Switzerland’s Silvana Tironzoni team defeated Korea’s Eun-Jung Kim team 7-6 in the gold medal final game of the Women’s World Championships in Prince George, BC.  It was the third consecutive championship for the Tironzoni team and the seventh for Switzerland in the past ten years.

Team Switzerland swept through the round-robin undefeated and completed a perfect week in Prince George with a semi-final win over Sweden before beating Korea in the final.

Canada’s Kerri Einarson foursome earned a bronze medal with a victory over Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg. It was the first Canadian medal since Jennifer Jones and her team won the gold medal in 2018 in North Bay. The medal is a first world medal for Einarson, Val Sweeting and Brianne Meilleur and a second one for Shannon Birchard who was the Jones team alternate in 2018.

Team Canada: Kerri Einarson, Shannon Birchard, Val Sweeting, Brianne Meilleur (Curling Canada Photo- Michael Burns)

Team Canada finished the round robin with three losses, including a round robin loss (8-7 extra end) to Korea which put them third in the standings. They defeated Denmark 9-8 in the quarter-final before losing their semi-final rematch with Korea.

The medal winning trend since 2000 is interesting. While Switzerland has won those seven gold medals in ten years, they missed the medals in the other three years of the past ten. In the prior 12 years, Switzerland won only three medals, none of them gold.

In the past ten years, Canada has tied with Switzerland with a total of seven medals, but only two of them were gold. In the 22 years since 2000, Canada and Switzerland have both won seven gold medals. Canada ranks #1 in total medals with 16 while Sweden is #2 with 11 and Switzerland is #3 with ten.

Despite Canada having won a medal in about 75% of the time, it is the gold medal count that most curling fans are interested in and two in the past ten years is below standard. With each passing year, the pressure mounts on the Canadian team, whoever represents this country at the Worlds.

It will be interesting to see if one of the new line-ups announced for next year will be going to the worlds to face that pressure OR if an intact Team Einarson can win a fourth consecutive Scotties and a return trip to the Worlds. This year’s experience will no doubt be an asset if that happens.


Manitoba will send a pair of four-time Manitoba Senior champion teams to the 2022 Canadian Seniors in the fall of this year.

Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie won together in 2015, 2016 and 2021. They repeated again today in Beausejour – winning a morning semi-final in six ends over Murray Warren (Brandon) and then beating Richard Muntain’s Granite team in the final.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie

Muntain, as Page 1-1 winner, started with last rock and scored a skip’s pair with a draw behind a corned guard on his first, then a draw to the four foot for two after Neufeld came just short trying to follow the first shot. From there, however, it was Neufeld’s game.

He made a runback kill for three on end #2, forced Muntain to a single on #3, and had an open draw for five after Muntain just rubbed attempting a game-saving double (maybe triple) kill. Up 8-3 at the break, Neufeld stole another on the fifth end when Muntain’s hit facing two rolled far enough to require a measure of two rocks biting the four foot.

Facing two more on the sixth end, Muntain drew to the button and conceded the 9-4 victory.

On the Senior Women’s side, Terry Ursel and front end players Tracy Igonia and Brenda Walker won in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Their third Wanda Rainka won in 2019 and 2020, replacing Gwen Wooley who was the third for the Neepawa team’s first championship run.

Like Muntain, Ursel had last rock on the first end and scored a pair. After stealing another on the second and giving up one on the third, Ursel had Judy Colwell looking at three with her last. Colwell removed only one, leaving Ursel a draw for three and a 6-1 lead after four ends. A steal of three more on the fifth ended the game.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Terry Ursel, Wanda Rainka, Brenda Walker, Tracy Igonia, 5th Darla Hanke
Randy Neufeld with sweepers Dean Moxham (l) and Dale Michie

(Monday, March 21, 11AM) MUNTAIN-NEUFELD, URSEL-COLWELL SENIOR FINALS: Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team were 7-1 winners over Murray Warren (Brandon) in the Strathcona Senior Men’s semi-final in Beausejour Monday morning. Warren had run a string of six wins to start the event, including a round-robin win over Neufeld, then lost three in a row to bow out of the competition.

The defending champion Neufeld team will now play Richard Muntain’s Granite foursome in the final at 1PM.

The Senior Women’s final will see Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team challenged by Judy Colwell (East St. Paul). Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link and her team in the morning semi-final. In a game which featured many stones in play on every end, Colwell scored four singles to open the game. Link had a makeable double for three on the 5th end but didn’t curl up quite enough and scored only one. A steal on the sixth gave Link some hope but a single for Colwell gave her a three-point lead coming home and Link had no shot with her last.

Always stones in play! Last rock (red) to come and yellow counting. The yellow Link counter wasn’t moved but the steal of one (down 4-2) wasn’t enough.

(Sunday, March 20, 6:30PM) MUNTAIN INTO SENIOR MEN’S FINAL, LINK WINS SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: After winning six in row, Murray Warren’s Brandon team lost two games Sunday. They lost their final round-robin game 5-4 to Mike Mahon and then were beaten 4-2 Sunday evening in the Page 1-1 game by Richard Muntain (Granite). Muntain advances direct to the Monday 1PM final.

Warren drops to the morning semi-final against defending champion Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) who eliminated Rob Van Kommer with a 7-1 victory in the Page 2-2 game.

