RAMSAY, SHAFIRKA WIN MANITOBA 2-PERSON STICK OPEN CHAMPIONSHIP

(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.

CHAMBERS WINS CHICKEN CHEF MIXED PROVINCIAL TITLE

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.

PICKEN LEGACY FUND GRANT ANNOUNCED FOR INTERLAKE JUNIOR LEAGUE

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.

EINARSON TEAM OPENS WOMEN’S WORLDS WITH TWO GAMES SATURDAY

(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, www.curling.ca/2022worldwomen

THREE-MAN GUSHUE TEAM WINS BRIER

(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.

A MANITOBA CURLING FIRST FOR STEPHANIE FEELEUS

(Original for curlmanitoba.org) 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.

DATES SET FOR MANITOBA JUNIOR TEAM SEND-OFF CELEBRATIONS

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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 dkjaefo@gmail.com
Peter McDonald 204-230-4612 p.mcdonald@shaw.ca

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

TEAM TOBER DETAILS: ADMISSION – $10.00 (E-TRANSFER ACCEPTED)
TO PURCHASE TICKETS PLEASE CONTACT:
DEB POPOVIC (431) 998-8951 popcurler@gmail.com
DENISE FEELEUS (204) 803-0384 denisefe@mts.net

SUPPORT TICKETS MAY BE ALSO PURCHASED FROM THESE CONTACTS. LIMITED TICKETS WILL BE AVAILABLE AT THE DOOR

FRIDAY, MARCH 18TH @ 7:00PM
FORT GARRY CURLING CLUB 696 ARCHIBALD STREET, WINNIPEG, MB

#throwcurlingstonesnotbombs

I am only one voice but I wholeheartedly support the move by the WCF to remove Russian teams from World Championship competitions and I am proud of the response of Curling Canada in the strong statement of support which it has issued.

As a rules- based organization, the WCF’s constitution (organizational rules) has been followed in the statement which follows – verbatim! (The Curling Canada Statement also follows verbatim!

For clarification – the WCF includes 65-70 members. The Constitution dictates that 10% of members must vote against – within three days – to defeat the rule proposed change. I would be disappointed if more than one votes against!!

WORLD CURLING FEDERATION STATEMENT: The World Curling Federation Board today adopted an emergency ruling following a legal consultation regarding the situation surrounding Russian athletes competing at World Championship events.
 
Using the powers available to the Board under the World Curling Constitution Article 16.13.5 (in full below), the World Curling Federation Board has inserted the following new rule into the Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition:
 
Rule C1(b) The Board of the WCF may remove a team or Member Association from any WCF event if in the sole opinion of the Board their presence at the event would damage the event or put the safety of the participants or the good order of the event at risk.
 
The remaining clauses within Rule C1 shall be renumbered to incorporate this rule addition.
 
This new regulation has been passed to the Member Associations of the World Curling Federation, who now have three days to voice their objections to its adoption.
 
Should there be no objections, then at the conclusion of the three day evaluation window, the World Curling Federation will then begin the process of removing the Russian Curling Federation entries from the upcoming World Championships.
 
The World Curling Federation strongly condemns the military action undertaken by the Russian Government in their invasion of Ukraine and continues to hope for a swift and peaceful resolution to the situation.

CURLING CANADA STATEMENT: Curling Canada strongly endorses today’s announcement from the World Curling Federation of an initiative to remove Russian teams from upcoming world championship events, and we urge fellow Member Nations to join us in supporting this WCF announcement, as well as the recent announcement that the 2022 European Curling Championships will be moved from Perm, Russia.

The invasion of Ukraine, a democracy, and an important member of our World Curling Membership, must be met with swift and assertive sanctions that makes a strong statement of our collective values, our ethical stance, and, first and foremost, demonstrates concern for the safety and the freedoms of the people of Ukraine. 

We also urge the WCF to continue working toward addressing longstanding, serious concerns that we and other Member Nations have raised about the culture of sport in Russia. These concerns must be dealt with in order to ensure a level playing field for all athletes, and to remain true to the Spirit of Curling.

