Manitoba will be represented by a pair of rural based curling teams at the 2023 Canada Games. Altona’s Dayna Wahl team and Virden’s Jace Freeman team will join the larger Team Manitoba at the 2023 Games.
Team Wahl (Piper Stoesz, AnnaMarie Ginters, Gillian Hildebrand and Coach Keith Stoesz) stole two coming home to defeat Shaela Hayward’s Carman team 6-5 in the Trials final today at Heather. Down 4-1 at the midgame break, Team Wahl outscored the Carman foursome 5-1 through the second half.
Skip Dayna Wahl threw her last stone tight past a rock in the top 12 foot to stop full in the eight foot in front of her shot stone in the four foot circle. Hayward needed to bite the button to win or the four foot to tie but was just short on the attempt.
For Freeman (Elias Huminicki, Jack Steski, Rylan Graham, and Coach Graham Freeman) it took a last stone takeout to end a comeback attempt by Heather’s Ronan Peterson who had scored singles on ends 6 & 7 to trail by one coming home. The final score was 7-5.
A four on the fifth end gave Freeman a 6-3 lead but Team Peterson controlled each of the next two ends to trail by one coming home. Peterson’s last stone draw to the foot was a bit deep and overcurled to be mostly open, allowing Freeman to hit with the luxury of having second shot rock if he rolled out.
The Canada Games will be played in Prince Edward Island in February, 2023
Pembina Curling Club has won its first TWO Manitoba Club Championships. Pembina teams skipped by Lisa Birchard and Zach Wasylik both Nature’s Bounty Club Championships today at Charleswood.
Team Birchard (Kelsey Meger, Breanne Yozenko, Ciara Okumura, alternate Jenessa Rutter) was in control from the second end today when they scored a four against Fort Rouge’s Team Roche, skipped by Kristin Macdonnell.
The men’s game went to the final stone with Wasylik making a last shot hit to score a pair for a 5-4 victory. Wasylik (Jack Hykaway, Josh Harding, Graham Normand, and alternate Andrew Peck) had given up two on the seventh to Richard Muntain-St Vital and the eighth was set up for a force. Wasylik, who now admits greater appreciation for the skips he played for, calmed his nerves on a first shot draw shot stone nearly buried in the side of the eight foot circle. Muntain tried to follow but rubbed and rolled open to leave the hit for the win.
The national club champions event will be played in the West Edmonton Mall ice rink in late November.
Prior to today, Pembina Curling Club teams had never won the Manitoba Club Championships. It is another highlight for the club which has already had a 75th anniversary gala and will, in two weeks time, host the Canadian Masters Championships.
The final games are set in the Nature’s Bounty Club Championships at Charleswood.
On the men’s side Richard Muntain-St. Vital will play Zach Wasylik-Pembina.
Muntain advanced with a semi-final win over three-time former champ Andrew Wickman-Ft. Rouge. Tied playing the seventh end, and a house-full of rocks in play, it came to a measure which both teams hoped to lose to retain hammer coming home. The point went to Wickman and Muntain had last rock which he used for a nose hit double kill for two and a 6-5 victory.
Wasylik, a Manitoba Junior champion in 2020 with Brett Walter beat Manitoba Senior champion and former world senior silver medallist Randy Neufeld-La Salle with a four and a three en route to an 8-3 win.
On the women’s side, Sarah Roche-Ft. Rouge will play Lisa Birchard-Pembina.
Sarah Roche-Ft. Rouge scored two on the final end to win 6-5 when Team Scammell’s last stone draw wrecked on her attempt at a wide out-turn draw to the four foot. Birchard made a last stone draw to bite the button for a 4-3 win over Pelissier.
No Pembina team has ever won either Men’s or Women’s Club Championship. Fort Rouge has won seven previous (4 men, 3 women) and St. Vital has won two previous women’s championships.
With a draw to play, eight teams still have a chance to be in the playoffs on the men’s side of the Nature’s Bounty Club Championship at Charleswood.
Andrew Wickman-Ft. Rouge has the lone undefeated record. Team Wickman’s perfect 5W-0L record assures them of first place in the pool. With an afternoon win (7-2) over Richard Muntain-St. Vital, Zach Wasylik’s Pembina team improved to 4W-0L and are assured of fist place in the other group.
Even if they lose on the late draw and Muntain wins – Wasylik will be first in the pool thanks to an the win over Muntain.
