Sunday was another good day at the Pembina Curling Club. It was this season’s second fall Learn to Curl session day at the club which is preparing to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year.

Club President Gord MacKay says the club has made a real effort in recent years to get new people in the facility through their Learn to Curl programs. In late October, there were 70 people in attendance. For this day in mid-November, they had pre-registered 96 participants scheduled to go on the ice in three groups of 32 each.

A busy day – Pembina President Gord MacKay also won the Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel Sunday, playing third for Lionel Walz

As MacKay watched the first session on the ice, he acknowledged that only 20 had showed up and speculated that the arrival of Winnipeg’s winter on the weekend may have discouraged some from attending.

By the end of the day, 19 people had attended session two and 25 were there for session three – a total of 64 people, most of them stepping on the curling ice for the first time. “Pretty darn good,” he said.

The three session instructors included Christine MacKay – a recently successful junior & Scotties level curler who has stepped back from competition while she focuses on her education; Lisa McLeod – a Pembina youth program graduate and successful competitive player hoping to qualify on the coming weekend for the 2021 Scotties; and Rick Sproule – a club past-president & Honourary Life Member and good club level curler. They focused on exposure to the game and  technical instruction suitable to the age of the group of people they were supervising.

In conversation, MacKay emphasized the importance of getting new people into our curling facilities. He knows one session won’t turn them into curlers but that it can excite them about the sport as something that may interest them.

He suggests it isn’t hard to get people to come to the club for the experience of one Learn to Curl session. “The real challenge is figuring out how we can get them to become active participants in the club,” he says.

Pembina’s next effort begins with what they call their five-week miniseries – a fairly short commitment for the individuals but long enough to give them a taste of regular participation in the sport. The miniseries are offered at different times on weekends and weekday evening.

The Learn to Curl initiative began at Pembina in 2015. Perhaps not surprisingly the best response was for a February event in 2018 when excitement from the Olympics was an important factor. They’ll be gearing up again for a February program after the 2022 Olympics but there is a downside in the fact that there is little time left to the Winnipeg curling season after February and giving them that immediate experience is important.

The club has also learned that promotion of the Learn to Curl sessions can be quite inexpensive. “For October we advertised on social media – twitter, facebook, the club website,” he explained. “For this November session, we had the added benefit of exposure on a CTV Morning Live feature.”

He notes that the response came from significantly different demographic groups. For October, the response was a very high percentage of new-Canadian Asian families, a group which curling organizers everywhere would like to encourage into the sport. For November, there was a much higher percentage from the traditional curling market group – another experience to be learned from, he suggests.

Asked if the participants in the sessions are mainly from the immediate area of the Pembina Curling Club, Gord MacKay says he suspects a very high percentage is but he isn’t particularly concerned about it.

He is Pembina‘s President this year but he is also a lifetime curling supporter. If his club’s efforts to introduce curling to new people turns into possible future curlers in other city facilities, he is perfectly OK with that.


Quebec’s Jean-Michel Menard and his team will represent Canada at the next World Mixed Championship after winning the Canadian Mixed in Canmore, AB. Quebec defeated Ontario’s Michael McLean 5-4 in the final.

In the semi-finals, Quebec had beaten NWT’s Jamie Koe team 6-4 while Ontario was a 6-5 winner over New Brunswick’s James Grattan team. Koe beat Grattan 8-3 for the Bronze Medal.

Koe finsihed the championship round with a 9W-1L record while McLean, Grattan and Meanrd all had 7W-3L records.

Alex Forrest and his Manitoba team completed play with an even 5W-5L record. Having finished the first round of play at 3W-3L, they needed a sweep of the four championship pool games but lost to both Ontario and New Brunswick in those cross-over games against teams who played the first round in the other first-round pool.

(November 10) TEAM MANITOBA INTO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND AT CANADIAN MIXED …. Manitoba’s Alex Forrest Team finished the opening round of play at the Canadian Mixed in Canmore, AB with a 3W-3L record, just good enough to advance to the championship round.

Curling Canada Photo: Team Manitoba in Canmore (l-r) Alex Forrest, Brandi Forrest, Tyler Forrest, Darcy Forrest

Team Forrest will have to go unbeaten in their next four games to have any real hope of moving on to the 4-team Page Playoff round. Four teams moved forward with 5W-1L record, three had 4W-2L records, and Manitoba’s Forrest is the eighth ranked team at 3W-3L.