WCF Constitution Article 16.13.5…….. “when urgent, take decisions normally assumed by the General Assembly (as per Art.15) except election of Board Members, expulsion of a Member Association, changes to the Constitution and dissolution of the WCF. In addition in emergency situations between General Assemblies, the Board may propose changes to the Rules of Curling and the Rules of Competition. Any changes proposed by the Board in an emergency situation will be circulated to the Member Associations and if more than 10% of the Member Associations, holding full membership and being in good standing object in writing to the Board within 3 working days of notice being given, the rule change will not be implemented and the matter will be referred to the next General Assembly of the WCF. Otherwise the Board’s decision to revise the rule(s) for the emergency situation will stand until the next General Assembly”

TEAM TOBER & TEAM MCDONALD WIN TELUS JUNIORS

(Sunday, February 27: 5:00PM) Tansy Tober and her Fort Garry team passed their big test of the day on the morning draw when they won the semi-final of the Telus Junior Women’s championship in Brandon (6-4 over Grace Beaudry-St Vital).

The win meant that Tober, Caitlin Kostna, Lex Sigurdson, Stephanie Feeleus, and Coach Deb Popovic had already won an invitation to the national championship when the final started.

(l-r) Tansy Tober, Caitlin Kostna, Lex Sigurdson, Stephanie Feeleus, and Coach Deb Popovic

With the pressure off for that final game against previously undefeated Morgan Maguet-East St. Paul, the Tober team played a relaxed, controlling game in an 11-4 victory. They earned their spot as provincial champions in the provincial record books and will wear the Manitoba colours at the nationals.

Maguet, Kylie Lippens, Lauren Evason, Danica Metcalfe, and Assistant Coach Chris Lippens  will be the Manitoba wild card team at the nationals in Stratford, Ontario in late March.

(Sunday, February 27: 12:30PM) Jordon McDonald (Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Alexandre Fontaine, Coach Blaine Malo) have won Manitoba Telus Junior Men’s Championship.

(r-l) Jordon McDonald (Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Alexandre Fontaine, Coach Blaine Malo)

Team McDonald will wear Manitoba’s colours at the Canadian Juniors in late March in Stratford, Ontario after controlling play all game against Aaron Van Ryssel- Springfield.

McDonald built a 4 point lead by the fifth end, on three single steals. Van Ryssel’s team played well but simply could never build an end in the 6-3 victory.

Solace for Van Ryssel and his team (Peter Albig, Jonah Peterson, Colin Desaulniers, Coach Faith Van Ryssel) – they will also be going on to the national championship as the Manitoba wild card team.

(Saturday, February 26: 11:30PM) MAGUET INTO JUNIOR WOMEN FINAL, BEAUDRY-TOBER SEMI-FINAL: Morgan Maguet and her East St. Paul team won the Telus Junior Women’s Page 1-1 game Saturday, a 7-4 victory over Grace Beaudry – St. Vital. The win earned the Maguet foursome a berth in the provincial final game at 2PM Sunday. It also earned them the first Manitoba invitation to the Canadian championship in late March.

Beaudry dropped to the Sunday 9:30AM semi-final where her team will play Tansy Tober’s Fort Garry foursome. Tober had to win two games Saturday. After losing the final round robin game on the morning draw (7-6 to Emily Ogg), Team Tober had to win a tiebreaker (7-3 over Emma Jensen) and then the Page 2-2 game (6-2 over Zoey Terrick).

Terrick’s team had also won a tiebreaker (10-8 over Ogg), setting up the 3-game Saturday for both Terrick and Tober.

With Reece Hamm directing, Jordon McDonald’s front end Elias Huminicki and Alexandre Fontaine sweep the final rock to curl inside the guard to the four foot for two.

(Saturday, February 26: 11PM) JUNIOR MEN FINAL: MCDONALD VS VAN RYSSEL: Top seeded Jordon McDonald’s Deer Lodge team, undefeated in six games including the Saturday afternoon Page 1-1 game, will play Aaron Van Ryssel and his Springfield team in Manitoba’s Telus Junior Men’s Championship Sunday at 9:30AM.