In the Senior Women’s tiebreaker, defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul) was an 8-4 winner over Norma Purdy in the tiebreaker. Link will play clubmate Judy Colwell in the Monday morning semi-final. The winner advances to play Terry Ursel in the final

(Sunday, March 20, 7PM) VAN KOMMER WINS SR MEN’S TIEBREAKER; LINK-PURDY MEET IN SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: When all the wins and losses were tallied at the end of the Strathcona Senior Men’s round robin Beausejour, Murray Warren (Brandon) has lost his perfect record, but still finished first in his pool. Richard Muntain (Granite) had won a sixth game and finished first in his pool. Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) had won a fifth game and finished second behind Warren.

And two teams, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry) and Allan Gitzel (Morris) were the only teams involved in a tiebreaker game. Both were 5W-2L behind Muntain. Van Kommer won the tiebreaker 7-4 to advance to the Sunday evening Page 2-2 game against former champion Neufeld.

The Page 1-1 game, between Warren and Muntain, will also be played Sunday evening.

It was not as clean and simple in the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Championship. Three-time former champion Terry Ursel (Neepawa) finished the round-robin in first place with a 6W-1L record. They earn the bye to the provincial final game on Sunday at 1PM.

There is a second place 4W-3L tie between four teams: Judy Colwell, Norma Purdy, Kim Link, and Darcy Robertson. Based on the CurlManitoba tiebreaker policy which involves head-to-head results plus the pre-game button draw and just one tiebreaker game, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) has been awarded second place. Link (East St. Paul) and Purdy (St Vital) will play a Sunday evening tiebreaker game for the chance to play Colwell Monday morning at 9AM. Robertson is on the outside looking in.

(Saturday, March 19, 10:30PM) WARREN, URSEL ADVANCE TO SENIORS’ PLAYOFFS: Murray Warren and his Deloraine-Melita team, playing out of Brandon, are still unbeaten in the Strathcona Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Their 6W-0L record means that with only a game to play in the round-robin, they cannot be caught and will advance to the playoffs.

In the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s, Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team have a 5W-1L record and are assured of advancing no matter the result of their final game against defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul), whose record is 4W-2L. A Link win on the noon draw Sunday will mean both will finish at 5W-2L and the two will advance.

In the other Men’s pool, Richard Muntain (Granite) also has a 5W-1L record but advancing is not yet a certainty.

There is great potential for several ties for the other playoff positions and for the tiebreaker scenarios to be implemented.

In Warren’s Senior Men’s Pool, Randy Neufeld (La Salle) is at 4W-2L and plays Ray Baker (Dauphin), who is at 3W-3L, in a re-match of last fall’s final. If Baker wins, both will be at 4W-3L. Two other 3W-3L teams will be cheering for Baker. Mike Mahon (Granite) and Allan Croy (Petersfield) need to win and hope for the Baker win to get into the logjam. Mahon plays Warren. Croy plays 2W-4L Sam Antila (Thompson).

The Muntain pool is even more confused as four teams can finish tied for first at 5W-2L. Muntain plays 4W-2L Neil Okumura (Pembina). Also at 4W-2L, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry), and Allan Gitzel (Morris) can be in that first place tie. Gitzel plays 2W-4L Derek Dowsett (Stonewall) and Van Kommer plays 1W-5L Dale Brooks (Hamiota). Also in the conversation is Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) who is 3W-3L. A Boehmer win over 1W-5L Bill Menzies (Granite), along with losses by Okumura, Van Kommer, and Gitzel would mean a four-way second place tie at 4W-3L.

In the Senior Women’s, there will be a three team playoff with #2 VS #3 and the winner playing #1 but other than Ursel there is no certainty who will be in the playoffs. There is absolutely no clarity yet on positioning.

If Link Beats Ursel, they’ll both be 5W-2L and finish Link #1 and Ursel #2 due to the result of the head-to-head. If Ursel beat Link, Ursel would be 6W-1L and assured of the first place bye and Link would be 4W-3L and tied with some others. For certain either Darcy Robertson (AMCC) or Norma Purdy (St. Vital) will finish 4W-3L as both are currently 3W-3L and they play each other in their final game. Judy Colwell is at 3W-2L with two to play so her East St. Paul team can finish as high as second at 5W-2L, in the 4W-3L tie, OR out of the playoffs at 3W-4L.

(Friday, March 18, 11PM) WARREN LAST UNBEATEN AT BEAUSEJOUR SENIORS: Murray Warren’s Brandon team, the reigning Manitoba Masters Champion are the last unbeaten team in the two Manitoba Senior championship events in Beausejour. Warren needed an extra end for a 5-4 victory over Sam Antila on the late draw Friday.

The other previously unbeaten men’s team, skipped by Richard Muntain, was beaten 10-4 by Allan Gitzel, whose record is now 3W-1L. Gitzel is tied with Dave Boehmer and Rob Van Kommer in second place in their pool. Behind Warren in the other group are Mike Mahon and Randy Neufeld at 3W-1L.

In the Senior Women’s, Norma Purdy was beaten for the first time on Friday, a 10-3 loss to Marlene Lang. With Purdy at 3W-1L are Terry Ursel and Kim Link. Darcy Robertson lost on the late draw, 8-2 to Laurie Deprez, and has a 2W-2L record.

(Friday, 5PM) PURDY, WARREN & MUNTAIN LEAD MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS AT 3W-0L: Norma Purdy , with a win over Judy Colwell, leads the Senior Women’s in Beausejour with a perfect 3W-0L record. Colwell is a 2W-1L along with Darcy Robertson, Kim Link, and Terry Ursel.

Murray Warren and Richard Muntain, at 3W-OL, lead the two pools in the Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Behind Warren, at 2W-1L are Randy Neufeld and Mike Mahon. Behind Muntain, at 2W-1L, are Rob Van Kommer, Dave Boehmer, and Allan Gitzel.