In this second round of play, teams cross over and play the four teams from the other pool – with wins and losses added to the record brought forward.

Manitoba has already played three of the 5W-1L teams: Northern Ontario, Quebec, and Northwest Territories. So the hope for advancement depends on Manitoba going unbeaten against the four cross-over teams while the three all dominate, allowing Alex Forrest and his team to take the fourth and final playoff spot.

First up is Ontario who also have a 5W-1L record. That game is scheduled for 3PM (CST) today. Games at 8PM today and 3PM & 8PM Friday against Saskatchewan, BC, and New Brunswick. All three advanced with 4W-2L records.


GOLD MEDAL: Team LaVallee/Manitoba

The Canadian Deaf Curling Championships, featuring both a men’s competition and a mixed doubles competition, were played this weekend at Morris with a pair of Manitoba Men’s teams meeting in the championship final. The Cargill Curling Training Centre in Morris is the Official Training Centre of the Canadian Deaf Curling Program.

 The gold medal, and the chance to represent Canada at the World Deaf Curling Championship in March in Banff, was won by Ross LaVallee (Shawn Demianyk, Kayle Miller, Brian Broszeit, Coach Lorne Hamblin). Team Lavalle was one up coming home with last rock and marked up the victory over Joe Comte’s foursome (Bill Kluchnik, Chris Stewart, Cam Hurst, Coach Chris Hamblin). The two teams had finished the round-robin with identical 3W-1L records but Team LaVallee was awarded the first place bye to the final thanks to a win over Team Comte. Team Comte defeated a British Columbia team (Craig Waldbillig, David Johnson, Frank Chung, Alnoor Mitha, fifth John Sigurdson) in the semi-final.

GOLD MEDAL: Michael Austria/Manitoba & Sally Korol/Alberta

In the Mixed Doubles competition, which is new to the Deaf Curling Program, the winning team was Albertan Sally Korol and Manitoban Michael Austria. They too will have the opportunity to represent Canada in Banff. Their gold medal win came over Emma Logan/Nova Scotia & Frank Chung/BC. The Bronze Medal was won by Hannah Brown/Manitoba & Calvin Novak/Alberta.

Due to limited entries, there was no Women’s competition this year. A team has been selected by the Canadian Deaf Curling Association to represent Canada at the World event.  Emma Logan (NS) will be the skip with Holly Maschmeyer (Alberta) at second. Manitobans Hannah Brown and Susanne Beriault are the third and lead respectively.

Picken ‘Spiel Committee Supports New Inter-Club Youth League

By coincidence of timing, the final games of the 2021 Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel ended about an hour before the launch of a new Inter-Club Youth League, sponsored in part by the Picken Bonspiel committee and named in hour of the curling broadcast legend.

The Bob Picken Legacy Inter-Club Youth League is a pilot project of CurlManitoba involving the junior leagues at Fort Garry, Pembina, La Salle, Elmwood and Assiniboine Memorial.

In explaining the objectives of the league to the 32 young curlers assembled at Fort Garry for the first games, CurlManitoba’s Rob Gordon said the organizers want young curlers to experience curling outside their own curling club.

“Travelling to other clubs, experiencing different ice conditions, and playing against new people are all part of learning about and enjoying the sport of curling,” Gordon said.

Two teams from each junior program will participate on five different weekends with the two teams from each program playing the two teams from another club. Midway through each two hour session, the teams will swap ice in order to allow for a fresh start and to play on a different sheet of ice.

Although a slight modification in schedule will be required when the league visits La Salle’s three-sheet facility, the intent is that all the teams will play each time the teams get together.

Gordon expects that some of the teams will represent their club each time while there may be more than two teams involved in a rotation from other clubs.

At the start of the final day of play in the Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel, when told of the plans for the Inter-Club Youth League, the players competing at the Thistle Curling Club gave resounding support for this new initiative as a very appropriate way to invest some of the proceeds from the annual Bob Picken-Valour Road Masters Bonspiel at Thistle.

The Masters age curlers playing in the bonspiel recognize they are competing with and beside competitors and friends gained over a lifetime on the curling ice, playing in their own clubs and visiting other clubs for bonspiels and inter-club play. In essence, it is a ‘passing of the torch’ with the older curlers finding a way to help our youth discover the fellowship that develops through friendly competition.