Both advanced with wins over Jordan Johnson (Heather).

In the Page 1-1 game, with both teams undefeated, McDonald controlled play and marked up a 6-1 eight-end victory. Johnson dropped to the semi-final to play Van Ryssel, who had won the Page 2-2 game over Thomas McGillivray.

Aaron Van Ryssel and third Peter Albig try to figure out how to score two red stones with last rock on the sixth end. Yellow stole one this time.

The close semi-final was tied after four, six and nine ends with Johnson holding the hammer coming home. With that last rock, Johnson faced a tough choice: either draw the button to win or play a short runback double kill with a nose hit for the win. He chose to hit but was a bit high-side and missed removing the second rock. The steal gave Van Ryssel an 8-7 win.

The game Sunday morning will be for the provincial championship honours but both teams have already earned the privilege of an invitation to the Canadian New Holland Juniors as Manitoba has both a Team Manitoba and a Manitoba Wild Card entry.

(Saturday, February 26: 12:00PM) JUNIOR WOMEN TIEBREAKER GAMES NEEDED: In a story here at the curler.com, back in early December, William Lyburn stated there were “5 OR 6” teams who he thought could win the provincial Telus Junior Women’s.

As of 12:15PM Saturday, six teams are still in the running.

Pool winners Morgan Maguet and Grace Beaudry and their teams are through to the Page 1-1 Playoff game with 5W-0L and 4W-1L records respectively.

Four teams with 3W-2L records still have a chance – but they have to win tiebreaker draws to reach the Page 3-4 game. On the ice are Zoey Terrick playing Emily Ogg and Emma Jensen playing Tansy Tober.

The Ogg and Jensen teams created the logjam. Both had 2W-2L records going into the morning draw. Both were victorious – Jensen over Terrick and Ogg with a steal on the tenth end to beat Tober.

FINAL STANDINGS: ASHAM BLACK POOL- JR WOMEN
5-0 Morgan Maguet – East St. Paul
3-2 Zoey Terrick – Neepawa
3-2 Emma Jensen – Heather
2-3 Samantha Gevers – St. Vital
2-3 Dayna Wahl – Altona
0-5 Shaela Hayward – Carman

FINAL STANDINGS: ASHAM EXPRESS RED POOL– JR WOMEN
4-1 Grace Beaudry – St. Vital
3-2 Tansy Tober – Fort Garry
3-2 Emily Ogg – Assiniboine Memorial
3-2 Cheyenne Ehnes – Assiniboine Memorial
2-3 Bethany Allan – St. Vital
0-5 Cloe Haluschak – Swan River

CurlManitoba Photo: Aaron Van Ryssel and his third Peter Albig

(Friday, February 25: 11PM) JUNIOR MEN PLAYOFF SETS, FINAL JUNIOR WOMEN DRAW SATURDAY: Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) and Jordan Johnson (Heather) kept their perfect records intact with wins on the final round robin draw of the Telus Junior Men`s Championship in Brandon.

The two will meet in the Saturday 4PM Page 1-1 Playoff game. THe winner will play inthe Sunday morning final while the loser goes to the late Saturday semi-final.

Thomas McGillivray (Fort Garry) and Aaron Van Ryssel (Springfield) both had to win their final games to improve to 4W-1L and avoid the potential of playing a tiebreaker game. Both were victorious and they will meet in the Page 2-2 Playoff. The winner will advance to the semi-final.

FINAL STANDINGS:ASHAM BLACK POOL – JR MEN
5-0 Jordon McDonald – Deer Lodge
4-1 Thomas McGillivray – Fort Garry
3-2 Lucas Pedersen – Rivers
2-3 Luke Steski – West St. Paul
1-4 Cam Olafson – East St. Paul
0-5 Tanner Graham – Petersfield

STANDINGS:ASHAM EXPRESS RED POOL – JR MEN
5-0 Jordan Johnson – Heather
4-1 Aaron Van Ryssel – Springfield
3-2 Jace Freeman – Virden
1-4 Jack Lyburn – Brandon
1-4 Ronan Peterson – Fort Rouge
1-4 Matthew Bijl – Assiniboine Memorial

Playoffs in the Telus Junior Women’s event will also be sorted out on the final draw, Saturday at 8:30AM.