A three-way 3W-2L tie is possible in both pools. Muntsain plays Chris Suchy-Elmwood and both could finish 3W-2L. Paul Scinocca-Charleswood is also currently at 2W-2L and must beat Wasylik to also be in the tiebreaker.
In the Wickman pool, Kelly Marnoch-Carberry controls his own fate. A final draw win over Randy Neufeld-La Salle will give the Carberry team second place at 4W-1L. However a Neufeld win would create a tie and Darren Perche-Charleswood could also improve to 3W-2L with a win over Ryan Hyde-Portage.
A game to play in the women’s division of the Nature’s Bounty Club Championships at Charleswood and the question of who advances to playoffs is pretty clear in one pool. Lori Pelissier-Thistle and Krstin McLellan-Brandon were unbeaten playing the morning draw and 7-3 win for former chamnpion Pelissier give her team a 4W-0L. They will advance no matter the result of their final round robin game.
The winning shot for Pelissier today came on the 4th end when, down 3-1, with her last shot she made an angled raise from in front of the rings, between two of her own stones in the eight foot circle and removed a McLellan stone in the four foot to score four.
Team McLellan can improve to 4W-1L with a win in their final round robin game. They play Granite’s Nancy Scammell, also currently 3W-1L after a morning 8-1 victory over Sherri Horning-Burntwood. As Pelissier has beaten both McLellan and Scammell, the Thistle team will finish first in the group.
The other group is much less definite. Tiffany Armstrong’s Dauphin team has finished their round-robin with a 3W-2L record and must wait for the final draw to see where they stand.
On the morning draw, Team Armstrong beat Judy Colwell-East St. Paul (9-2) this morning. Colwell is at 2W-2L along with two other teams.
Sarah Roche’s Fort Rouge team, currently 3W-1L, has a chance to finish first in the group as they will play Lisa Birchard-Pembina, currently 2W-2L. In the other impact game on the afternoon draw, Colwell plays Debbie Whittom-Charleswood.
With the Colwell-Whittom winner finishing with three wins, there is certainty of one tiebreaker game in the group IF Roche beats Birchard. IF Birchard beats Roche, there will be a four-way tie at 3W-2L and a pair of tiebreaker games to determine final rankings in this group.
The top two teams in each pool advance to the playoff round.
Manitobans Logan Strand and Luke Robins, both from West St. Paul Curling Club, are among eight young Canadian curlers who have received Curling Canada’s new ALL HEART JUNIOR CURLING AWARDS.
(Curling Canada Release) Curling Canada will back eight youth-driven philanthropic curling programs supporting intentional engagement and participation with a more diverse demographic of Canadians through its new All Heart Junior Curling Awards program this year.
The programs, designed and implemented by junior curlers across Canada, are geared to foster greater inclusivity and create authentic community connections through curling.
The two Manitoba 2022-23 All Heart Junior Curling Award recipients are:
Luke Robins – West St. Paul, Man. (West St. Paul Curling Club) – Running on- and off-ice sessions of an introduction to curling program for Ukrainian refugees, including language interpretation as well as familiar music and refreshments
Logan Strand – St, Andrews, Man. (West St. Paul Curling Club) – Conducting an International high-school student group session, followed by opportunities to join the junior curling program free of charge.
Across Canada, the other Manitoba 2022-23 All Heart Junior Curling Award recipients are:
Jessica Byers of Haliburton, Ont. (Haliburton Curling Club) – Running a post-COVID outreach/re-engagement program to community members, including cottage-living full-time residents; assisting in implementing new league structures, and relaunching the youth program.
Kaamraan Islam – Kingston, Ont. (Cataraqui Golf and Country Club) – Implementing an adult Learn-to-Curl program for racialized community members, building off the success of the club’s similarly targeted youth programming last season.
Kya Kennedy – Saskatoon (Sutherland Curling Club) – Hosting a World Cup of Curling, a multi-cultural event featuring a learn-to-curl session, a fun spiel and a social banquet with food and decorations for all represented ethnicities of participants.
Ashleigh McKinnon – Sherwood Park, Alta. (Sherwood Park Curling Club) – Organizing family-friendly Learn-to-Curl sessions with the Boys & Girls Club of Strathcona County, incorporating on-ice introductory skills sessions and wrapping up with outdoor fun spiel.
