Dayna Wahl (Altona) and Jace Freeman (Virden) have won the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Championships in Altona. Earlier this season, the same two teams had won the CurlManitoba Canada Games Trials – meaning they’ll play as Team Manitoba at the National U-18 Championship in Timmins,ON in early February and the Canada Games in Summerside PEI with only a week between.

Freeman needed an extra end to beat Ronan Peterson and his Heather team, set up when Peterson w=made a delicate last shot tap back shot to score two on the home end.

Wahl’s victory was one of patience. After a missed blank on the first end, forced to take one, Wahl was down 2-1 after two and blanked the next three ends. On the sixth they got the miss they needed – and ultimately scored a three, missing on a ;split’ opportunity for 4. The two point lead after six ends was good enough. Grace Beaudry’s St Vital team elected to take one on the seventh but couldn’t build the steal on the 8th.

Front: Team Wahl (l-r) Dayna Wahl, Piper Stoesz, Anna Ginters, Gillian Hildebrand (Coach Keith Stoesz (back left)… Back: (l-r) Team Freeman (l-r) Jace Freeman, Elias Huminicki, Jack Steski, Rylan Graham, Coach Graham Freeman

(Saturday, 11:30AM) U-18 SEMIFINAL SUMMARY….The top seeds in the Asham U-18 men’s and women’s competitions will face off in the championship games.

Women’s #1 seed Grace Beaudry (St. Vital), in an extra end over Shaela Hayward (Carman, and Men’s #2 seed Ronan Peterson (Heather), with a win over Zach Norris, advanced from the morning semifinals.

 They’ll play Women’s #2 Dayna Wahl (Altona) and Men’s #1 Jace Freeman (Virden) in the 1PM final games. With a 5W-1L record, Freeman had earned the bye to the final in the 3-team Men’s playoff. Wahl had defeated Beaudry in the extra end Page 1 vs 1 playoff game Friday evening.

All four teams have already earned invitations to compete at the nationals in early February in Timmins, ON

The big prize in the afternoon game is the pride of being Manitoba champion and Team Manitoba at the national championship. 


UPDATE: Friday 10:30PM) Altona’s Dayna Wahl team, already winners of Manitoba’s Canada Games berth, have advanced to the final of the Asham U-18 Championship being played in their hometown club.  By reaching the final, they have also won the first of two Manitoba  invitations to the U-18 nationals in Timmons, ON. In February.

Team Wahl defeated previously unbeaten Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) in the 1 vs 1 playoff game, scoring three on the seventh end and winning with a point on an extra end.

In the 2vs 2 playoff game, Shaela Hayward’s Carman team defeated Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) to advance to the Saturday morning semifinal against Beaudry.

The winner of the semi-final, by advancing to the final game, will win the second of two Manitoba entry in the national championship.

If you’re inclined to ask – so why play the final game? – the answer is quite simple. The Manitoba Championship is on the line. The champions go to Timmins as Team Manitoba while the loser will be identified as a Wild Card entry from Manitoba. For Team Wahl, there is also the quest to follow in the footsteps of another local team, the Mackenzie Zacharias team which won this same championship as a stepping stone in the ascent to the pinnacle of curling when they won the World Juniors a few short years later.

(Friday 4:30PM) PLAYOFFS SET IN ASHAM U-18 WOMEN`S CHAMPIONSHIP …….One unbeaten team and three with 3W-1L records will advance to the playoff round of the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Women`s Championship in Altona.

One team with a 3W-1L record misses the playoffs based on the event`s accumulated pre-game draw-to-the-button scores, the now standard tie-breaker formula.

With a 4W-0L record, Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) has the only unbeaten team. In their final round robin game, the St. Vital team needed an extra end to beat Julia Van Ryssel (Springfield) who had scored three coming home to tie.

Beaudry is followed in second place by Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) with a 3W-1L record. Van Ryssel finshes with a 2W-2L record in third place in the group.

The other pool ended in a three way tie for first. The three teams with 3W-1L records were Dauphin`s Team Benson, (skipped by Cloe Halushak) who had a last round bye, Shaela Haywrd (Carman) and Dayna Wahl (Altona).

A last round win by Hayward over Wahl created the logjam. Wahl earns first place in the pool  with Hayward second and Benson third based on the tie-breaker process. 

In their final games of the event. Bethany Allan (Granite), with a win over Liv Leadbeater (Swan River), and Rylie Buchalter (Heather), with a win over Meghan Lagadi (Pembina) earned their first victories.