Morgan Maguet has the only only perfect 4W-0L record and Zoey Terrick has a 3W-1L record after four games. The two can advance with wins Saturday morning. Terrick plays Emma Jensen while Maguet plays Samantha Gevers. Both Gevers and Jensen have 2W-2L records so a Jensen win over Terrick creates the possibility of three teams finishing with 3W-2L records.

In the other pool, Tansy Tober, Cheyenne Ehnes, and Grace Beaudry share the lead at 3W-1L. Emily Ogg’s record of 2W-2L has her team still in the playoff chase as well.

Saturday morning, Beaudry plays Ehnes so the winner, at 4W-1L, will advance to the playoffs. Tober plays Ogg, so a Tober win would mean a 4W-1L record and the  second playoff spot but a Tober loss means a 3-way tie at 3W-2L.

One tiebreaker draw, if needed, takes place Saturday early afternoon.

STANDINGS:ASHAM BLACK POOL
4-0 Morgan Maguet – East St. Paul
3-1 Zoey Terrick – Neepawa
2-2 Samantha Gevers – St. Vital
2-2 Emma Jensen – Heather
1-3 Dayna Wahl – Altona
0-4 Shaela Hayward – Carman

STANDINGS:ASHAM EXPRESS RED POOL
3-1 Cheyenne Ehnes – Assiniboine Memorial
3-1 Grace Beaudry – St. Vital
3-1 Tansy Tober – Fort Garry
2-2 Emily Ogg – Assiniboine Memorial
1-3 Bethany Allan – St. Vital
0-4 Cloe Haluschak – Swan River

(Thursday, February 24: 11PM) JUNIOR MEN LEADERS AT 3W-0L, JUNIOR WOMEN LEAD AT 2W-0L: Four teams have separated themselves from the pack in the Telus Junior Men’s Championship underway in Brandon. All four posted a pair of wins Thursday after winning their openers to end the day with perfect 3W-0L records.

Thomas McGillivray-Fort Garry and Jordon McDonald-Deer Lodge in one pool and Jordan Johnson-Heather and Aaron Van Ryssel-Springfield are all still perfect. Close behind, both at 2W-1L, are Jace Freeman-Virden (in the Johnson-Van Ryssel group) and Luke Steski-West St. Paul (in the McGillivray-McDonald group).

The noon draw Friday in Brandon will be key in determining the first two playoff teams. McGillivray faces McDonald and Johnson faces Van Ryssel. The winners will improve their perfect records to 4W-0L.

STANDINGS:ASHAM BLACK POOL
3-0 Thomas McGillivray – Fort Garry
3-0 Jordon McDonald – Deer Lodge
2-1 Luke Steski – West St. Paul
1-2 Lucas Pedersen – Rivers
0-3 Cam Olafson – East St. Paul
0-3 Tanner Graham – Petersfield

STANDINGS:ASHAM EXPRESS RED POOL
3-0 Jordan Johnson – Heather
3-0 Aaron Van Ryssel – Springfield
2-1 Jace Freeman – Virden
1-2 Jack Lyburn – Brandon
0-3 Ronan Peterson – Fort Rouge
0-3 Matthew Bijl – Assiniboine Memorial

In the Telus Juniors Women’s Championship, three teams completed the first day of play with perfect 2W-0L records. Cheyenne Ehnes-AMCC stands alone at the top of one pool while Morgan Maguet-East St. Paul and Zoey Terrick-Neepawa lead the other pool – all with two victories Thursday.

The wins by Team Terrick (over Samantha Gevers-St. Vital) and Team Ehnes (over Bethany Allan-St. Vital) leaves the losers at 1W-1L along with four other teams.

