Teams from St. Vital and Springfield took home the trophies in the Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s 2023 championships in Morris.
St. Vital’s Warren Johnson and Dan McDonald, regulars at MSCA events and club bonspiels, lost one game in round-robin play, finished first in their group, and won three in a row on championship Sunday to win their first championship. For McDonald, it was a first-ever. Johnson has won twice previously, with Brad Childe in 2017 and with Earl Stephenson in 2012.
The final game against Darren MacMillan & Terry Proctor (Marquette) in the SunLife Financial MSCA Open Championship presented by Jim Anton went right to the last shot.
Tied 1-1 after four ends, Johnson & McDonald had stolen two on the fifth to lead 3-1 coming home. Laying one in the four foot, Proctor played a lightweight tap shot on a pocket of three stones in the back four foot but got the worst possible angle on them, touching all three and rolling forward across the teeline and out of the four foot circle to score only one.
In the semifinals, Johnson-McDonald defeated Herb Sulkers & Harold Peterson (East St. Paul) and MacMillan-Proctor beat Larry Weatherburn & Rick Willetts (Eriksdale).
The four teams eliminated in the first round of playoffs were Charlie McCullough & Wayne Johnston (Carman), Don Fischer & Grant Nicolson (St. Vital), Bill Reid & Ed Thompson (Wildewood at Thistle), and Norm Magusson & Resby Coutts (Fort Rouge).
McCullough & Johnston were the only undefeated team in the event. Sulkers & Peterson and Willetts & Weatherburn advanced to the playoff round through a tiebreaker. They had been tied after round-robin play with Jim Rouse & Ross MacMillan (Warren/Marquette) but survived the tiebreaker.
A total of 24 teams participated in the SunLife Financial Open Championship presented by Jim Anton.
Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun (Springfield) defeated 2020 champions Gwen Smith and Lynne Rehbein (St. Vital) to win the 7-team 2023 MSCA Women’s Championship. Down 3-2 coming home, Marr-Kolsun scored a single point to force an extra end then won the game with a steal in the extra when a last shot draw to the four foot circle slid a little too deep.
At the end of round-robin play, Marr & Kolsun, Smith & Rehbein, and Irene Tully & Marilyn Campbell (Marquette) had been tied with 4 win – 2 loss records. Marr & Kolsun won the tiebreaker and the bye to the final. Smith & Rehbein eliminated Tully & Campbell in the semi-final.
(Sunday, February 19, 1:30PM) FINALS SET IN STICK CHAMPIONSHIPS Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald (St. Vital) will play Darren MacMillan & Terry Proctor (Marquette) in the final game of the SunLife Financial Manitoba Stick Open Championship presented by Jim Anton. The game is set for 2 PM in Morris.
MacMillan-Proctor defeated Larry Weatherburn & Rick Willets (Eriksdale) in the semifinal. Proctor, tied coming home and facing three, half tucked a draw behind a counter in the top of the rings and marked up the 2-1 win when Willets rubbed his own stone.
Johnson & McDonald gave up a three on the opening end , came back with three of their own on the second and led Herb Silkers & Harold Peterson (East St. Paul) 6-4 coming home. Sulkers faced a difficult tap back of a counter on the button for two with his last stone. He rubbed the target stone but left a steal of one for a 7-4 win.
In the Women’s final, Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun (Springfield) will play former champions Gwen Smith & Lynne Rehbein (St. Vital) . Smith-Rehbein were 5-2 winners over Irene Tully & Marilyn Campbell (Marquette) in the morning semi-final.
(Saturday, February 19, 10PM) MCCULLOUGH-JOHNSTON LONE UNBEATEN TEAM, PLAYOFFS SET IN STICK CHAMPIONSHIPS Carman’s Charlie McCullough and Wayne Johnston are the only team to reach the playoffs of the two Manitoba 2-person Stick Championships undefeated. In a game for first place in Pool D, McCullough-Johnston defeated Norm Magnusson & Resby Coutts (Ft. Rouge) on the Saturday evening draw. Both teams will advance to the Sunday playoff round.
In Pool A of the SunLife Open Championship presented by Jim Anton, Grant Nicolson & Don Fischer (St. Vital) finished first with a 4W-1L record. Bill Reid & Ed Thompson (Wildewood at Thistle), with a 3W-2L record, also advance to the playoffs.
In Pool B, Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald (St. Vital) and Darren MacMillan & Terry Proctor (Marquette), with 3W-1L records, both advance to the playoff round.
A three team tiebreaker was required in Pool C. Of the three teams with 4W-1L records, the tiebreak win went to Herb Sulkers & Harold Peterson (East St. Paul) and Rick Willets & Larry Weatherburn (Eriksdale).
The eight teams will play a single knock-out playoff on Sunday beginning at 11AM in Morris.
A three-team tiebreaker was also required in the Women’s championship – to determine the first place bye to the final in the three team playoff. Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun (Springfield), 2020 champions Lynne Rehbein & Gwen Smith (St. Vital) AND Irene Tully & Marilyn Campbell (Marquette) all finished with 4W-2L records. Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun earned the bye to the final.
(Friday, February 18, 9PM) THREE TEAMS UNBEATEN IN MANITOBA STICK CHAMPIONSHIPS Three of 23 teams have unbeaten records as play began Saturday at 3PM in the SunLife Financial Manitoba 2-Person Stick Open Championship presented by Jim Anton in Morris.
In Pool C, former Canadian Champions Jim Rouse & Ross MacMillan have a 3W-0L record with two games to play. Two teams trail them with 2W-1L records.
In Pool D, Charlie McCullough and Wayne Johnston (Carman) and Norm Magnusson & Resby Coutts (Fort Rouge) share the lead with 3W-0L records. They will meet in their final round robin game Saturday evening.
In Pool A, Grant Nicolson & Don Fischer (St. Vital) lead the way with a 3W-1L record. Four teams have 2W-2L records in this group.
Pool D play has been complicated by a team withdrawal due to injury. This group is now five teams and is led by Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald (St. Vital) with a 3W-1L record. Darren MacMillan & Ross Proctor (Marquette) have a 2W-1L record in that group.
Two teams from each pool will advance to the playoffs.
In the Women’s Championship, Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun (Springfield) lead the way with a 4W-1L record and a game to play. 2020 champions Lynne Rehbein & Gwen Smith (St. Vital) AND Irene Tully & Marilyn Campbell (Marquette) have 3W-1L records and two games to play.
(Friday, February 17, 9PM) 2-PERSON STICK CURLING CHAMPIONSHIPS IN MORRIS THIS WEEKEND Two different forms of 2-person curling are on display in championships underway this weekend. At St. Vital, CurlManitoba’s Dynasty Mixed Doubles Championship has attracted 20 teams, most of them from the younger curling demographic. In a triple elimination event, the teams will play down to eight teams in the knockout playoff round on Monday.
A somewhat older demographic is demonstrating the skills involved in the 2-person stick game in Morris in the Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s SunLife Financial Open Championship presented by Jim Anton, as well as in the Association’s Women’s Championship. The seven-team Women’s event is being played in one pool so each team will play six games. Irene Tully & Marilyn Campbell (Marquette) won their only two games on opening day while Darlene Maywood & Melanie Shura (St. Vital) AND Lorna Marr & Val Kolsun (Springfield) also won a pair (but also had a loss). The top three teams will advance to Sunday playoffs.
In the SunLife Financial Manitoba Open Stick Championship presented by Jim Anton, 24 teams are competing in four pools. Six teams won their first two games on Friday.