There was a shuffle in the Manitoba curling record books, relating to championship finals appearances and records, when the Dunstone & Carruthers teams faced off in Neepawa.

Carruthers: 11 Finals with 7 wins & 4 losses (Terry Ursel photo)

Jeff Stoughton still has the most final game appearances (12) and that remarkable 11W-1L finals record. Remember he only lost the one final game, in 2004 to Brent Scales.

Two curlers are now only one appearance behind as Reid Carruthers and Mike McEwen now share second place with 11 appearances. Carruthers could still catch Stoughton in the win column but a victory in Neepawa would have been a big help there.

With eight games played and six wins, Carruthers moved ahead of Jon Mead in both number of games played (122) and number of games won at the provincial championship. He moved into a tie in the number of games won (98) with former skip Mike McEwen.

Derek Samagalski was in his ninth final, now tied with Kerry Burtnyk, Jimmy Welsh and Jock Reid with both the same number of appearances and wins (5W). BJ Neufeld, who was also in his ninth final, separated himself from former teammates Denni Neufeld and Matt Wozniak, who are among five with eight finals appearances.

Colton Lott, Matt Dunstone, and Connor Njegovan all now have one Manitoba Men’s Championship win, although Lott has one more finals appearance.

Dunstone: 2 Finals with 1 win & 1 loss (Terry Ursel photo)

12: Jeff Stoughton (11W-1L)
11: Reid Carruthers (7W-4L)
11: Mike McEwen (4W-7L)
9: Derek Samagalski (5W-4L)
9: Kerry Burtnyk (5W-4L)
9: Jimmy Welsh (5W-4L)
9: Jock Reid (5W-4L)
9: BJ Neufeld (3W-6L)
8: Steve Gould (6W-2L)
8: Ken Watson (4W-4L)
8: Grant Watson (4W-4L)
8: Denni Neufeld (2W-6L)
8: Matt Wozniak (2W-6L)

3: Colton Lott (1W-2L)
2: Matt Dunstone (1W-1L)
2: Connor Njegovan (1W-1L)

Ryan Harnden also has one Manitoba Men’s championship final appearance and victory….. to go with a 13W-1L Northern Ontario finals record.

180: Jeff Stoughton
120: Kerry Burtnyk
142: Orest Meleschuk
142: Peter Nicholls
133: Vic Peters
131: Mike McEwen
130: John Usackis
122: Reid Carruthers
112: Keith Fenton

144: Jeff Stoughton
117: Kerry Burtnyk
98: Reid Carruthers
98: Mike McEwen
93: Jon Mead
92: Vic Peters
90: Derek Samagalski
85: Orest Meleschuk
84: Peter Nicholls
82: Steve Gould

(CurlManitoba Release: Sunday, February 12, 8:PM) TEAM DUNSTONE WINS VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP In a stunning 10th end comeback, Fort Rouge’s Matt Dunstone, BJ Neufeld, Colton Lott, Ryan Harnden and Coach Adam Kingsbury won the 2023 Viterra Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship today in Neepawa.  

Dunstone, Neufeld, Lott, Harnden, Kingsbury, Viterra Rep Ray Baloun

Team Dunstone trailed Reid Carruthers (Morris) 7-5 coming home after a brilliantly executed draw on the ninth gave Carruthers a steal of one.

With all the stones in play but one when Dunstone threw his first rock, he was faced with a Carruthers stone so completely buried that he had to blow things up.   Dunstone’s hit angled a centre line guard onto a Carruthers stone in the start of a five rock combination. The result – Team Dunstone lying three and Carruthers in big trouble. 

Dunstone did not have to throw his last rock in an 8-7 win.

In the now 20 year history of the Page Playoff at the championship, this was only the second time the 2-2 game winner won the title.  

On the late draw Saturday, the new champions had beaten Brandon’s Steve Irwin. In the Sunday morning semi-final they defeated Braden Calvert, also of Fort Rouge. 

It was the third Manitoba Men’s title for BJ Neufeld and the first for Matt Dunstone, Colton Lott and Ryan Harnden. 

#1 seed Matt Dunstone

(CurlManitoba Release: Saturday, February 11, 11:PM) CARRUTHERS, DUNSTONE, CALVERT LEFT IN VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP Three teams will play Sunday in Neepawa for CurlManitoba’s Viterra Championship, the Manitoba Men’s curling championship.

Reid Carruthers and his second seed is in the favorite position as he and his Morris team have advanced to the Sunday 2:30PM final game. Team Carruthers qualified for the 8-team playoff from the “B” Side of the 32-team qualifying round and won their opening game Friday evening over former junior champion JT Ryan (AMCC). Team Carruthers trailed Steve Irwin (Brandon) 7-1 after four ends but fought back to win 10-8 on Saturday morning to move on to the final stage, the 4-team Page Playoff.

On Saturday evening in Neepawa, Carruthers was tied 4-4 playing two-time former world junior champion Braden Calvert (Fort Rouge) when he benefitted from a ‘pick’ on Calvert’s ninth end last stone. A steal of three gave Carruthers a 7-4 lead, the final score, and a spot in the Sunday final. Calvert dropped into the semi-final.

In the final game, Carruthers will play the winner of the Sunday morning 9AM semi-final between Calvert and #1 seed Matt Dunstone (Fort Rouge).