(Friday 8AM) PLAY UNDERWAY IN SENIORS & MIXED PROVINCIALS: Play began with all teams playing two games in the Manitoba Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships in Beausejour and in the Mixed provincials in Carman. It is round-robin play in both Beausejour events and triple knock-out in Carman.

In the Senior Women’s, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) and Norma Purdy (St. Vital) and their teams both posted a pair of wins while four other teams split their two opening day games. Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link (10-7) and Darcy Robertson (5-2) while Purdy had victories over Sandra Cowling (14-1) and Laurie Deprez (5-4).

In the Senior Men’s, defending champion Randy Neufeld (La Salle) was one of 10 teams to split their first day pair. Only three teams survived the day with two wins. Masters champion Murray Warren (Brandon) leads one eight-team pool with a 2-0 record while Richard Muntain (Granite) and Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) lead the other pool at 2-0.

(Wednesday, March 16) FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS FOR MANITOBANS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND!!: It will be a great weekend for Manitoba curling fans.  TV fans will be cheering for Kerri Einarson and Team Canada as they kick off the Women’s Worlds in Prince George with two games on Saturday. Two year’s experience wearing the maple leaf puts them in a good place going into the event. Six teams make the playoffs so that they should be among those. Then it is a case of luck of the draw – they should get close and certainly have the ability to win it but with Tirinzoni and Hasselborg in the competition, that’s the furthest I’ll go in the way of a prediction.

Also this weekend, CurlManitoba has three events for fans who like their championship curling in person.

(Wednesday) The Chicken Mixed Chef in Carman begins Thursday evening with 13 entries playing a triple knock-out with six teams advancing to the playoffs. Always interesting to pick a favorite when teams rarely play together more than year or two but 3-time Mixed Champion Sean Grassie has name recognition and he also lost the 2021 Mixed final; Steve Irwin and Stacey Fordyce, both three time Clubs Champions, team together in a tough to beat combo; brother-sister combo Brett (a former Manitoba junior champ) & Meghan (former Mixed Manitoba & World Champ) Walter, should contend, as might Justin Richter with Tyler & Brandi Forrest (half of the 2021 Manitoba Mixed Champion team) and Sara Oliver (also a former World Mixed champ) at lead. The playoffs take place Sunday with the final at 5PM.

I’d bet I have named the eventual winner in those four. If pressed further, I might suggest either Walter or Irwin in the final against Grassie.

Kim Links’ 2021 Manitoba Senior Women’s Champion Team (Curling Canada photo)

The CurlManitoba Senior Women’s begins Thursday at 9AM in Beausejour with eight entries. The skips of the last seven Manitoba Senior Women’s champions and eight champions in total, with many of their teammates, have entries in the event. All are competitive at this level, making for an interesting competition. They include Laurie Deprez (2012), Sandra Cowling (2016), Terry Ursel (2017-19-20). Also included is defending champion Kim Link who also won in 2015 and 2018. The credentials of the other teams are also impressive. Norma Purdy skipped the finalist team at the 2021 Senior Women’s at Pembina last fall. Marlene Lang won the Club Champions Championship in 2015 and 2020 and Judy Colwell, a semi-finalist in the Club Champions event in 2020. Darcy Robertson rounds out the field. She will go into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame later this year with her 1984 Junior team. There would be interesting career symmetry to winning a senior title in the same year and this team certainly has the credentials. The three team playoff is Monday, with #2 & #3 playing and the winner playing #1 at 1:00PM.

Obviously I have named the winner since I have named all eight teams. If pressed I’d bet on Robertson being in the final. Any one of the teams could beat her in a one-game showdown but I think I’d pick Robertson to win it.

Randy Neufeld’s 2021 Manitoba Senior Men’s Team (Curling Canada photo)

The Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s also begins at 9AM Thursday in Beausejour and runs through until the final at 1PM Monday. Sixteen teams have qualified in the traditional regional and berth spiels model. They play an eight game round robin with a Page Playoff at the end. The gold standard for teams at the Manitoba Senior level is set by Randy Neufeld whose team has been intact since winning the 2015 and 2016 Manitoba titles enroute to a 2016 World Silver medal. They lost the Manitoba final to Dave Boehmer in 2020 and beat Ray Baker to win again in 2021 at Pembina. Boehmer has a completely different team than he won Manitoba with back-to-back-to-back in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dean Dunstone on the roster makes this an interesting and very competitive team. Baker came close at the 2021 event and has the same team that almost won. He’d love to be the first sitting CurlManitoba President to win a championship during his term. The field represents the best across Manitoba but the other serious contenders are likely to be a pair of Masters teams: Murray Warren’s 2020 Manitoba Masters champs and Bill Menzies, who won the 2007 Seniors with Lionel Walz and whose team (including himself) has won a total of seven Masters ‘buffaloes’ since 2016.

Again, if pressed, I’d bet on Neufeld being in the final against one of the teams I’ve named. Flip a coin against Boehmer and give Neufeld the edge over the other three.

The other event which is happening this weekend is the Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s 2-Person Stick Open Championship at Assiniboine Memorial, beginning Friday morning. It is a quick game played with 6 rocks per side and only 6 ends. Like Mixed Doubles, it has its own unique set of rules and skills – in particular the ability to draw the button without sweeping (under the rules, no sweeping is allowed between the hoglines). You’ll see a lot of rocks in play and great entertainment from this version of the game played competitively. Teams to beat include Barry Tall and Jim Webster from Swan River, reigning Manitoba Open Champions and the Winnipeg team of Gwen Smith and Lynne Rehbein, reigning Maniotoba Women’s Champions. Both teams are preparing for the Canadian Open Championship in Moncton in mid-April. Others who will contend for this year’s Manitoba title include Tom & Rae Campbell from Killarney, the 2018 Canadian Champions; the Warren/Marquette duo of Jim Rouse and Ross MacMillan, the 2015 Canadian Champions; and St. Vital’s Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald team. Johnson is a past Canadian Champion who won the Manitoba title with different partners in 2012 and 2017. 