The four team playoff in a Page format, has Beaudry against Wahl in the 1 vs 1 game. The winner advances to the final and earns the first invitation to the nationals in Timmins, ON. In the Page 2 vs 2 game, Hayward will play Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) who had the last game bye and also finished at 3W-1L.

The first playoff round goes at 7:30pm Friday.


Jace Freeman (Virden) and his team won a pair of games Friday to earn the first place bye to the final in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Men`s Championship in Altona.

The wins over Nash Sugden (Morden) and Zach Norris (Morris) gave the Freeman team, which has already earned the right to represent Manitoba in the Canada Winter Games, a final record of 5W-1L. Along with the bye to the final, they also earned the first of two available invitations to attend the nationals in Timmins, ON in early February.

Norris had earlier won over Nathan Poklar (East St. Paul) so their final 4W-2L record earned them a spot in the Saturday morning semifinal against Ronan Peterson (Heather).

Norris finishes with a 4W-2L record, tied with Ronan Peterson (Heather) who had a last round bye. Peterson and Norris will meet in the semi-final Saturday morning.

Peterson won over Luke Robins (West St. Paul) on the morning draw and had the afternoon bye to finish with a 4W-2L record as well.

Colton Olafson (Portage) had a morning bye and chance to move into the 4W-2L tie but lost 8-4 to Luke Robins (West St. Paul) and finished 3W-3L, out of the playoffs.

Nash Sugden (Morden) also had a playoff chance when the day began but had to win two games on the final day. The Morden team earned a split with the loss to Freeman and a win over Nathan Poklar (East St. Paul).

The semi-final is at 9AM and the final at 1PM Saturday.


The stage is set for a dramatic final round of play in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Women’s Championship in Altona.

With a win and a bye today, Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) and Dayna Wahl (Altona) retained first place in the two pools with perfect 3W-0L records.

Two teams have completed their round robins with a pair of wins today. Dauphin’s Team Benson (skipped by Cloe Haluschak) and Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) have second place in their pools with 3W-1L records.

In third place in the two pools are Shaela Hayward (Carman) and Julia Van Ryssel (Springfield). Both won their single game today to hold down third place with 2W-1L records.

The Friday drama arises from the first vs third matchup in both pools Friday afternoon. Beaudry plays Karys Buchalter while Wahl plays Team Hayward.

No matter the result, Wahl and Beaudry have locked up a share of first place in their pools. Wins, and a 4W-0L record mean the teams advance to the Page Playoff 1-1 game. Losses mean a 3W-1L record and wins by Hayward &/or Buchalter mean they will also be at 3W-1L records. The tiebreaker formulas would then come into play to determine the top two teams in the pools.

Losses by Hayward &/or Buchalter mean they finish at 2W-2L and out of the playoffs.

LATE DRAW: A stolen extra end 7-6 win by Dauphin’s Team Benson (skipped by Cloe Haluschak) over Rylie Buchalter and a 6-5 win by Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) over Bethany Allen (Granite) gave the two winners 3W-1L records at the U18 championship in Altona.

NOON DRAW: Wins by Daya Wahl (Altona) and Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) on the noon draw at the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Championship have improved their group leading records to 3W-0L.  Dauphin’s Benson team (skipped by Cloe Haluschak) kept pace behind Walh while Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) is also at 2W-1L, as the two also won their noon draw games.


Jace Freeman (Virden) and Zach Norris (Morris) lead the way in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Championship underway in Altona. The two teams both had byes on Thursday. They’ll start the day Friday sharing first place with 3W-1L records.

Right behind are Colton Olafson (Portage) and Ronan Peterson (Heather with 3W-2L records and only one game left to play.

Team Olafson had the best day Thursday, winning a pair of games to force themselves in to the playoff picture. A morning 7-6 win over Freeman was critical to the playoff hopes of all of the three win teams.

The Norris team won their one game Thursday, 6-5 over Nash Sugden (Morden) while Team Peterson split, beating beating Nathon Poklar (East St. Paul) but losing to Freeman.

Sugden bounced back on the late afternoon draw, scoring two on the 7th end and stealing one coming home to beat Luke Robins (West St. Paul). Sugden stays in the playoff chase with a 2W-2L record and two games to play tomorrow. Robins, at 1W-3L, will need a pair of wins and a lot of help from other teams to make the playoff round.

Sugden`s games Friday are against Freeman and the still winless Poklar team. Norris plays Poklar in the morning and Freeman in the afternoon.