Dunstone had a three game day Saturday. He had reached the 8-team playoff round with an unbeaten run through the preliminary round and a first game win over Corey Chambers (Fort Garry). A Saturday morning loss to Calvert dropped Dunstone to the “B” Side where his team won back-to-back elimination games. The top seed beat #3 Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge) in six ends to earn a spot on the bottom side of the Page Playoff Championship and then beat Brandon’s Steve Irwin in five ends to advance to the Sunday semi-final

Irwin reached the Page Playoff with a win over Corey Chambers (Fort Garry).

Ryan and Justin Richter (Beausejour) lost a pair of games back-to-back to be eliminated after reaching the 8-team playoff round. Wiebe and Chambers both posted loss-win-loss records to be eliminated.

(CurlManitoba Release: Friday, February 10, 11:PM) CARRUTHERS, DUNSTONE, CALVERT LEFT IN VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP – Three teams remain undefeated at the 2023 Viterra Championship in Neepawa as the preliminary round ended and the first games of the eight-team playoff round began. The eight qualifiers all start fresh in a new double knock-out phase of the competition.

Top seed Matt Dunstone (Fort Rouge), #5 seed Braden Calvert (Fort Rouge), and Steve Irwin (Brandon) all qualified through the “A” Side of the 32-team preliminary round with three wins. They won their fourth games of the event on the evening draw Friday.

The fourth “A” qualifier, Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge),was beaten 7-4 Friday evening by #2 seed Reid Carruthers (Morris) who had lost in the “A” Q-game to Irwin.

On the 9:00AM draw Saturday, Irwin has a re-match with Carruthers and Calvert meets Dunstone. The winners will advance to the Championship Page Playoff round.

The elimination side of the Playoff Round draw includes #3 seed Wiebe; #4 seed Corey Chambers (Fort Garry), who lost 7-2 to Dunstone; Justin Richter (Beausejour), who lost 9-3 to Calvert; and JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial), who lost 9-2 to Irwin.

The elimination draw at 9:00AM has Richter playing Chambers and Ryan playing Wiebe. The final two Championship qualifiers will be determined on the 2:00PM draw.

Prior to the evening draw, CurlManitoba presented Justin Richter with the annual Pat Spiring Award. Selected by the competitors in the Viterra Championship, the award recognizes the competitor who best exemplifies on-ice ability, competitive spirit, love of the game, and respect for the traditions and spirit of curling.

(CurlManitoba Release: Thursday, February 9, 11:PM) FIRST VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF QUALIFYING GAMES AT 8:30AM FRIDAY The original field of 32 teams from across Manitoba has been cut in half at the 2023 Viterra Championship in Neepawa after two days of play. By end of play Friday, the group will be halved again.

The first four teams into the 8-team payoff round will be identified on the 8:30AM Friday draw. The match-ups in those games are #1 seed Matt Dunstone-Fort Rouge vs Brett Walter-Assiniboine Memorial; #2 seed Reid Carruthers-Morris vs Steve Irwin-Brandon; #3 seed Ryan Wiebe-Fort Rouge vs Riley Smith-Thistle; and #4 seed Corey Chambers-Fort Garry vs #5 seed Braden Calvert-Fort Rouge.

Corey Chambers with sweeper Brendan Bilawka

The 12:15 draw “B” Side match-ups are Sean Grassie-Deer Lodge vs Justin Reynolds-Winnipeg Beach; Jeff Stewart-Gladstone vs JT Ryan-Assiniboine Memorial; Tanner Lott-Fort Rouge vs Steen Sigurdson-Assiniboine Memorial; and Jorden Peters-Fort Rouge vs Justin Richter-Beausejour.

The other four final-eight qualifiers will come from the “B” Side of the draw. The eight teams who go on the ice for the 12:15 draw will have to win two in a row to qualify.

The 8:30AM “A” Side game losers drop into the “B” qualifier games at 4:00PM. The eight team playoff round begins at 7:45PM Friday.

One game every draw, with commentary, is available on the CurlManitoba YouTube Channel.

BJ Neufeld throws with sweepers Colton Lott and Ryan Harnden

(CurlManitoba Release: Wednesday, February 8, 11:PM) TOP FIVE WIN OPENERS; FOUR TEAMS OUSTED FROM VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP The first day of play at the Viterra Championship rolled out very much according to the form chart.

All of the top five seeds advanced through their opening games. Among the top five, Braden Calvert-Fort Rouge was the only one pushed past eight ends. Leading 6-4 playing the ninth end, Calvert used last rock to score a three in defeating Grant Shewfelt-Baldur.

Top seed Matt Dunstone-Fort Rouge (over Tuffy Seguin-Burntwood), #2 Reid Carruthers-Morris (over Rob Van Kommer-Carberry), #3 Ryan Wiebe-Fort Rouge (over Mark Franklin-Granite) and #4 Corey Chambers-Fort Garry (over Wayne Ewasko) all dominated their openers.

Reid Carruthers with sweeper Derek Samagalski

Wiebe, Chambers and Calvert all play their second game on the 8:30AM draw Thursday while Dunstone and Carruthers return to the ice at 12:15 PM Thursday. In the 32-team qualifying round, teams who win three consecutive games advance to the 8-team Playoff Round.

At the other end of the competition spectrum, four teams lost two games on opening day to be ousted from the double knockout event. Ryan Hyde-Portage, Rob Van Kommer-Carberry, Mark Franklin-Granite, and Steve Pauls-Pilot Mound are the four teams whose two loss day earns them an early exit.

Teams drop to the “B” Side of the draw as they lose a game on the “A” Side. Two more teams will be eliminated at 8:30AM, five at 4:00PM, and five at 7:45 Thursday, cutting the original 32 teams to 16 by the end of the second day of play.

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