As for predicting the winner – not a chance! I am playing in the event with Norm Magnusson and I see no point in stirring the fire.


(l-r) Manitoba Stick Curling Ass’n President Britta Spiring, Alf Ramsay, MSCA Event Director Warren Johnson, Ron Shafirka

St. Vital Stick Leaguers Alf Ramsay and Ron Shafirka have won the 2022 Manitoba Open 2-Person Stick Curling Championship at Assiniboine Memorial.

Ramsay-Shafirka defeated 2018 Canadian Stick Champions Tom & Rae Campbell (Killarney) 3-2 in the final game when Ramsay made a last rock kill knowing he did not have to stick for a point and the win.

In round-robin play, Campbell-Campbell had defeated Ramsay-Shafirka as the two advanced from the same pool with the Killarney duo undefeated.

In the semi-finals, Campbell-Campbell had beaten Swan River defending champion Webster-Tall team while Ramsay-Shafirka beat Magnusson-Coutts (Fort Rouge).

The 32-team event attracted teams from St. Vital (10), AMCC (6), Fort Rouge (3), East St. Paul, Carman, Warren/Marquette & Steinbach (2 each), and Swan River, Pembina, Killarney, Thistle, Eriksdale, & Stonewall (1 each).

Ramsay won the championship once previously, in 2010 partnered with Earl Stephenson. It is a first title for Shafirka.


Corey Chambers and his team, curling out of Miami, have won Manitoba’s Chicken Chef Mixed Championship. Supported by Lisa McLeod, Nigel Milnes, and Jolene Callum, Chambers beat the Pembina Curling Club’s Birchard entry 6-2 in the provincial final in Carman.

Provincial Mixed Champions (l-r) Jolene Callum, Nigel Milnes, Lisa McLeod, Corey Chambers (CurlManitoba photo)

To reach the final Chambers beat Justin Richter (AMCC) 6-5 while Birchard beat Steve Irwin (Brandon) 8-4. Earlier, RIchter had beaten Wes Jonasson (Fort Rouge) 6-3. Irwin had won 9-7 over Brett Walter (East St. Paul)

It is a first provincial championship for Corey Chambers, Lisa McLeod and Jolene Callum. Nigel Milnes won the 2006 Manitoba Juniors with Travis Bale and the 2008 Juniors with Kyle Peters.

Brandon’s Steve Irwin lost a “B” qualifier then won a “C” qualifier in Carman Saturday.

(Saturday, March 19, 10PM) PLAYOFFS SET IN CARMAN’S CHICKEN CHEF MIXED: Six surviving teams from the original 13 will play a single elimination playoff Sunday to determine CurlManitoba’s Chicken Chef Mixed Champion. “A” Event qualifiers Daniel Birchard and Corey Chambers have the first round bye.

On the 9AM draw Justin Richter plays Wes Jonasson while Brett Walter plays Steve Irwin. The Jonasson-Richter winner will play Birchard at 1Pm. The Walter-Irwin winner will play Chambers.

Walter and Richter were “B” qualifiers, beating Irwin (9-7) and Jonasson (11-3) respectively.

Irwin and Jonasson rebounded from the losses, beating Sean Grassie (9-3) and Matthew Bijl (9-8 EE) respectively in the “C” Q-games.

Wes Jonasson

(Friday, 11PM) JONASSON ADVANCES TO “B” QUALIFIER GAME: Wes Jonasson and his Fort Rouge team needed an extra end to defeat Sean Grassie on the late draw Friday in the Chicken Chef Mixed in Carman. Playing the eighth end, Grassie made a delicate last rock out-turn draw for one to tie and force the extra. Grassie had to slide past a guard just off centre then curl to the centre line between two Jonasson rocks, one in the eight foot and on in the four foot circle. His rock stopped short sort of the button, slightly better than the Jonasson rock. But all the great shot did was extend the game another end before the Jonasson team marked up the victory.

Team Jonasson, after a win and a loss in the “A” event, has now won two “B” Event games and will play a noon game Saturday with a chance to qualify for the playoffs. Their opponent will be the loser of a morning “A” Qualifier between Brett Walter and Corey Chambers.

The loser of the other “A” Qualifier, between Daniel Birchard and Justin Richter, will play the winner of a morning game between Matthew Bijl and Steve Irwin. Bijl and Irwin were winners on the late draw Friday.

Three-time Provincial Mixed Champion Sean Grassie

(Friday, 5PM) “A” QUALIFIER GAMES SET IN CARMAN MIXED PROVINCIALS: Daniel Birchard will play Justin Richter and Corey Chambers will play Brett Walter Saturday at 9AM in the two A-Event Qualifier games. Birchard and Walter have won a pair of games. Richter and Chambers had first round byes so their wins earlier today were first game wins.

(Thursday 10PM) Opening draw winners in Carman, in the Mixed, were Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge), Daniel Birchard (Pembina), Wes Jonasson (Fort Rouge), and junior Matthew Bijl (AMCC). First round byes went to Justin Richter (AMCC), Corey Chambers (Miami), and Steve Irwin (Brandon). They’ll each play first game winners in their opening draws Friday.