They include Emma Jensen-Heather, Grace Beaudry-St. Vital, and Emily Ogg-AMCC who were winners on the 4PM draw after losing their openers and Tansy Tober-Fort Garry who lost their second game after winning their opener.

STANDINGS:ASHAM BLACK POOL
2-0 Morgan Maguet – East St. Paul
2-0 Zoey Terrick – Neepawa
1-1 Samantha Gevers – St. Vital
1-1 Emma Jensen – Heather
0-2 Dayna Wahl – Altona
0-2 Shaela Hayward – Carman

STANDINGS:ASHAM EXPRESS RED POOL
0-2 Cheyenne Ehnes – Assiniboine Memorial
1-1 Bethany Allan – St. Vital
1-1 Grace Beaudry – St. Vital
1-1 Emily Ogg – Assiniboine Memorial
1-1 Tansy Tober – Fort Garry
0-2 Cloe Haluschak – Swan River

(Wednesday, February 24: 10PM) FAVOURED TEAMS WIN OPENERS IN TELUS JUNIORS: With two full years having passed since the last provincial junior championships, there has been a major turnover in the junior ranks. The names have changed but the excitement to compete, the eagerness to win, and the excellence of the top teams all remain.

Team McGillvray, MJCT Champions – winners on the Telus Juniors opening draw

The junior men’s competition opened this evening in Brandon. They play a pair of games tomorrow and two more on Friday for their five round-robin games.

In a what have you won recently assessment, among the favourites are Thomas McGillivray and his Fort Garry team, ranked #4 on the Manitoba Junior Curling Tour ranking, based mainly on an extra end win in the MJCT Tour Championship after modest success over the Tour season. Team McGillivray opened with a 6-end victory over Tanner Graham (Petersfield).

Jordon McDonald – an opening round Telus victor

Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge), whose most recent bonspiel was the Viterra Championship where his team posted a 2W-2L record – losing two qualifying games, is ranked #2 on the MJCT. They lost that Tour Championship final to McGillivray and won a pair of events during the season. Their opener in Brandon went the distance with McDonald one up with hammer coming home as he posted a 7-5 victory.

MJCT #1 Jordan Johnson and his Heather team, winners of three season events, were 8-end winners over Matthew Bijl (Assiniboine Memorial).\

MJCT #3 Jace Freeman (Virden), winners of one season event, trailed Ronan Peterson (Fort Rouge) early but came back to lead 7-5 with a three on the ninth end. They scored a point on an extra end for a first game 8-7win.

In the other two games, Lucas Pederson (Rivers) defeated Cam Olafson (East St. Paul) and Aaron Van Ryssel (Springfield) defeated Jack Lyburn (Brandon).

The U-21 Manitoba Junior Women’s Championship first draw is Thursday morning.

(Wednesday, February 23 8PM) TELUS JUNIORS UNDERWAY IN BRANDON: Manitoba’s Telus Junior Championships are underway at the Brandon Curling Club. Twelve team fields in each of the Junior men’s and Junior Women’s events will play a round-robin in pools of six. A Page Playoff will follow after their five games.

Two berths to compete in both the U-21 Men and U-21 Women New Holland Canadian Junior Championships will be available through the Manitoba Telus Juniors. The Manitoba champions will wear Manitoba’s official colours at the Canadians while the finalist in each case will be the wild card team, identified as Manitoba #2.

Why? As with other championships in these covid seasons, the Juniors will each feature a field of 18 teams. The extra teams include one for the province or territory of each of the three podium teams from the 2020 championships (the last ones staged!).

So Manitoba’s juniors have two reasons to be thankful in regard to 2020 World Champions Jacques Gauthier and Mackenzie Zacharias. First, winning the Canadians in 2020 earned a spot this year for two Manitoba teams instead of one. Second, they can be thankful those teams aged out – making the competitions wide open this year.

The Canadian Juniors will be played March 25-April 1 in Stratford, Ontario.