Sitaye Penney – Portugal Cove-St. Philip’s, N.L. (REMAX Centre St. John’s Curling Club) – Introducing a program for International students and the Association of New Canadians for a Try Curling group session, followed by the opportunity to join an eight-week Learn-to-Curl program.
Wil Robertson – Fredericton (Capital Winter Club) – Conducting three season-long initiatives: inviting Indigenous leaders and community members to the club for sharing circles; inviting LGBTQS+ leaders and community to the club as a safe space with opportunities for presentations to its members; and a Learn-to-Curl series for underrepresented community members and new Canadians.
Each recipient has designed a program that removes barriers of entry to the sport, allowing chances for non-traditional curlers to truly embrace and try curling while also breaking the mold of the sport’s perception. All award winners have found a way to use their off-ice skills and connections to make meaningful relationships with their communities through curling.
The scope of the programs varies from welcoming racialized and marginalized Canadians into facilities for on-ice programs to using facilities for speaking engagements and gatherings focusing on topics such as LGBTQS+ inclusion and Indigenous cultural awareness, while making the facility a safe space for all members of the community.
At the same time, the new award program offers curling facilities an opportunity to support their young ambassadors who are implementing the programs and help create sustainable change by providing chances to develop the skills of these young curling leaders.
“The enthusiasm and support from the curling facilities are genuine and heartfelt. They’re putting their trust in these young ambassadors to run new and ambitious programs that will make the sport more sustainable, inclusive and overall better for everyone,” said Helen Radford Curling Canada Manager of Youth Curling and NextGen and member of the selection panel. “I’m so excited for the potential of this new program and to provide these opportunities to eight deserving candidates to showcase their leadership and why they are true leaders in curling.
”The All Heart Junior Curling Award program is in its first year. The program is designed to distribute $20,000 annually to deserving junior curlers building the sport in their communities by advancing their personal curling goals and developing new programs focused on building a more diverse and inclusive sport.
Each award winner will receive a $2,500 award, allocated as a $1,000 curling-related personal expense reimbursement and a $1,500 contribution to their curling facility for operational costs related to their program.
Former champion Lori Pelissier (Thistle) was one of three women’s teams who posted a pair of wins on opening day of the Nature’s Bounty Club Championship at Winnipeg’s Charleswood Curling Club.
The 2012 champion skip was joined with 2W-0L records by Kristin McLellan (Brandon), playing in the same 6-team group, and by Tiffany Armstrong (Dauphin) in the other women’s pool.
In the men’s division, two-time champion Andrew Wickman and his Fort Rouge team are one of the teams with perfect 2W-0L records. Wickman won the championship in 2018 and most recently in 2020. He stands alone at the top of one 6-team pool.
In the other men’s pool, Zach Wasylik and his Pembina team and Richard Muntain’s St. Vital team also posted two opening day wins. Team Muntain needed an extra end on the late draw Thursday for their second victory.
CurlManitoba’s Club Champions Championships events have begun at the Charleswood Curling Club. Past Champion won his opener Andrew Wickman-Ft Rouge (7-1 over Sam Antila, Burntwood). Other first draw winners on the men’s side were Zach Wasylik-Pembina, Richard Muntain-St. Vital, Kelly Marnoch-Carberry, and Paul Scinnoca-Charleswood. Among three former champions on the women’s opening draw, only Lori Pelissier-Thistle (6-5 over Sherri Horning-Burntwood) was a winner. Tiffany Armstrong-Dauphin (8-6 over former champ Marlene Lang-St. Vital) and Nancy Scammell-Granite (9-3 over former champ Tracey Andries-Ft Rouge) were winners along with Debbie Whittom-Charleswood and Kristin McLellan-Brandon. CurlManitoba’s pre-event story follows:
(CURLMANITOBA RELEASE) Winnipeg’s Charleswood Curling Club will host teams from 15 different curling communities across Manitoba in the Women’s and Men’s Nature’s Bounty provincial Curling Club Championships October 27-30, 2022. Six rural clubs and three Winnipeg clubs will be represented in one of the two championships. Two rural and four Winnipeg region clubs will be represented in both.
Skips Sherri Horning and Sam Antila will travel the furthest, bringing their teams to the Charleswood from Thompson’s Burntwood club, while four teams will be playing “at home”. The Charleswood ‘host team’ entries have been earned by the Paul Scinnoca and Doreen Sigurdson teams. The Darren Perche and Debbie Whittom foursomes qualified through regional playoffs.