(5PM: November 14) Lionel Walz and his team from Pembina CC (Gord MacKay, Bill Mamchuk, Brian DeRiviere) won the 2nd Bob Picken-Valour Road Master’s Bonspiel today at the Thistle Curling Club, winning the Global News Radio – 680 CJOB Championship final.

Walz posted an 8-2, six end win over Carl German’s East St. Paul foursome. German led 2-1 after three ends and appeared in control on the fourth but Walz’ third, Gord MacKay made a double runback to remove one of two German stones in the four foot circle. Not yet out of trouble, the Walz team benefitted from the German team’s misfortune when a jam removed that second rock. By the end of that fourth end, Walz had a steal of three and a 4-2 lead enroute to the six-end win.

Global News Radio – 680 CJOB Championship
001 313 xx =8

020 000 xx =2

In the St. James Rehabilitation Physiotherapy event, Dave Fisher jumped out to a three point lead after two ends but Karen Sheldon (skipping the Nancy Scammell entry) fought back to tie after six ends. Sheldon forced Fisher to a single on the seventh and had an open hit with her last rock for victory.

St. James Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Center
030 010 10 =5

KAREN SHELDON (Nancy Scammell entry)
001 002 03 =7

In the Valour Road Past President event, Ron Westcott (skipping the Larry Dewis entry) took one on the second end after blanking the first – but never scored again. After scoring a single on the third end, Dave Johannson made a 4-rock combination raise to remove a Westcott rock in the four foot and set of a steal. He set up another steal on the fifth end when he made an angle raise to remove another Westcott four-foot counter. The game ended after six with a Johannson steal of three more when Westcott’s last rock could not negotiate a very narrow port on an attempted draw to the four foot.

Valour Road Past President Event
001 002 x =6

RON WESTCOTT (Larry Dewis entry)
0010 000 x =1

Although there was a relatively small entry of only 12 teams, due mainly to a rescheduling from early in the year as a covid precaution, the bonspiel has been deemed to be a success. Planning for the third Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel, including the question of scheduling for 2022, will be beginning in the near future.

(5PM: November 13) WALZ, GERMAN UNBEATEN, PLAY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP …. Final round wins by Lionel Walz (over Laurie Hogg) and Carl German (over Bruce Burton) while Ron Westcott was losing to Don Archer leaves Walz and German the only undefeated teams and set to meet in Sunday’s Bob Picken ‘Spiel championship final.


Five teams finished with 2W-1L records. Despite the last shot kill for two, and the win over Westcott, Archer’s team will find themselves on the outside looking in as the three event final games take place


Walz and German will play for the Global News Radio 680 CJOB championship.

Based on the bonspiel’s tiebreaker formula, Dave Fisher will play Nancy Scammell in the St. James Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Center Ltd. event and Westcott, skipping the Larry Dewis entry, will play Dave Johannson in the Valour Road Past President event.

The three finals are set for 10AM Sunday at the Thistle Curling Club.

(8PM: November 12) THREE TEAMS AT 2W-0L in PICKEN BONSPIEL …. It was a dramatic end to the second day of play in the Bob Picken-Valour Road Masters Bonspiel at Winnipeg`s Thistle Curling Club (formerly the Valour Road CC) as Laurie Hogg threw a wide out-turn tap of his own stone to full four foot, a count of three, and a 7-6 win.

Watching the shot come down the ice, Brian Kushner was convinced he was only giving up two and a tie – he was preparing to go to an extra end. Watching the draw run down the ice, Hogg thought he had missed – admitting he was trying to throw a draw that had to curl inside his own stone to get to the four-foot circle for the third point.

Hogg, who won the first Bob PIcken Bonspiel in 2019, has a 1W-1L record after two games. Within his pool, Hogg trails former Manitoba Senior Men`s champion Lionel Walz who improved to 2W-0L with a win today over Karen Sheldon (skipping the Nancy Scammell entry). Walz led 6-5 coming home and Sheldon just missed on a last shot attempt to rub and roll to the four foot circle for a tie and an extra end.

Former Canadian Senior men`s champion Carl German posted his second win, a short game victory over the Coutts entry while another former Manitoba champion, Ron Westcott (skipping the Larry Dewis entry) beat Norm Magnusson to also improve to 2W-0L.

(9PM: November 11) WINTER RETURNS AS PICKEN `SPIEL OPENS ….. The Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel at Thistle was greeted today by the first blast of winter but the veteran curlers entered in the bonspiel have seen worse in their time. All games started on schedule.