Brandi & Tyler Forrest, members of the 2021 Mixed Champion team, will play this week with Justin Richter. (Curling Canada photo)

(Wednesday) The Chicken Mixed Chef in Carman begins Thursday evening with 13 entries playing a triple knock-out with six teams advancing to the playoffs. Always interesting to pick a favorite when teams rarely play together more than year or two but 3-time Mixed Champion Sean Grassie has name recognition and he also lost the 2021 Mixed final; Steve Irwin and Stacey Fordyce, both three time Clubs Champions, team together in a tough to beat combo; brother-sister combo Brett (a former Manitoba junior champ) & Meghan (former Mixed Manitoba & World Champ) Walter, should contend, as might Justin Richter with Tyler & Brandi Forrest (half of the 2021 Manitoba Mixed Champion team) and Sara Oliver (also a former World Mixed champ) at lead. The playoffs take place Sunday with the final at 5PM.

I’d bet I have named the eventual winner in those four. If pressed further, I might suggest either Walter or Irwin in the final against Grassie.


The organizing committee for the annual Bob Picken Memorial Masters Bonspiel has announced its latest contribution to youth curling development in Manitoba.

A Bob Picken Legacy Fund grant of $500 has been made to the Junior Interlake Inter-club League. This brings the total invested in youth curling development to $3,000 since the bonspiel was established in memory of legendary curling broadcaster Bob Picken in 2019.

“Despite the pandemic, we were able to hold a small bonspiel in the fall of 2021,” say co-chairs Bob Minaker and Brian Kushner. “We again generated a surplus which allowed us to continue with our mandate of supporting youth development in curling across Manitoba.”

“Just as the pandemic has disrupted our own bonspiel planning, we know it has been challenging for projects such as the Junior Interlake Inter-club League so we were pleased to see that they were able to continue their program to a successful conclusion this year,” say Minaker and Kushner. “We are pleased to be able to make a contribution to pay some of the league costs for the season.”

This year’s league included teams from East St. Paul, Stonewall, and Selkirk. West St. Paul, usually also involved, was unable to participate this year. The league offers young curlers, aged 12-17, development opportunities through both coaching sessions and competition.

Games through the season are played in each of the participating clubs with the travel to play in different venues and on different ice also being a development experience.

The Junior Interlake Inter-club Curling League will wind up its 2021-22 season March 20th at East St. Paul, beginning at 10AM.

In 2019, the Bob Picken Masters Bonspiel made grants to Thistle, Oakville, and Riverview (Brandon) Junior development programs. Due to the pandemic, no grants were made in 2020. In 2021-22, grants have been made to the Interlake league and to support CurlManitoba’s Bob Picken Legacy Inter-club Youth League in Winnipeg..

Planning is underway for the fall 2022 Bob Picken-Valour Road Masters Bonspiel at Thistle Curling Club. The committee will continue to support junior curling development in Manitoba. Grant applications, through CurlManitoba, will be received at the beginning of next curling season.


(Curling Canada Release) Two years later than they had hoped, Kerri Einarson and her Canadian championship team from Gimli, Man., will wear the Maple Leaf in Prince George, B.C.

Einarson, vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Meilleur, alternate Krysten Karwacki, team coach Reid Carruthers and national coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson will be the home team when the 2022 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty, gets underway on Saturday at the CN Centre.

Skip Kerri Einarson, vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Meilleur, (back) team coach Reid Carruthers & alternate Krysten Karwacki
(Curling Canada Photo/Andrew Klaver)

Team Canada will be in action twice on opening day in Prince George — at 2 p.m. (all times Pacific) against Italy, skipped by Olympic mixed doubles gold-medallist Stefania Constantini, and at 7 p.m. against Norway’s Kristin Skaslien.

Two years ago, Team Einarson was coming off its first victory at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and arrived in Prince George ready to represent Canada for the first time, only to see those ambitions shattered as the 2020 World Women’s Championship was cancelled just 48 hours before it was to begin as the COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages.

This year, Team Einarson heads to Prince George having won a third successive Scotties title. Last year in the bubble in Calgary, Team Einarson made the playoffs at the 2021 LGT World Women’s Championship and finished in a tie for fifth place.

Thirteen teams will be competing in Prince George, including the reigning world champions from Switzerland skipped by Silvana Tirinzoni, as well as the perennial Swedish powerhouse team skipped by Anna Hasselborg. Those teams matched up in the bronze-medal game at the Winter Olympics last month in Beijing, with the Swedes prevailing 9-7 to finish on the podium.

Denmark (skipped by Madeleine Dupont) and South Korea (skipped by EunJung Kim) also competed at the Winter Olympics and will have the same lineups in Prince George.

At the other end of the experience spectrum, Turkey, skipped by Dilsat Yildiz, will make its debut at the World Women’s Championship.

Also competing at the 2022 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Women’s Championship will be the Czech Republic’s Alžběta Baudyšová, Germany’s Daniela Jentsch, Japan’s Ikue Kitazawa, Scotland’s Rebecca Morrison and Cory Christensen of the United States.

Team Canada will be seeking its first podium finish since Team Jennifer Jones claimed the gold medal with a perfect 14-0 record in 2018 at North Bay, Ont.

It’s the 17th time that Canada has hosted the World Women’s Championship since it began in 1979 in Perth, Scotland, and the first time it’s happened in Prince George. 

Canada has won a leading 17 gold medals at the World Women’s since 1979, followed by Switzerland and Sweden with eight apiece. Switzerland has win six of the past nine world women’s championships.

