(5PM: Tuesday, Nov. 9) CurlManitoba Release Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team of Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, and Dale Michie have won their third Strathcona Trust Manitoba Senior Men’s Championship.

The team was the Manitoba Senior Champion team in 2015 and 2016 as well as winning the 2016 World Seniors Silver Medal.

The Neufeld foursome defeated CurlManitoba President Ray Baker and his Dauphin team of Jason Yates, Dwight Bottrell, Terry Gudmundson 7-4 in the Tuesday afternoon final at Pembina. It was one of the few times in Manitoba’s long curling history that a sitting president had an opportunity to win a Manitoba championship during his term.

Baker started strong, playing a split on the first end to roll a rock onto the rings along with his shooter to count a pair. However Neufeld scored two on the second and stole two on the third to lead 4-2 and take control of the game. Baker made a dramatic triple kill with his last rock of the seventh but still left Neufeld with a draw for two and a 7-4 lead coming home. Baker ran out of rocks coming home.

The two finalist teams took identical routes to the final game. Both qualified undefeated through the “A” event in the triple knock-out competition and both defeated the “B” qualifiers in the semi-finals; Neufeld beat Dave Boehmer (Granite) and Baker beat Richard Muntain (Granite). Boehmer and Muntain had defeated the “C” qualifiers in the quarterfinals; Boehmer beat Rob Atkins (East St. Paul) and Muntain beat Bill Menzies (Granite).

Neufeld and his champions will have the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the Everest Canadian Senior Championships December 6-11 in Sault Ste. Marie.

With the third Seniors title, Team Neufeld joins Dave Boehmer, Kelly Robertson, and Lloyd Gunnlaugson teams as three time champions with the same team. Barry Fry also won three but with different teams and Gunnlaugson actually won a fourth, with a slightly changed team.

(1PM: Tuesday, Nov. 9) BAKER-NEUFELD TO MEET IN SENIOR MEN’S FINAL ….. Former champion Randy Neufeld, looking to advance along the pathway to another opportunity to play in the Canadian and maybe the Senior Worlds, will play Ray Baker, looking for his first CurlManitoba championship in the final game of the Strathcona Trust Manitoba Senior Men’s Championship,

Neufeld reached the final with a 7-3 semi-final win over Dave Boehmer, a game that was tied 2-2 playing the fourth end. Neufeld had the hammer. Boehmer had given him a centre line miss in the front eight foot on the second end to steal a point. Neufeld left him the same shot and drew to the side behind the tee-line leaving a ‘tease-double’. Boehmer made the hit but rolled out and Neufeld had his draw for 2 and a 4-2 lead.

On end five, Boehmer was good on a hit facing three and stuck in the four foot for a single point but gave Neufeld a miss on the sixth end to allow a draw for two and a 6-3 lead.

Down three playing the eight end, Boehmer had to score but in the end Neufeld left him nothing but an angle raise takeout with his first target a rock just 6-8 inches over the hogline. Another steal of one ended the game at 7-3.

Baker and his Dauphin team defeated Richard Muntain in a match which was also close for the first half. On the fourth end, down 2-1 without last rock, Muntain’s last rock draw to bite the button behind cover forced Baker to attempt a draw which bit the four foot but gave up a steal of one for a 2-2 tie.

On end five, Muntain’s double raise takeout attempt had a fortunate result as he rolled off the second shot stone to lie one, almost buried on the four foot. Baker’s tapback got past a guard but overcurled and rubbed his own before contacting the shot stone and he rolled away to count only one and lead 3-2.

On the sixth, Baker established an early rock almost biting the back of the button. When Muntain got second shot in the front four foot, Baker and his team played guard after guard as Muntain removed them. Baker’s last shot guard was good enough to force Muntain to play past it to tap his own back but he rubbed the guard to give up a steal and trailed 4-2.

A Baker double kill on the seventh, left Muntain a possible double for two but he got only one and gave up another steal to trail 5-2. The eighth was played mostly in the four foot and Baker ended the game with a double kill that would be called routine in the second end but pressure-packed in the eighth.