Keen ice greeted the players and more than one of them was heard to marvel at the amount of curl – conducive to a lot of rocks in play in most games.

Nancy Scammel opened the bonspiel with a win over Laurie Hogg, who won the 2019 version of the bonspiel. Scammel and two of her teammates are former Manitoba Masters Women`s champion.

Former Manitoba Senior Men`s champions Ron Westcott (skipping the Larry Dewis entry), Carl German, and Lionel Walz all won their opening games. Wins were also posted by Barry Mandryk (skipping the Bruce Burton entry) and by Don Archer.

 (10PM: November 10) BOB PICKEN MASTERS BONSPIEL THIS WEEKEND….The Bob Picken-Valour Road Masters Bonspiel takes place November 11-14 at the Thistle Curling Club.

The second Bob Picken Bonspiel is occurring over two years after the original bonspiel in 2019 due to the covid-cancellation of last year’s curling season and a decision by the committee to move the bonspiel later into the season for this year.

That decision was made recognizing that the older demographic involved in the bonspiel should be given a few weeks of club curling to “get their feet under them again” before taking on the challenge of several days in a row curling.

The bonspiel is going ahead with a smaller field of 12 teams playing a round-robin in three pools of four. The teams will play a game a Thursday (1PM & 3:30PM), Friday (1PM & 3:30PM) and Saturday (10AM & 1PM) and six teams will advance to playoffs on Sunday.

Among the competing teams are former Manitoba champions Carl German, Lionel Walz, and Ron Westcott (with the Larry Dewis entry).

The bonspiel’s Championship is sponsored by GLOBAL NEWS RADIO – 680 CJOB where Bob’s sports reports at “25 after the hour” were the go-to for sports fans, and especially curling fans, in Manitoba for many years.

The other events are the St. James Rehabilitation Physiotherapy Center Ltd. and the Valour Road Curling Club Past President events, named in honour of the sponsor and in tribute to Bob Picken who had also served as a Valour Road CC President.

Other contributing supporters include Asham Curling Supplies, INHOUSE Strategies,, and the Thistle Curling Club.

Proceeds from the bonspiel will continue to find the Bob Picken Junior Legacy Fund. After the 2019 bonspiel grants of $500 each were provided to support the junior programs at the Thistle, Oakville and Riverview Curling Clubs. Plans for junior program support in 2021 will be announced in the near future.


(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.

Link’s East St. Paul Team Wins 2021 Senior Women’s Curling Title

CurlManitoba Release (5PM: Monday, Nov. 8) Kim Link and her East St. Paul teammates Colleen Kilgallen, Karen Fallis, Renee Fletcher, and fifth Lynn Fallis -Kurz have won the 2021 CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Championship.

CurlManitoba Photo: (l-r) Kim Link, Colleen Kilgallen, Karen Fallis, Renee Fletcher, Lynn Fallis-Kurz

Link, who won her third Manitoba Senior Women’s title, defeated Norma Purdy of St. Vital (Patti Ulrich, Marlene Lang, Gwen Wooley and fifth Nicole Goshawk) 7-4 Monday afternoon at Pembina.

Leading 6-4 playing the seventh end, Link was able to get a rock behind cover in the four foot, forcing Purdy to draw full to the four foot circle. The draw was just heavy and Link stole a point to lead 7-4 coming home. Link ended the game with a double kill on her first rock of that eighth end.

Link had earned the triple knockout event’s “A” playoff spot and a bye to the final. Her three preliminary round games were all victories over former champions; Sandra Cowling, Maureen Bonar, and Laurie Deprez.

Purdy qualified for the playoffs through the last-chance “C” event and played Maureen Bonar’s Charleswood team, which was skipped by Joelle Brown, in the semi-final. Purdy had lost two previous games during the championship to the Bonar team but it was third time lucky as the St. Vital foursome scored a 7-5 victory to advance to the final game.

Link previously skipped the Manitoba Senior Women’s champions in 2015 and 2018. She was joined both times by second Karen Fallis, who threw third on each of the earlier champion teams. This year’s lead Renee Fletcher and fifth Lynn Fallis-Kurz were members of the 2018 team.

For third Colleen Kilgallen, the 2021 championship is her first Manitoba curling title.