Round-robin play will run through to Friday, March 25, with the top six teams making the playoffs; no tiebreakers will be played, so ties for playoff spots will be broken based on head-to-head results, and if that doesn’t resolve the tie, then the pre-game Last-Shot Draw distances will be used to break ties.

The top two teams from round-robin play will be seeded directly into the semifinals on March 26 at 7 p.m., while third will play sixth and fourth will play fifth in the qualifying-round games on March 26 at 1 p.m.

The winners of the qualifying-round games will advance to the semifinals. The semifinal winners will play for gold on March 27 at 4 p.m., with the semifinal losers battling for bronze on March 27 at 11 a.m.

TSN/RDS2, the official broadcast partners of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide live coverage of Canada’s round-robin games, in addition to all playoff games. CLICK HERE for their complete broadcast schedule.

Ticket information, the list of teams, schedule information and live scoring can be found on the event website,


(Final) Playing with three, Mark Nicholls having tested Covid-positive, Brad Gushue and his wild card team from Newfoundland-Labrador completed an impressive playoff run at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge with an x win over Kevin Koe (Alberta).

Gushue scored a pair of three in a game which went an extra end. In the 11th end, Gushue faced two but made no mistake with his out-turn hit for victory.

Earlier in the day, Team Gushue had defeated Team Canada (Brendan Bottcher) 9-3 in the semi-final. They had also scored a pair of threes in that game.

It was the fourth Brier victory for Gushue, whose team will now represent Canada at the Worlds in Las Vegas.

(Saturday 10PM) KOE TO BRIER FINAL; GUSHUE-BOTTCHER SEMIFINAL: A Saturday 9-7 victory over Team Canada’s Brendan Bottcher advanced Alberta (Kevin Koe) to the Sunday eveing final of the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge.

The loss dropped Bottcher to the semi-final Sunday afternoon against Brad Gushue and his Wild Card team. Team Gushue defeated Colton Flasch 7-2 in their playoff game to eliminate Team Saskatchewan.

(Friday 10PM) BRIER ENDS FOR MCEWEN, GUNNLAUGSON: Jason Gunnlaugson’s Brier lasted one game longer than Mike McEwen’s. Gunnlaugson’s Wild Card team ousted McEwen’s Team Manitoba with a 9-3 tiebreaker win on the early draw Friday but then lost to Brendan Bottcher’s Team Canada (7-3) on the afternoon draw.

In the other tiebreaker, Colton Flasch beat Matt Dunstone (9-5) but then went on to beat Brad Jacobs 10-3.

Brad Gushue and Kevin Koe has earned playoff byes as the pool winners. Bottcher advances to play Gushue with Flasch taking on Koe on the late draw. The winners advanced to play on the top side of the Page Playoff draw (winner to the final, loser to the semi-final) while the losers go to the bottom side of the Page Playoff draw (loser eliminated, winner to the semi-final).

Bottcher was the first to advance. Tied 3-3 coming home, his last rock draw was swept end-to-end and into the top of the eight foot circle for victory. Koe advanced moments later. He had Flasch in trouble much of the game and scored a three on end nine, for a 7-2 win, when Flasch played a desperation angle raise takeout for a ‘hoped-for’ deuce and a tie.

The Koe-Bottcher top side game and Gushue-Flasch bottom side games will be played Saturday.

Manitoba: (l-r) McEwen-Carruthers-Samagalski-Lott Back-Meakin-Doering (Curling Canada/Mike Burns Photo)

(Thursday 10PM Update) MCEWEN -GUNNLAUGSON TIEBREAKER FRIDAY MORNING: Mike McEwen will play Jason Gunnlaugson in a tiebreaker game Friday morning at the Time Hortons Brier in Lethbridge.

With a 5W-3L record, Gunnlaugson and his Wild Card team had the last round bye Thursday evening and had to wait for a McEwen loss to Quebec to know they still had life in the playoff chase.

Leading 6-5 playing the ninth end, McEwen attempted a kill attempt facing three but rubbed his own rock in the top of the rings. Quebec drew for a four and 9-6 lead coming home. McEwen and Gunnlaugson both finish with 5W-3L records and a morning tiebreaker game with the winner advancing to the playoffs.

Wild Card #3: (l-r) Gunnlaugson-Casey-Wozniak-Njegovan Back-Gordon (Curling Canada/Mike Burns Photo)

In the other pool, the same fate befell former Manitoba Junior champion Matt Dunstone. A last draw loss to Colton Flasch means both teams finish with 5W-3L records and they will meet Friday morning in a tiebreaker.

In the McEwen-Gunnlaugson pool, Brad Gushue finished with a perfect 8W-0L record while Brad Jacobs, at 6W-2L, is second in the group.

In the Dunstone-Flasch pool, Kevin Koe and Brendan Bottcher both finished with 7W-1L records. Koe is awarded first place after beating Bottcher in the round robin.

(Thursday 1PM Update) MCEWEN A WIN AWAY FROM BRIER PLAYOFFS: A morning win by Mike McEwen and Team Manitoba (7-3 over Northwest Territories) has them a win away from the playoff round at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge.

A 5W-2L record means an evening victory over Quebec will assure Team Manitoba of a playoff berth. A loss will drop them back into a tie with Jason Gunnlaugson’s Wild Card team. Team Gunnlaugson has finished their round robin at 5W-3L with an extra end loss on the morning draw to Brad Gushue.

Gunnlaugson scored a single point on a final end measure of two rocks with about 2 inches of the pinhole but left Gushue an angle bump to remove shot rock and win with his last rock coming home.