Anything but routine – Baker throwing red had to kill the two yellow stones

The final is scheduled for 2PM at Pembina.

(9PM: Monday, Nov. 8) BAKER-MUNTAIN, BOEHMER-NEUFELD SEMI-FINALS …The final four in CurlManitoba’s Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s championship are Dauphin’s Ray Baker team, La Salle’s Randy Neufeld and his former Canadian Champion-World Senior Silver Medalist team, three-time reigning Manitoba senior champion skip Dave Boehmer and his new Granite foursome, and Richard Muntain also of Granite.

AJ Girardin & Al Purdy prepare to sweep a Richard Muntain stone

Baker and Neufeld won the “A” Event playoff spots and earned byes to Tuesday 10AM semi-finals.

Muntain and Boehmer were the “B” Event qualifiers. They won both won quarter-final games Monday evening to advance. Boehmer eliminated Rob Atkins (East St. Paul) while Muntain beat Bill Menzies (Granite).

In the semi-final games, Baker plays Muntain and Neufeld plays Boehmer. The final game at Pembina is scheduled for 2PM.

(11PM: Sunday, Nov. 7) BAKER-NEUFELD ADVANCE TO TUESDAY PLAYOFFS …… Ray Baker faced three on the seventh end in his Sunday afternoon game against three-time champion Dave Boehmer, one of them biting the button. Baker threw an out-turn draw to the button for a 3-2 lead coming home.

The Dauphin team was able to build a wall of stones in the front eight foot circle as wide as the four foot and Boehmer`s last rock attempt to go around them with a wide in-turn draw to the four foot overcurled, giving Team Baker a steal and a 5-2 win. They advance to the semi-final to be played Tuesday morning at 10AM.

Randy Neufeld`s win over Richard Muntain had an equally close first half. The game was tied 2-2 after four ends. On the fifth end, a Muntain attempt at a very thin double moved both rocks but kiilled only one and left Neufeld a draw for a deuce and a 4-2 lead. Neufeld stole two more on end six to lead 6-2, gave back two to lead 6-4 coming home, and ran Muntain out of rocks coming home. Team Neufeld also advances to the Tuesday semi-final.

Boehmer bounced back on the late draw to beat Neil Okumura 10-1 and Muntain also bounced back to beat Mark Franklin 8-3 as both qualified for the quarter-finals. The final two playoff teams will be determined Monday.

(Saturday, Nov. 6) BAKER-BOEHMER, NEUFELD-MUNTAIN TO PLAY FOR FIRST PLAYOFF SPOTS …. The first playoff spots in the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s Championship will be awarded Sunday at 12:30PM when Ray Baker takes on three-tine champion Dave Boehmer and former champion, and World Silver Medalist, Randy Neufeld plays Richard Muntain.

Baker advanced with a Saturday afternoon win over Bill Menzies while Boehmer defeated Mark Franklin, Neufeld was a winner over Neil Okumura, and Muntain beat Mike Mahon.

The “B” event qualifying games willtake place at 7:30PM Sunday and the “C” Event Q-Games are set for 2PM Monday. First round of Senior Men’s playoffs is 7PM Monday with the final at 2PM Tuesday.

(Noon: Friday, Nov. 5) VAN KOMMER WINS BATTLE OF CURLMANITOBA PAST_PRESIDENTS…..Rob Van Kommer, skipping the Dean Smith-Carberry team, took on Thompson’s Sam Antila on the opening draw of the Strathcona Senior Men’s Championship at Pembina.

The two former CurlManitoba Past-Presidents were tied 3-3 coming home but Van Kommer had the advantage and the Carberry team put a deuce on the scoreboard for their first win in the triple knock-out event.

It must have been home-ice advantage for Pembina’s Howard Doerksen who trailed Barry Mandryk (Fort Rouge) 5-2 coming home but scored four for a 6-5 win.

And CurlManitoba President Ray Baker and his Dauphin team had the same 5-2 lead coming home but they were able to mark that up as the final score in their first win over Derek Dowsett (Stonewall).

All three games were extra-series games so the winners have advanced to even in the draw with the other 13 teams. The losers drop to the B Event.

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