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

(1PM: Monday, Nov. 8) LINK TO PLAY PURDY IN MANITOBA SENIOR WOMEN’S FINAL….Norma Purdy and her St. Vital team have won the semi-final game of the CurlManitoba Senior Ladies Championship underway at Pembina, defeating the Maureen Bonar team (skipped by Joelle Brown) 7-4 on the morning draw.

Gwen Wooley (l) and Marlene Lang were ready to sweep the Norma Purdy stone, if needed.

Purdy led by three coming home but faced three when she went to the hack to deliver her final rock. A double kill left a steal of one.

It was a Purdy shot on the first end that may have changed the tone of the game. Facing two, without last rock, Purdy hit and rolled behind a corner guard. Brown attempted a tap to remove it but just rubbed the Purdy rock and gave up a steal instead of a possible score of two.

The game was tied 2-2 when the next big break came. Purdy, with hammer on the fifth, drew her first rock to backing behind cover and when Brown could not follow, Purdy had a draw for two and a 4-2 lead. Purdy stole three more on the sixth. Brown took two on the seventh to set up the three down, need to steal scenario which almost worked out.

The Purdy team will play Kim Link and her East St. Paul team in the final game at 2PM.

(11PM: Sunday, Nov 7) PURDY-BONAR SEMI-FINAL, WINNER PLAYS LINK……Sunday was a tough day for former champion Laurie Deprez and her Stonewall team at the Manitoba Senior Women’s Championship at Pembina. Team Deprez had lost the “A” qualifying game Saturday.

Dropping to the “B” Q-game, they were beaten 9-2 by Maureen Bonar’s Charleswood team, skipped by Joelle Brown. The loss dropped them to the “C” Q-game where they played Norma Purdy’s St. Vital foursome and suffered another loss.

The 10AM Monday semi-final has the Bonar team playing Purdy and her team with the winner advancing to a 2PM final game against Kim Link’s East St. Paul team.

(6PM: Saturday, Nov. 6) LINK ADVANCES TO SENIOR WOMEN’S FINAL….Kim Link’s East St Paul team (Colleen Kilgallen, Karen Fallis, Renee Fletcher, Lynn Fallis-Kurz) team is a win away from the Manitoba Senior Women’s title. Team Link won the “A” Event playoff spot Saturday afternoon at Pembina and with it a bye to the provincial final game Monday afternoon at 2pm.

Team Link had Laurie Deprez and her Stonewall team in trouble right from the outset. Early first ends draws to the four-foot behind centre guards left Deprez facing a Link stone on the button with her last rock. An attempted run-back failed and Link stole a point.

On the second end, a Link steal was the result of her being able to split the rings early and another steal came in the third when a biter just behind the teeline counted.

Deprez salvaged a single point with a draw to backing against a Link rock buried in the four foot but down 3-1 after four, the momemtum was all in Link’s favour. A score of two and steal of two more ended the game after 6 ends.

Deprez will have two more chances to qualify for the playoffs as the Stonewall team will drop to the “B” final and if necessary, the “C” final.

(7PM: Friday, Nov. 5) LINK-DEPREZ TO PLAY FIRST SENIOR WOMEN’S Q-GAME…..Kim Link and her East St. Paul team will play Laurie Deprez and her Stonewall team in the first qualifying game at the Manitoba Senior Women’s Championship. The game is set for 4PM Saturday.

Deprez skipped the 2012 champion team while Link was skip of the 2015 and 2018 champions.

Reigning champion Terry Ursel, who skipped the 2019 and 2020 champion teams, lost her opening game Friday afternoon to Deprez.

(11 AM: Friday, Nov. 5) FORMER CHAMPS WIN SENIOR WOMEN’S OPENERS…..Laurie Deprez’s Stonewall team scored a big five coming home for a come from behind win over Brenda Michel (Granite).

A former champ win was assured between Kim Link (East St.Paul) and Sandra Cowling (Hamiota). This time it was Link who prevailed with an 8-3 win.

And Charleswood’s Maureen Bonar, a former Manitoba-Canadian-World champion (with Lois Fowler) was a 6-3 winner over Norma Purdy (St. Vital). Bonar’s lead, Deb McCreanor, skipped the winners a week ago at the Club Champions event in Brandon so she is looking for two championships in a ten-day period.

Reigning champion Terry Ursel and her Hamiota team had the first draw bye in the seven team event.