Now at 7W-0L, Team Gushue has wrapped up first place in the pool. Brad Jacobs, at 5W-2L, is tied with McEwen. He plays Nova Scotia (3W-4L) on the late draw today and a win also guarantees his Northern Ontario team a playoff spot while a loss drops them into the 5W-3L tie for third scenario.

Also with a chance, BC’s Brent Pierce is at 4W-3L and a must-win late game against Gushue to move into the 5W-3L tie for third discussion.

(Thursday, March 10: 9:00AM) GUNNLAUGSON, MCEWEN IN PLAYOFF CHASE AT THE BRIER: Wins Wednesday by both Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba and Jason Gunnlaugson’s Manitoba Wild Card team kept both teams on two losses and firmly in the playoff chase at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge.

Gunnlaugson’s 10-1 victory over Nunavut was to be expected but his 5W-2L record with a game to play has not yet put a lock on a playoff berth. A win in his final game, this morning against unbeaten Brad Gushue, would at best bring the Wild Card team into a playoff berth tie. A loss would mean a 5W-3L record and may not be good enough.

That would depend on results for Team Manitoba in two games today. After an important win yesterday over Brad Jacobs, McEwen’s 4W-2L record demands two victories today. He must win games over Northwest Territories and Quebec to finish 6W-2L.

If both McEwen and Gunnlaugson finish 5W-3L, the early win by Gunnlaugson over McEwen will be a deciding factor.

Brad Jacobs last game, this evening against Nova Scotia, will also com into play. At 5W-2L, Jacobs also needs a win to avoid the tie for the third playoff spot.

In the other pool, Kevin Koe, Brendan Bottcher, and Matt Dunstone all have 6W-1L records. Colton Flasch is at 5W-2L. In a Saskatchewan final game re-match Dunstone plays Flasch on the afternoon draw today.

(Wednesday, March 9: 8:00AM) GUNNLAUGSON, MCEWEN BOTH WITH TWO LOSSES AFTER TUESDAY PLAY: A pair of wins Tuesday for the Wild Card Jason Gunnlaugson team and a split for Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba have both team sitting on a pair of losses and a need to not lose another game if they are to have a realistic chance of reaching the Tim Hortons Brier playoff round.

McEwen split with the two teams who were undefeated starting play Tuesday: a 7-4 win over Paul Flemming (NS) and a 9-6 loss to still unbeaten Brad Gushue (NFLab Wild Card). Gunnlaugson beat Brent Pierce (BC) 9-4 and Jamie Koe (Northwest Territories) 6-3.

In today’s afternoon games, McEwen takes on Brad Jacobs (NOnt) while Gunnlaugson plays winless Nunavut.

Team Gunnlaugson is likely to improve to five wins while McEwen faces a must-win game against Jacobs to avoid falling to three losses.

With five wins, Gunnlaugson would be in ‘good shape’. Even with a loss in their last game to Gushue, a record of 5W-3L would place them ahead of McEwen (if McEwen finishes with three losses) as they won the game against Team Manitoba.

After starting undefeated, Flemming lost two yesterday and still faces games against Gushue and Jacobs so will need at least a split to stay at three losses. Flemming beat Gunnlaugson but lost to McEwen, so if all three are at three losses when the round ends – the tie would be based on the draw-to-button tally.

The top team in each pool gets a playoff bye while there is a pools crossover #2 vs #3 game to determine the other two teams in a page playoff round.

(TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE) MCEWEN FACES UNBEATENS TUESDAY, AN EASIER DAY FOR GUNNLAUGSON: Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba and the Wild Card Jason Gunnlaugson team both posted wins on the morning draw. Gunnlaugson was a 9-4, 8-end winner over Brent Pierce (BC) and improves to 3W-2L. McEwen broke open a tight game with a three on the eighth end and went on to a 7-4 win over previously unbeaten Paul Flemming (NS).

Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs won (8-3 over Northwest Territories) and has a 4W-1L record, tied in the win column with 4W-0L Wild Card Brad Gushue, who did not play on the morning draw.

(Tuesday, March 8: 9AM) Coming off a Monday blow-out win over Nunavut, Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba plays the two undefeated teams in their group today at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge. Manitoba’s 2W-1L record demands at least a split of today’s game if they are to have a real chance of making the playoff round.

They open play today, on the morning draw, against Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (3W-0L). On the late draw they meet the Newfoundland-Labrador Wild Card Brad Gushue team (4W-0L). Today’s opponents lead the group with Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs at 3W-1L.

Jason Gunnlaugson’s Wild Card Manitoba team lost a 7-6 extra end game to Flemming in their only game Monday. Tied 3-3 with hammer playing the sixth end, Gunnlaugson was unable to capitalize. Forced to a single on the seventh, they gave up a deuce on end #8 and a steal on the ninth. A near-miss raise double kill attempt left them the tie on the home end but Flemming only needed to make a draw to the eight foot for the extra end win.

In the other pool, former Manitoba junior champion Matt Dunstone and his Wild Card Saskatchewan team lead the way at 5W-0L while Brendan Bottcher and Team Canada are at 4W-0L.

(Monday, March 7) GUNNLAUGSON WINS TWO SUNDAY AT THE BRIER: Jason Gunnlaugson and his wild card Manitoba team, coming off a morning win Sunday over Mike McEwen, returned to the ice on the late draw in Lethbridge .

The team representing the Morris Curling Club controlled the game with Mike Fournier (Quebec) scoring four deuces to lead 8-7 coming home. Another single gave them a 9-7 victory for their second win of the day.