LOTT JOINS MCEWEN AT BRIER; GUNNLAUGSON A WILDCARD TEAM

Lott vs McEwen – Viterra Final

Mike McEwen’s Manitoba champions have added Colton Lott to their roster for the upcoming Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge. The young interlake region skip was impressive in leading his team on an undefeated run to the final at the recent Manitoba Viterra Championship and last fall was equally impressive as a fill-in on Matt Dunstone’s Saskatchewan team at the Canadian Curling Trials.

As anticipated based on the CTRS rankings, 2020 Manitoba champion Jason Gunnlaugson and his team have been added to the Brier team list as the third Wild Card team.

Team McEwen – Manitoba Champions, CurlManitoba Photo

A pair of former Manitoba champion skips have also qualified for the Brier. Former Manitoba Junior champion skip Matt Dunstone and his Saskatchewan team were also named a Wild Card team. Former Manitoba Mixed champion skip Jared Kolomaya will represent British Columbia, throwing second stones for Brent Pierce.

Manitoba (McEwen), Wild Card 3 (Gunnlaugson), and BC are all in the same pool. Wild Card 2 (Dunstone) is in the other group.

Team Gunnlaugson at the Canadian Curling Trials, Curling Canada/ Michael Burns Photo

The Team Manitoba start is against BC & Kolomaya in their first game, their opening draw at 1:30PM (CST) Saturday, March 5, and they play Team Gunnlaugson in their next game, 8:30AM (CST) Sunday, March 6. Gunnlaugson plays Kolomaya and his BC teammates at 8:30AM (CST), Tuesday, March 8.

(Tuesday, February 16: Curling Canada Release) 18-team field confirmed for
2022 Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge
: Defending champion Team Canada, 14 provincial and territorial champions and three Wild Card teams will open play on March 4 in the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, at the ENMAX Centre in Lethbridge.

The field was finalized Tuesday night as Curling Quebec named Team Michael Fournier as its representative after provincial regulations forced the cancellation of the provincial men’s championship. Reigning champs Team Canada, skipped by Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, will wear the Maple Leaf in Lethbridge, but will be pushed hard by the likes Team Alberta of Calgary, as skip Kevin Koe chases his record-breaking fifth Tim Hortons Brier championship as a skip. Canada’s Olympic men’s team, Team Gushue, will go for a fourth Tim Hortons Brier title in the past six years, and will be one of the three Wild Card teams.

The Wild Card berths were awarded to the top three teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System that didn’t qualify through their respective provincial or territorial championships. Team Gushue didn’t play in the rescheduled Newfoundland and Labrador championship, but had entered in the original scheduled event in January. That event was delayed until this past weekend because of COVID-related restrictions, and because Team Gushue had entered the provincial championship, it was deemed eligible for the Wild Card berth.

The other Wild Card berths went to Team Matt Dunstone of Regina and Team Jason Gunnlaugson of Morris, Man.

The first draw of the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier is scheduled for March 4 at 6:30 p.m. (all times MT).Nathan Young’s Newfoundland/Labrador team will be the youngest team in the field; all four players are still eligible to compete in Under-21 juniors competition, and are coached by the legendary Toby McDonald, who guided Team Gushue to the Olympic gold medal in 2006.

The 18 teams have been split into two pools of nine, seeded based on the standing in the Canadian Team Ranking System as of  Feb. 14, 2022. As was the case the last time a Canadian men’s championship was hosted in front of fans, the seeding is modified to ensure the host Member Association (Alberta) is in the same pool as Team Canada. They will play an eight-game round robin within their respective pools; from there, the top three teams in each pool advance to an expanded playoff field. The second- and third-ranked teams in each pool cross over to play in Page playoff qualifier games on Friday, March 11, at 12:30 p.m. The winners advance to play the winners of Pool A and Pool B on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The winners of those games go to the Page 1v2 game, while the losers will compete in the Page 3v4 game.