(11PM: Sunday, Nov. 7) Jordan McDonald and his team (Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Alexandre Fontaine, Coach Blaine Malo) and the Meghan Walter foursome (Lane Prokopowich, Katie McKenzie, Mackenzie Elias, Coach Frank Walter) have won the Manitoba Junior “World Qualifier” competitions staged this weekend at Heather.

CurlManitoba Photo: l-r Coach Blaine Malo, Alexandre Fontaine, Elias Huminicki, Reece Hamm, Jordon McDonald

In the Junior Men’s event, Team McDonald blanked the opening end and had a draw for a three on the second after a Jordan Johnson takeout attempt wrecked on a guard. Up 3-0, Team McDonald controlled the play and the game ended in six ends with the score 7-1.

CurlManitoba Photo: l-r Coach Frank Walter, Mackenzie Elias, Katie McKenzie, Lane Prokopowich, Meghan Walter

The result in the Junior Women’s event also seemed inevitable after Team Walter stole two on the second end and three more on the third – both ends set up by a single centre guard and aggressive play behind it. Team Emma Jensen fought back with a single and steal of one to trail 5-2 at the break and they controlled play on the sixth end as well. Walter’s last rock, a delicate tap of her own stone to the button between a pair of Jensen stones with Jensen laying two, moved momentum back to her side. Team Walter won a measure for a steal on the seventh and Team Jensen conceded after making a last rock draw for one on the eighth.

The two teams will wear the Manitoba jackets at a national event in Saskatoon later this month. The winners there will represent Canada at the 2022 World Juniors.

(Noon: Sunday, Nov. 7) MCDONALD ADVANCES, MAISEY PLAYS JOHNSON IN JUNIOR MEN’S SEMIFINAL …..Jordon McDonald and his team have advanced to the final of Manitoba’s Junior Men’s “World Qualifier” at the Heather. Team McDonald defeated Josh Maisey and his team 7-5 this morning, scoring three coming home to win.

Maisey led early but a lead change after six showed a real momentum shift. Maisey led by three after three – McDonald scored four over the next three ends to lead 4-3 after six. Maisey made a game saver hit through a centre line port facing two on the seventh and tied the game 4-4.

Midway through the eighth end, the bell rang, signaling that the ninth would be the final end of play. McDonald had played the end aggressively, playing for a deuce and had Maisey in trouble. Facing three, Maisey outdrew the shot rock which was at least half on the button. McDonald had a makeable hit for two, possibly three or four, but rubbed a guard to give up a steal and trail 5-4 playing the final end.

McDonald was in trouble on the ninth until third Reece Hamm made the kind of double kill that earns a double star in the stats records – a hit up centre line that had to ‘paper’ past a guard. A Maisey draw followed by a McDonald miss and another Maisey draw, set up a dramatic double kill victory for McDonald.

Team Maisey drops to the afternoon semifinal against Jordan Johnson, who beat Jace Freeman in the playoff elimination game.

(11PM: Saturday, Nov. 6) JUNIOR PLAYOFFS SET FOR SUNDAY AT HEATHER…….With a 6-1 victory, Jace Freeman and his team have earned the fourth, and final, playoff spot in the Junior Men’s “World Qualifier” competition at Heather. Team Freeman defeated Thomas McGillivary and his team in the “C” Event qualifying game.

Team Freeman (Ryan Ostrowsky, Cyrus Brandt, Andrew McKay)    plays Team Jordan Johnson (Jayden Rutter, Tim Johsnon, Ryan Zapotochny) in the Page Playoff bottom side game with the loser eliminated and the winner advancing to the semi-final.

In the Page Playoff top side game, with the winner going direct to the final and the loser to the semi-final, Team Josh Maisey (Sean Flatt, Sean Giesbrecht, Adam Flatt) plays Team Jordon McDonald (Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Alexandre Fontaine)

The first playoff draw is scheduled for 9AM Sunday with the semi-final at 2PM and the final at 7:30PM. The playoffs winning team will play in a national “World Qualifier” bonspiel in Saskatoon, later this month.


In the Junior Women’s competition, final standings have been determined a last round win by Team Emma Jensen (6-5 over Team Meghan Walter) and losses by Team Tansy Tober (10-6 to Team Morgan Maguet) and by Team Grace Beaudry (6-3 to Team Emily Ogg).

Team Jensen (Jaycee Terrick, Becky Friesen, Julia Millan) finishes in first place with a 4W-1L record while Team  Tober (Lexa Sigurdson, Caitlin Kostna, Stephanie Feelus) and Team Walter (Lane Prokopowich, Katie McKenzie, MacKenzie Elias) finishes tied with in second with a 3W-2L record.