Topping the list of very competitive entries in the men’s championship are teams skipped by Andrew Wickman, Randy Neufeld, and Zachary Wasylik.
Wickman’s 2020 Manitoba champion team from Fort Rouge, which missed the opportunity to play in the national event due to Covid-19, is intact. Wickman, Jeff Tarko, Craig Strand, Cam Barth and 5th Scott Barth and will be among the favorites to win at Charleswood. Three of the four (Wickman, Tarko, Cam Barth) were also Manitoba champions in 2018.
Neufeld, who is a Manitoba & Canadian Senior Men’s champion and world senior Silver medallist, will play with his La Salle club team of Dale Fust, Dean Clayton, Ryan Blight and 5th Derek Horner while Wasylik, a former Manitoba junior champion with Brett Walter, skips a Pembina team of Jack Hykaway, Joshua Harding, Graham Normand and 5th Andrew Peck.
In the women’s championship, St. Vital’s Marlene Lang, (with Pamela Kok, Jackie Henderson, and Megan Pauls), also won the 2020 title but missed the national event due to Covid-19. Three of them (Lang, Kok, Henderson) were also 2015 champions.
Tracey Andries and her Fort Rouge team of Crystal Kennedy, Diane Christensen, and April Klassen won Manitoba in 2014, 2016, and 2019 along with the Canadian championship in 2016. Thistle’s Lori Pelissier, who was the 2012 champion skip, returns this year with a different team.
Teams from Charleswood (2M, 2W), Fort Rouge (1M, 2W), Burntwood, Dauphin, Pembina, and St. Vital (each 1M, 1W) along with Men’s teams from Carberry, Portage, La Salle, and Petersfield plus Women’s teams from Elmwood, Brandon, East St. Paul, Thistle, and Granite will compete.
The Women’s competition opens the event with five games at 12:15pm on Thursday, October 27. The first five men’s games are scheduled for 3:30pm that day. The semi-finals will go at 10:00 am and finals at 2:30pm on Sunday, October 30.
The winners at Charleswood will represent Manitoba in the Everest Canadian Curling Club Championships, November 20-26 to be played in the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace.
A busy fall and it has taken me a bit longer than usual to re-launch my efforts here at thecurler.com – but here I am, and here I’ll be for the season.
Of course, it is impossible not to acknowledge the early season accomplishments of Kaitlyn Lawes and Jennifer Jones/Mackenzie Zacharias with the new lineups, and of Kerri Einarson and her champion team and to be excited by the prospects of a great event at East St. Paul when they host the Manitoba Scotties. Add in Chelsea Carey, Beth Peterson and Abby Ackland and you just know it will be a great event (and of course I know Kerri is Team Canada and won’t be there). On the men’s side it look more like a two-horse race with Matt Dunstone and Reid Carruthers headed for a final showdown in Neepawa – and what are the chances that one of them will be facing Mike McEwen as Team Ontario at the London Brier?
However, if you’ve followed my efforts over the years, you know that I am at least as interested in providing attention for more local events and curlers as I am in the stories and results you can get from regular TV coverage and on-line scoring.
So here are some of my early season notes and highlights.
CONGRATULATIONS to (l-r) Dewar McKinnon, Neil Okumura, Gord McKay, and Jim Griffiths. They might make a pretty good curling team but it is for club leadership at the Pembina CC that they were honoured in early September. A highlight of 75th anniversary celebrations was the presentation of club Honorary Life Memberships to the foursome. It was a privilege for me to be asked to MC the evening event and I look forward to being there again for the Canadian Masters Championships in November.
CONGRATULATIONS as well to (l-r) Lance Wadelius (Beausejour), Gail Cabana-Coldwell (Deer Lodge), and Ray Baker (Dauphin) who received CurlManitoba Honorary Life Memberships at this year’s Annual General Meeting. And BEST WISHES to Fort Rouge’s Keith Johnston (at right) who will serve as CurlManitoba President for the next two years. Lance and Gail were honoured for their service to curling as volunteer, coach/instructor and official. Ray was honoured for his service as a Board Member and President after a a long career of service and leadership in the Dauphin CC. Joyce Wyrchowny (Stonewall), a dedicated club and regional volunteer, was also honoured but unable to attend the AGM.
