022. Reigning Manitoba champion Kerri Einarson, as back-to-back Canadian champion, will compete in Thunder Bay as Team Canada.

In the first round Viterra berth bonspiel playoff game between unbeaten teams, Chambers surrendered a three-ender coming home on Jacques Gauthier’s last rock double kill for a 6-5 Gauthier (Jordan Peters, Brayden Payette, Cole Chandler & Coach John Lund) win. Team Chambers bounced back to shut out Team William Lyburn 5-0 in the semi-final to earn a re-match with Gauthier.

Chambers led 7-6 coming home without last rock. Facing five Gauthier counters, he made a perfect freeze to a Gauthier stone on the tee line in the four-foot circle. It left Gauthier nothing but an attempt to blast the rock loose but he was only able to move it about two feet sideways and scored just one to force an extra end.

On the extra end, Chambers made a last rock short angle raise take-out for a single point and an 8-7 win.

On the men’s side, Team Chambers is the sixth team to qualify for the 2022 Viterra Championship in Selkirk, January 25-30, 2022. They join the teams of Jason Gunnlaugson, Mike McEwen, Braden Calvert, Jordon McDonald, and Ryan Wiebe who have already qualified.

The National championship Tim Hortons Brier is set for Lethbridge, AB, March 4-13, 2022.

Forrest Wins Manitoba’s Chicken Chef Mixed Provincial Championship


(CurlManitoba Release) Alex Forrest and his family team from Assiniboine Memorial have won the 2021 Chicken Chef Manitoba Mixed Championship. Forrest had his brother Tyler at second, wife D’Arcy at lead, and sister-in-law Brandi at third as they won the title Monday afternoon with a 9-3 win over former four-time champion Sean Grassie and his Deer Lodge team.

After a blanked first end, Grassie scored two and stole one to lead 3-0 but never scored again. Forrest and his team filled the rings with rocks, scoring a four, two and three over the next three ends and Grassie conceded with no chance of scoring a comeback end midway through the seventh.

Grassie (Sarah-Jane Sass, Daryl Evans, Calleen Friesen) earned the bye to the final by placing first, thanks to 7-6 round-robin win over Forrest. Team Forrest earned the re-match with a 7-6 win over Corey Chambers in the Monday morning semi-final.

For Alex Forrest, it is a third Manitoba ‘buffalo’. He skipped the Manitoba junior champion team in 2010 and was at third for Jason Gunnlaugson in winning the Manitoba men’s title in 2020. Tyler Forrest, his brother, won the Manitoba Juniors at second for Reid Carruthers, in 2003.

Grassie was attempting to win a fifth Manitoba championship. To go with a Junior title, a fourth Mixed Championship would allow him to join three others with a record of four (by a skip): Ernie Boushy (1964-65-66-67), Jeff Stoughton (1988-89-91-94), and Terry McNamee (2004-05-07-11). Grassie had previously won in (1999, 2009-12-14).

The champions will have an opportunity to represent Manitoba at the 2021 Canadian Mixed, November 7-14, in Canmore, AB. Manitoba teams have won the Canadian Mixed title on seven occasions.

Boushy (1964 & 1966) and Stoughton (1988 & 1991) won twice. Hal Tanasichuk (1977), Jim Dunstone (1980) and Grassie (2009) were one-time Canadian champions.

The early October championship event was originally scheduled for last March but was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The early season playoff was scheduled as a part of the CurlManitoba effort to bring curlers and curling fans back into the clubs, as well as to identify a representative to attend the Canadian Mixed in Canmore.

The 2021-22 season Chicken Chef Mixed is tentatively scheduled for March 18-21, 2022 in Carman.

CurlManitoba will also be hosting a double set of championships this year for seniors and club champions.

The next Manitoba championships will be the Nature’s Bounty Men’s and Women’s Club Champions Championships in Brandon, October 28-31 and the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s/CurlManitoba Senior Women’s November 5-10 at Pembina Curling Club.

Start the presses….

Yes – start the presses is an old expression from the newspaper industry – but it seems appropriate to launch this latest iteration of thecurler since we began in 1989 as a print publication. (We being myself and my friends Ben Laursen and Aeleen Sclater)

We were a magazine format for several years (Keystone Curler) – and then a newspaper (The Curler) . I loved publishing the newspaper but the costs of printing and mailing were huge so the paper evolved into Version 1.0 of this website ( – and now Version 2.0, more of a blogsite than the original website but the same name and web address (

When I joined the Board of Governors of Curling Canada, there was no question I had to put the website into hiatus. Unabashedly I acknowledge I have always been a Manitoba curling promoter (and will continue to be!) and it was not appropriate for a member of that national board to be a single-province promoter.

After a season to de-compress from that experience, I was thinking seriously about a re-launch when covid shut our world down.

I began with an Instagram (thecurlerdotcom) and Facebook (thecurler) presence which I am continuing – check it out!!

The frustration for me with the social media opportunity is that I tend to ‘write long’ – and those platforms force a person to ‘write short’.

So you will be able to find me here – as complete coverage of Manitoba curling as I can manage and some opinions. The deal I’ll make with you is similar to the one I have made with my longtime friend and skip Norm Magnusson – we have agreed he’ll holler “sweep” as much as he wants – and I’ll actually sweep as much as I want.

Simple really here at thecurler – I’ll write as long as I want…you read as long as you want. I hope we’ll both be happy!