The three-team playoff, semi-final winner advancing to the final against the first place team, is also scheduled for Sunday.

(5PM: Saturday, Nov. 6) JUNIOR PLAYOFFS WILL BE SET ON 7:30 DRAW SATURDAY DRAW….Jordan Johnson and his team have joined “A” Event qualifers Jordon McDonald and Josh Maisey in the Sunday playoff round of the “World Qualifier” competition underway at Heather.

Johnson bested Thomas McGillivary 9-4 Saturday afternoon to win the “B” event playoff spot. McGillvary will play Jace Freeman Saturday at 7:30PM in the “C” Event qualifying game.

In the Junior Women’s competition, Meghan Walter, Emma Jensen, and Tansy Tober and their teams all have 3W-1L records after posting win Saturday afternoon. Walter plays Jensen on the 7:30PM draw withthe winner improving to 4W-1L and being assured of a top two finish. If Team Tober beats Grace Beaudry on the evening draw, Tober will also be at 4W-1L and the three will be the top three finishers.

If Beaudry, whose record is currently 2W-2L, happens to beat Tober then there will be a three way tie for second place and the tiebreaker process will be implemented.

(7PM: Friday, Nov 5) MAISEY, MCDONALD ADVANCE IN JUNIOR MEN’S WORLD QUALIFIER……Team Josh Maisey and Team Jordon McDonald are the first teams to qualify for Sunday’s playoff action at Manitoba’s Junior “World Qualifer” bonspiel at Heather.

Maisey, with a win Thursday evening and one Friday, and McDonald with a pair of wins Friday will meet Sunday in the top side of the Page Playoff draw. As unbeaten teams, the loser will drop into the semi-final while the winner will advance direct to the final.

The third team to reach the junior men’s playoff round will be determined on the 2PM draw Saturday when Team Jordan Johnson plays Team Thomas McGIllivary.

In the women’s competition, Friday ends with four teams sitting on 2W-1L round robin records. On the Friday late draw, a win by Team Emma Jensen over Team Grace Beaudry brought Team Beaudry back into a 2W-1L tie with Team Jensen as well as with Team Meghan Walter and Team Tansy Tober, who both won on that draw.

(10PM: Thursday,Nov. 4) MAISEY OPENS WITH A WIN IN JUNIOR “WORLD QUALIFIER COMPETITION……Just over a month ago, Sean and Adam Flatt were lined up with their former junior skip Ryan Wiebe playing in the awkwardly named Pre-Trials Direct Entry event with a long-shot chance of going to the Olympics..

This week, they have joined forces with former rivals, Josh Maisey and Sean Giesbrecht, in this year’s last chance opportunity to go to the Canadian and World Juniors.

This new Maisey team was assembled just for this competition which presents an opportunity to compete in Curling Canada’s 2022 World Junior Qualifying Bonspiel later this month. Although the Wiebe team fell well short in Ottawa in September, winning only one of four games, the experience of competing at that level will be an asset this week at the Heather Curling Club.

Throwing third stones, Sean Flatt played a key role coming home in Team Maisey’s opening game against Aaron Van Ryssel.  Trailing by one coming home, Van Ryssel got a good start to the end and was building an end to steal when Flatt peeled two guards with his first rock and removed two from the rings with his second. From there it was a simple matter of trading rocks with Maisey winning the game on a last rock hit.

In the second Junior Men’s game on the Thursday evening kick-off draw, Tanner Graham dominated Ronan Peterson in a six end game. Graham returns to the ice at 9AM for a game against the top ranked team on the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour skipped by Jordon McDonald.

The Junior Women’s event also starts at 9AM Friday.


(CurlManitoba Release) Winnipeg’s Pembina Curling Club will host the third of three carry-over provincial championship events to be played this fall when the 2021 Manitoba Senior Men’s and Senior Women’s Curling Championships take place this weekend. The two championships get underway Friday morning at the Pembina Curling Club.

The dual Senior Championships come on the heels of a very successful double Club Championships event last weekend in Brandon and the Mixed Championship earlier at the Granite.

The championships are replacement events for the 2020-21 season championships which had to be postponed during last curling season. They represent an opportunity to re-ignite excitement and interest in curling among curlers and fans.