Ray Baker has had a pretty good last couple of months. As noted above, he ended his term as CurlManitoba President and an Honourary Life Membership acknowledged many things but particularly his leadership through the two years of the pandemic. A week later he was elected to the Board of Curling Canada, joining Darren Oryniak in providing solid Manitoba leadership at that level. But he was also a big success on the ice. (l-r) Baker, Dwight Bottrell, Bob Scales, and Keith Pottle won this year’s Canada 55+ Senior Games curling gold medal. A few weeks later, Baker skipped a different team to a 4th place finish at a bonspiel in North Carolina.
Due to an injury Bottrell missed some of the games and Baker, Scales, and Pottle played with three – which may explain something about the accumulation of rocks in this provided highlight photo. Important to point out that Team Baker was throwing RED and somehow scored a deuce on this end.
In recent times, I have become quite involved in 2-person stick curling events and competitions – so appropriate to acknowledge Paul Batchelor and Leroy Clarke (pictured with Warren Johnson) who were the winners of the start of season Ernie Oliver Bonspiel. It was also fun to be involved with a “high-performance” stick curling technical session with a group of five teams at the Morris – Cargill Curling Training Centre. It was an interesting challenge for Lorne Hamblin to apply his years of coaching and instructional experience to this newer form of the sport – but in the end the keys to the game are all the same: line of delivery, rotation, consistent release, weight control. About the only thing that 2-person stick players don’t have to worry about is sweeping!
Not many weeks after the Ernie Oliver Bonspiel, I was back on the ice at AMCC with my granddaughter’s team as they join the AMCC youth program this season. I have always admired Murray Peterson and his dedication to training young curlers to throw a good stone. After just one session my admiration is even greater. He seems even more dedicated to ensuring the kids under his tutelage have fun. What a great foundation – learn to throw the stone well – and HAVE FUN!
A final pre-season highlight came about as far from the curling ice as it is possible to get! I still do occasional media assignments (yes – real work!) and a recent assignment was the Manitoba Metis Federation’s Annual General Assembly. An interesting event in its own right but it won’t get any coverage here. However, I am always delighted when my sport gets positive attention in unexpected settings – and very unexpected was the introduction of our Canadian champion Kerri Einarson. If you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen the MMF logo on Team Einarson’s knee – great visibility when you get as much TV time as they do these days. Kerri was there to express her pride at wearing the logo and her appreciation for the MMF’s support. She had another important message as well – a word of encouragement to youth who were there or would hear the message from their parents/grandparents. It is a message we have heard from Kerri before but it bears repeating – she wants to be (and is!) a role model for youngsters, saying she’s a small town girl who set some goals and is achieving them and if she can do it, they can do it. It is a message which can’t be repeated often enough.
MSCA Release: The Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s 2023 Open Championship will be played in Morris in February under a new title sponsorship.
The announcement was made by MSCA President Britta Spiring at the organization’s annual general meeting, September 27.
“We are excited to welcome the expanded support of Jim Anton and Sun Life Financial,” President Spiring told the meeting as she announced the 2023 event will be known as the Sun Life Financial Manitoba Stick Curling Open Championship presented by Jim Anton.”
Her explanation that “Mr. Anton has been a valued long-time supporter of Manitoba stick curling and of our association” and that “the expanded sponsorship will provide support for both the Open Championship and next year’s start-of-season Ernie Oliver Bonspiel” was welcomed by enthusiastic applause of club delegates and curlers in attendance.
“I am proud to support this organization,” Anton had said in meetings to discuss the sponsorship. “The MSCA’s policy of being gender, age and ability inclusive is an excellent example for other organizations. It is great to see this mostly senior aged group of people staying active and involved in their local curling clubs across the province as well as in healthy competition in the MSCA’s events.”
The Sun Life Financial Manitoba Stick Curling Open Championship presented by Jim Anton will be hosted by Curl Morris, February 17-19, 2023. Entries, utilizing the CurlManitoba online entry system, will open in the very near future.
The Open Championship welcomes teams comprising two men, two women or one man-one woman. As Curl Morris is a fully accessible facility, wheelchair entries are anticipated as in past championships. A separate Women’s Championship division will take place at the same time if there is a minimum of six entries.
The MSCA’s 2023 Ernie Oliver Bonspiel, hosted by Jim Anton-Sun Life Financial, is tentatively scheduled for late September 2023 at the traditional host Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club.