Olafson and Peterson both have their bye game Friday and the last game for each is against 1W-3L Robins.

After playing Sugden in the morning, the final round robin draw tomorrow has Freeman playing Norris. It could be a first place game with a bye to the final and an invitation to the nationals on the line.


Jace Freeman (Virden), Zach Norris (Morris) and Ronan Peterson (Heather) have all completed the second day of play in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Men’s Championship with a pair of victories.

Ronan Peterson

Freeman, who had a third round bye, leads the way with a perfect 2W-0L record. Norris and Peterson are both at 2W-1L after a third round game between the two, won by Peterson.

It was a critical win for Team Peterson, highly ranked coming into the event. They had lost their opener and needed to avoid a second loss this early in the event.

 Peterson’s early Wednesday win over Colton Olafson (Portage) set up an evening match with unbeaten Zach Norris (Morris). Norris opened with a deuce but gave up 6 points over the next four ends to trail 6-2 in a 9-5 win for Peterson.

Key to the championship aspirations of both Peterson and Norris is the fact that both have yet to play Freeman.

The U-18 Men’s playoff will see the first place team advance to the final with second and third meeting in the semifinal. The two finalists will each win an invitation to compete in the nationals.


After two games on the first day of play in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Women’s Championship in Altona, the top two seeds have taken their expected place atop the two five-team pools.

Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) and Dayna Wahl (Altona) were the only teams to win their first two games.

Grace Beaudry delivers with sweepers Lauren Evason and Tessa Terrick

Beaudry defeated the teams skipped by Liv Leadbeater (Swan River) and Karys Buchalter (West St. Paul) while Wahl’s wins came over Meghan Lagadi (Pembina) and Dauphin’s Team Benson (skipped by Cloe Haluschak.

Two teams in each pool had first day splits and it should be noted two teams in each pool had first day byes but all four lost their opening games.

In their only game Thursday, Team Beaudry will play one of the 0W-1L teams, Bethany Allan’s Granite team. Team Beaudry also has a bye Thursday, playing their only game against Rylie Buchalter and her Heather team.

While the first day’s results are not a guarantee of final standings they are a strong indicator of the challenge faced by all of the teams in subsequent games as they strive to earn one of the two playoff spots available in each pool.

There is a huge advantage to finishing first in each pool as the Women’s event will play a Page Playoff with the two first place teams meeting  in the first round of playoffs. The winner goes to the final knowing they have already won one of two national invitations available. The loser has a second chance opportunity when they drop to the semifinal.


Luke Robins looks on as Jace Freeman calls sweeping

Jace Freeman’s Virden team and Dayna Wahl’s Altona team opened play in the Asham CurlManitoba U-18 Championships with wins: Freeman last evening over Luke Robins (West St, Paul) and Wahl this morning over Meghan Lagardi (Pembina).

In the Men’s the Robins team is also highly rated as is Ronan Peterson’s Heather team whose first round loss to Nash Sugden (Morden) would be considered a minor upset.

The third winner on the Men’s first draw were Zach Norris (Morris) over Colton Olafson (Portage).

Dayna Wahl, with sweeper Gillian Hildebrand

On the Women’s first draw, co-favourite Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) was a 6-end winner over Swan River’s Leadbeater team. Shalea Hayward’s Carman, considered to be among the contenders, scored three coming home to tie but lost on an extra end to Dauphin’s  Shayna Benson team (skipped by Chloe Haluschak).

Karys Buchalter’s West St. Paul team won the fourth opening round game (over Soringfield’s Julia Van Ryssel team)


CurlManitoba’s U-18 Championships begin tonight in Altona – with 7 young men’s teams and 10 young women’s teams participating. The men play a 7 team, 6 game round robin while the women are split in two pools of five for a four game round robin.

It will be a first major test for the two teams which won the Canada Games Trials at Heather in November. Dayna Wahl’s Altona team and Jace Freeman’s Virden team will be out to prove it was no fluke that they earned the Canada Games berth and that they should be one of the two Manitoba teams at the Canadian U-18’s in early February in Timmins, ON as well.

In the Men’s U-18 Championship, Freeman and Elias Huminicki were on last year’s winning McDonald team and their lead, Jack Steski, was on the finalist team a year ago. The combined credentials identify them as the favorite. Rylan Graham, their fourth player, also played in this event a year ago. 