“The response of the curlers last week and this and the response of fans who filled the Brandon Curling Club last weekend tell us this was the right way for us to kick off the new curling season,” says CurlManitoba Executive Director Craig Baker.

“It is exciting for us to be able to provide championship curling entertainment and I look forward to see a full-house of Winnipeg curling fans at Pembina this weekend.”

The two skips who have won five of the last six championships are in the Pembina Strathcona Senior Men’s field. Dave Boehmer, who skipped the last three champion teams, returns to defend the title with a Granite team which includes Dean Dunstone, Graham Freeman and Bruce Wyche. 2015 World Senior Silver Medallist Randy Neufeld (La Salle) will compete with his 2015 and 2016 team intact. A third notable champion is Mark Franklin, who won the 2016, ’17, and ’18 Manitoba Masters titles, skipping another Granite foursome.

Among the challengers are Hamiota’s Dale Brooks, a member of Brent Strachan’s 2009 Senior champion team, Bill Menzies (Granite) who was on Franklin’s Masters champion team in 2018 and won the Seniors with Lionel Walz in 2007, and Neil Okamura (Pembina) who was a member of Gord McTavish Masters champion team in 2019.

In the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s, two-time defending champion Terry Ursel (Neepawa) returns with her team intact to defend the title. Ursel also won in 2017 with a different team. Challenging Ursel are 2015 & 2018 champion Kim Link (East St. Paul), 2012 champion Laurie Deprez (Stonewall), Maureen Bonar who was at third for Lois Fowler’s World Senior Champion team, and the 2016 champion team skipped by Sandra Cowling (Hamiota),

The Strathcona Senior Men’s, which has attracted 19 entries, will begin Friday, November 5 at 9AM and run through to the final game scheduled for 2PM on Tuesday, November 9. The CurlManitoba Senior Women’s, which has attracted seven entries, will begin Friday, November 5 at 9AM and run through to the final game scheduled for 2PM on Monday, November 8.

The winners will have the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the Everest Canadian Seniors in early December on Sault Ste. Marie, ON.


(CurlManitoba Release) Winnipeg’s Heather Curling Club will host a pair of unique junior events this weekend – Junior Competitions to identify Manitoba’s teams for Canada’s 2022 World Junior Qualifier.

As with the Senior Championships scheduled for Pembina, November 5-9, the Junior World Qualifier events are the result of the COVID-cancellation of curling last year.

CurlManitoba Executive Director Craig Baker explains that prior to last year the decision had been made to re-work the Canadian curling calendar to stage the national juniors in late March and to send the junior champion to the next year’s world championship. As a result the 2021-22 calendar has national juniors scheduled March 25-April 1, 2022, three weeks after the Worlds in Sweden.

“Since there was no Canadian Junior Championship last spring, we have not identified teams to represent Canada in Sweden so a bonspiel has been scheduled in Saskatoon to determine who those teams will be,” Baker explains. “Winners of the Heather bonspiel this weekend will earn the right to represent Manitoba at that National Qualifier bonspiel to be held in November 22-27, 2021.”

Nine Junior Men’s teams and six Junior Women’s teams will compete. The men’s draw is a triple knockout format with a Page Playoff while the women will play a round robin with a three team playoff.

Five of the women’s teams compete regularly on the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour. The MJCT #1 and #2 ranked teams, Emma Jensen and Emily Ogg head the list of entries along with Meghan Walter whose team has focussed on Scotties level competition this season. In her quest to return to a world championship, Walter’s experience as a 2019 World Mixed Gold Medallist, with Colin Kurz, will be matched against junior level winning experience this year.

MJCT #1 Emma Jensen and her team have won MJCT events in Swan River, last weekend, and at Heather, two weeks ago. MJCT #2 Emily Ogg and her team won the event at St. Vital and #5 ranked Grace Beaudry won the Elmwood Junior bonspiel.

On the men’s side, eight of the nine teams compete regularly on the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour circuit. The MJCT #1, Jordon McDonald and his team won the MJCT events at Heather, Stonewall and St. Vital. They have also already qualified for this year’s Viterra Championship. MJCT #2 Jordon Johnson and his team won at Swan River and #4 Cam Olafson won at Elmwood. MJCT #3 Jace Freeman and his team won at Morris and lost the finals at Stonewall, Heather and Swan River.

Play starts Thursday, November 4 with a 7:30PM draw at Heather and continues through the weekend to final games on Sunday, November 7.