Gunnlaugson shares a 2W-1L record with Brad Jacobs (NOnt) who lost to Brad Gushue (WC-NFLab). Paul Flemming (NS) is 2W-0L and Gushue is 3W-0L after Sunday’s play. Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba had a late-Sunday bye.

In the other pool, starting play Monday, Kevin Koe (AB) and Matt Dunstone (WC-SK) lead the way at 3W-0L while Brenda Bottcher (Team Canada) is 2W-0L.

On the afternoon draw, Gunnlaugson plays Flemming. McEwen plays winless Nunavut.

(Noon, Sunday, March 6) GUNNLAUGSON WINS MANITOBA MATCH-UP AT THE BRIER: Mike McEwen’s Team Manitoba met the Manitoba Wild Card team skipped by Jason Gunnlaugson on the Sunday morning draw at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge.

McEwen was coming off an opening round win (10-3 over Brent Pierce, BC) while Gunnlaugson had lost the opener Saturday, 6-3 to Brad Jacobs, NONT).

They’re now both at 1W-1L after a 10-6, nine end victory for Team Gunnlaugson.

Team McEwen is playing without their regular lead Colin Hodgson, who had been doubtful after the Viterra Championship due to a leg injury and who also has had a recent Covid diagnosis. Colton Lott has replaced Hodgson at lead while Lott’s teammate Kyle Doering has joined the team as the ‘alternate’.

Another of Manitoba’s fine young curlers, Rob Gordon, is also at the Brier – as the ‘alternate’ for Team Gunnlaugson.

Brad Jacobs (NONT) and Brad Gushue, this time qualified as a wild card team, lead the group with 2W-0L records.

The other group is led by three teams Brendan Bottcher (Canada), Kevin Koe (Alberta) and the third wild card team skipped by Matt Dunstone, also with 2W-0L records.


(Original for Newly crowned Manitoba champion Stephanie Feeleus earned a spot in Manitoba curling history when she and her Fort Garry Team Tober teammates won the Telus Juniors Manitoba Junior Women’s Curling Championship last week in Brandon.

The 18-year old Stephanie became the first person to win a Manitoba Junior title after having earlier participated in CurlManitoba’s youth development Hit-Draw-Tap competition. At the age of 13, she finished third in her age group in the first Hit-Draw-Tap competition in 2017 at Portage.

Stephanie Feeleus – 2017 Hit-Draw-Tap Competitor (CurlManitoba Photo)

“It was very intimidating,” she recalled recently. “For a little 13 year old to be in that big arena with people watching, and the lights were so bright. But fun!!”

She calls it a positive memory. “It is the biggest thing you could compete in at that age. I think it gives kids a professional experience, it opens your eyes a little bit to what is possible,” she says.

“They emphasized the fun and there was really no pressure, not like a game. We just had to throw the three shots. I think it can inspire kids to want to do more in the sport,” she says.

Stephanie Feeleus – 2022 Provincial Champion (CurlManitoba Photo)

Do more – Stephanie Feeleus certainly has! A short five years later, she is a Manitoba champion lead – with skip Tansy Tober, 3rd Caitlin Kostna, 2nd Lexa Sigurdson, and Coach Deb Popovic.

After going to the Hit-Draw-Tap event as a member of Pembina’s Junior program, she has played with Team Tober for three years at Fort Garry. It has been a growing process for the team.

“When we started together, we were among the youngest on the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour. We got a few wins and that was good enough because it was a learning experience,” she explains.

This year, as the learning experience continued, they had what would at best be considered ‘a pretty good year’. They accumulated MJCT Rankings points in three events and were the finalist in the Stonewall event.

She is direct in responding to the hypothetical question – how would she have answered if asked in advance what the team’s expectation would have been going into the Telus Juniors?

“Everyone says they would hope to win but as a realistic objective, we would have said that we wanted to prove our seed. We were seeded #3, we would have said we wanted to justify that,” she says.

Team Tober took the longest route to the championship: a 3W-2L round-robin, a tiebreaker game win, and three playoff game wins for a 7W-2L record earned them the Manitoba Championship and the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the national New Holland Juniors later this month in Stratford, ON.

Who knows, maybe there will be a future champion on the ice at the Heather Curling Club on April 10 when 21 young curlers representing all regions of Manitoba will participate in this year’s provincial Hit-Draw-Tap finals.

Over 500 participated across the province in the qualifying rounds in the three age groups: 6-8, 9-10, and 11-13. The number was down somewhat from previous years due to the covid disruptions but is still a substantial show of interest in the competition.

Meanwhile, Team Tober is preparing to go to Stratford.

“We have been throwing a lot of rocks but I don’t think the team has the words yet to describe the feelings we have. We have just been so busy making arrangements and practicing,” Stephanie says.

The team’s “send-off” at Fort Garry CC will take place at 7PM, March 18th.



As they prepare to represent Manitoba at the New Holland Canadian U21 Curling Championships March 25 – April 1, 2022, Manitoba’s Junior Champions will have Send-Off Celebrations at their respective clubs on March 12 and 18. Team McDonald comes first at Deer Lodge on Saturday, March 12 with Team Tober following at Fort Garry CC on Friday, March 18.

TEAM MCDONALD DETAILS: $10 admissionFor tickets, please contact:
Kendra Fontaine 204-952-5465
Peter McDonald 204-230-4612

Tickets will be available at the door.

Saturday, March 12 from 7-10 p.m. with speeches beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Deer Lodge Curling Club | Upstairs lounge | 425 Woodlawn Street, Winnipeg, MB

DEB POPOVIC (431) 998-8951
DENISE FEELEUS (204) 803-0384