The standard Page playoffs commence with the winner of the Page 1v2 game on Saturday, March 12, at 6:30 p.m., advancing directly to the final, and the loser plays the winner of the Page 3v4 game (scheduled for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday) in the semifinal. The semifinal (Sunday, March 13, at 11 a.m.) winner takes on the winner of the Page 1v2 game in the final at 6 p.m. on March 13. The winner will represent Canada at the 2022 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, April 2-10 in Las Vegas.

If necessary, only one tiebreaker game will be scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m. for third-place only. If there is a tie between more than two teams for the spot, teams will be eliminated by head-to-head record first and then by accumulated last stone draw to determine the two teams that will play in the tiebreaker game. Tiebreaker games will only be played if teams have a better than .500 record (5-3 or better).

Here’s a look at how the two pools are set up:(teams listed according to seeding, and listed in order of skip, vice-skip, second, lead, alternate, coach/High Performance Consultant)

Pool A:
Alberta, Kevin Koe (John Morris [throws second], B.J. Neufeld [throws third], Ben Hebert, Carter Rycroft, John Dunn; Calgary)
Ontario, Glenn Howard (Scott Howard, David Mathers, Tim March, Adam Spencer; Penetanguishene)
Wild Card 2, Matt Dunstone (Braeden Moskowy, Kirk Muyres, Dustin Kidby, Adam Kingsbury; Regina)Saskatchewan, Colton Flasch (Catlin Schneider, Kevin Marsh, Daniel Marsh, Pat Simmons Jamie Schneider; Saskatoon)
Team Canada, Brendan Bottcher (Patrick Janssen, Brad Thiessen, Karrick Martin, Aaron Sluchinski, Don Bartlett; Edmonton)
Newfoundland/Labrador, Nathan Young (Sam Follett, Nathan Locke, Ben Stringer, Nicholas Codner, Toby McDonald; St. John’s)
New Brunswick, James Grattan (Darren Moulding, Pat Dobson, Andy McCann, Jamie Brannen; Oromocto)
Prince Edward Island, Tyler Smith (Adam Cocks, Ed White, Ryan Lowery, Christopher Gallant; Crapaud)
Yukon, Thomas Scoffin (Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos, Wade Scoffin; Whitehorse)

Pool B:
Wild Card 1, Brad Gushue (Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant, Geoff Walker, Jeff Thomas, Jules Owchar; St. John’s)
Northern Ontario, Brad Jacobs (Marc Kennedy, E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden, Caleb Flaxey; Sault Ste. Marie)
Manitoba, Mike McEwen (Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski, Colin Hodgson, Rob Meakin; West St. Paul)
Wild Card 3, Jason Gunnlaugson (Adam Casey, Matt Wozniak Connor Njegovan, Garry Van Den Berghe; Morris)
Quebec, Michael Fournier [throws second] (Martin Crête, Félix Asselin [throws fourth], Jean-François Trépanier, Benoit Forget; Dollard-des-Ormeaux)
Nova Scotia, Paul Flemming (Scott Saccary, Ryan Abraham, Phil Crowell, Kevin Ouellette; Halifax)
British Columbia, Brent Pierce (Jeff Richard, Jared Kolomaya, Nick Meister; New Westminster)
Northwest Territories, Jamie Koe (Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod; Yellowknife)
Nunavut, Peter Mackey (Mark Pillsworth, Jeff Nadeau, Greg Howard, Peter Van Strien; Iqaluit)

For the full 2022 Tim Hortons Brier schedule, CLICK HERE.

TSN/RDS2 , the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will televise all of the action from Lethbridge. While currently Alberta permits a 50 per cent capacity limit for live events, the Province of Alberta recently announced that March 1 is the projected date for a return to full capacity. Curling Canada has opened all capacity limits and ticket packages for fans to fill the ENMAX Centre. If the capacity limit isn’t lifted on March 1 as outlined, and sales exceed 50 per cent of the available seats, customer ticket purchases would be honoured in chronological order of purchase date. Curling Canada and the ENMAX Centre will send communication via email and/or phone with any updates about the event to ticket purchasers as needed.