At Heather after winning the Canada Games Trials (front Altona’s Dayna Wahl, Piper Stoesz, Anna Marie Ginters, Gillian Hildebrand, Coach Keith Stoesz AND back Rylan Graham, Jack Steski, Elias Huminicki, Jace Freeman, Coach Graham Freeman)

Huminicki is already the leader in games played at the Manitoba U-18 Men’s Championship – having played 26 games in four previous appearances. He is poised to move ahead of his former skip, Jordon McDonald, into first place on the list of most games won. With 17 previous wins he is tied for second in that stats category, behind only McDonald who won 20 games out of 21 played as he skipped the 2019, 2020, and 2022 champion teams. (The event was cancelled due to covid in 2021).

Cameron Olafson, who was also on the winning McDonald team a year ago, is skipping his own Portage team this year. Two other members of the 2022 finalist Ryan Ostrowsky team are also playing this year. Luke Robins is skipping a West St. Paul team with Logan Strand at lead. They lost the Canada Games Trials semi-final. Finalist Ronan Peterson’s Heather team, the only team in the championship from inside the perimeter highway, is also competing in Altona.

In the Women’s U-18 Championship, Team Wahl (Piper Stoesz, Anna Marie Ginters, Gilian Hildebrand) topped their round robin pool in last year`s championship but lost in the semi-final to Grace Beaudry who went on to lose the final. Beaudry has recruited Cassidy Dundas and Tessa Terrick from last year`s champion team. With Lauren Evason rounding out the squad, the Wahl & Beaudry teams can be considered co-favourites this year. It is notable that Beaudry recently won a 2023 Scotties berth (with a different team).

Altona’s Mackenzie Zacharias teams won three consecutive U-18 titles in 2015-1026-2017. Tessa Terrick and Cassidy Dundas have each won 17 games in previous U-18 appearances, a number well behind the leading 38 games played by Meghan Walter in seven appearances at the event.

The Altona Curling Club hosts the championship action, beginning with an 8PM Men`s draw this evening and continuing to playoffs at 9AM and 1PM on Saturday.


The Manitoba Open, the longest running and largest bonspiel in the world returns this year after the Covid-cancellation seasons and here’s a reminder that the entry deadline is DECEMBER 29.

The bonspiel offers, first-and-foremost, an opportunity to play the game and enjoy the competition (and comradeship) of like minded individuals. Although smaller than in days of yore (old guys like me yearn wistfully for the days like 1988 when nearly 1,300 teams took part) – it is still a magnificent undertaking.

By the time entries close, my projection is there will be in the range of 200 teams participating. The bonspiel presents a rare opportunity to play a team you have never met, on a sheet of ice neither of you have ever played on. What a great test of curling – the challenge of learning the ice while you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of your opponent, at the same time as you try to show your opponent only your team’s strengths.

Whatever level we play at – we all get pretty comfortable playing in our own clubs/leagues/bonspiel circuit – against the same teams all the time. Generally, we have a pretty good idea what they are going to do AND which ones we are likely to beat – which will likely beat us – which will be a flip-a-coin game.

I repeat, the beauty of the bonspiel lies in embracing the fact that you don’t have any idea what the game is going to be like when you step on the ice.

I curl regularly at Fort Rouge and Charleswood, and have played a few bonspiel games at Assiniboine Memorial this season. So I have an idea what that ice is like. Watching the Canadian Masters at Pembina and the recent regional playoffs at Deer Lodge, I know their ice represents a different challenge. I have not curled at Elmwood or Fort Garry or St Vital this year – I am excited by the prospect!!

I have always said, since my very first game in 1967 against the great Bruce Hudson on sheet #2 at Granite, that the MCA Bonspiel (now Manitoba Open Bonspiel) is my favorite event of the year.

How much do I like it? So much that I have actually got a team entered in both the Open and the Half Spiel. Obviously I can’t play all the games. Inevitable overlap of schedules and the fact that all five players on both teams (yes, two completely different line-ups!) will play about the same number of games make that impossible.

But I’ll play as much as I can – what better way is there to spend a winter weekend in Winnipeg?

Whether I win 8-9 games in a row (which happened once a long time ago) or lose 9 in a row (which has potential to be the case) I really don’t care. I’m just excited by the prospect of being on the ice with good friends (and my two sons on the Half Spiel team), by the opportunity to encounter (and perhaps share some time with) folks I have only ever met in previous bonspiels, and hopefully to play some more teams I have never played before.

I am lucky to report my circle of curling friends is huge – I hope I can add you to it when I play you in January!

Please act now (or at least by December 29) and get your entry in – otherwise I may never have the privilege of playing against you!