DUNSTONE TEAM NAMED TOP SEED FOR VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP

(CurlManitoba Release) The five top-ranked Manitoba men’s curling teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) have been seeded into the top five positions in the draw for CurlManitoba’s Viterra Championship which will be played in Neepawa, February 7-12.

In his return to Manitoba championship competition, Matt Dunstone’s Fort Rouge team, currently #2 on the CTRS ranking, has been awarded the top seed.

#1 Seed: (Fort Rouge) Team Dunstone includes the former Manitoba and Canadian junior champion skip along with B.J. Neufeld, Colton Lott, and Ryan Harnden. They earned their CTRS #2 ranking, and a 2022-23 CTRS entry into the Viterra Championship, competing in nine events so far this season. They qualified for the playoff round in eight of those events, with a win in Red Deer and three other finalist finishes. This marks a return to Manitoba championship play for Dunstone after several years of competing at the Brier for Saskatchewan.

#2 Seed: (Morris) Reid Carruthers and Derek Samagalski represent the reigning Manitoba champion team. After line-up shuffles for the new quadrennial, former Manitoba junior and mixed champion skip Reid Carruthers moved back to the tee. Another recent line-up shuffle has Samagalski playing third with Connor Njegovan and Matt Lorenz on the front end. The team earned their CTRS #5 ranking, and a 2022-23 CTRS entry into the Viterra Championship, competing in ten events so far this season. They qualified for the playoff round in five of those events, with a win in Fredericton and two other finalist finishes.

#3 Seed: (Fort Rouge) Ryan Wiebe, Ty Dilello, Sean Flatt, and Adam Flatt were the semi-finalists at the Viterra Championship a year ago in Selkirk. The young team has earned their CTRS #10 ranking, and a 2022-23 CTRS entry into the Viterra Championship, competing in eight events so far this season. They qualified for the playoff round in six of those events, with a win at the Granite Curling Club and two other finalist finishes.

#4 Seed: (Fort Garry) Corey Chambers, Daley Peters, Julien Leduc, Brendan Bilawka, and Michael Martin played a lesser, and mostly local schedule, compared with the three teams ranked above them, They still managed to earn a CTRS #24 ranking. They have played five events and qualified in all five, with a win at Thistle and one other finalist finish to earn a Manitoba Curling Tour berth into the Viterra. A year ago in Selkirk, Chambers and Leduc advanced to the Page Playoff final round before being knocked out. Chambers will enjoy returning to Neepawa where he played third for Sean Grassie in a 2013 championship final game loss to Jeff Stoughton.

#5 Seed: (Fort Rouge) Braden Calvert, Kyle Kurz, Ian McMillan, and Rob Gordon earned this year’s Viterra Championship berth as a result of a high end-of-last-season CTRS ranking. This year, playing a reduced schedule of six events, the team has a #35 CTRS rank. They have played six events and qualified in three but have yet to reach a final. A year ago in Selkirk, the same line-up advanced to the playoff round but did not qualify for the Page Playoff final round.

CurlManitoba’s YouTube Channel will feature the game played on every draw in the centre (Sheet C) of Neepawa’s Yellowhead Community Rec Centre. Given the nature of the Viterra Championship draw, with winners advancing to play winners, it is not possible beyond the opening draws, to identify match-ups. However, curling fans can be assured of great championship curling entertainment each time they tune in.

Neepawa has hosted the Manitoba Men’s Championship three times previously, in 2000, 2002 and 2013. In 2002, Mark Lukowich skipped the winning team. In 2000 and 2013, the championship was won by a Jeff Stoughton team. This year’s #2 seed skip Reid Carruthers was the second on the 2013 champion team which defeated Grassie in the final.

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All livescores and personnel can be found at Live Scores & Results – CurlManitoba

CurlManitoba will stream one game per draw on their YouTube Channel – https://www.youtube.com/@CurlManitoba/playlists

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OPENING GAMES: 8:30AM WEDNESDAY
Joey Witherspoon, AMCC VS Daniel Birchard, Pembina
Reid Carruthers, Morrisw VS Rob Van Kommer, Carberry
Justin Reynolds, Winnipeg Beach VS Steve Irwin, Brandon
Sean Grassie, Deer Lodge VS Ryan Hyde, Portage
Cale Dunbar, Brandon VS JT Ryan, AMCC

OPENING GAMES: 12:15PM WEDNESDAY
Riley Smith, Thistle VS Steve Pauls, Pilot Mound
Mark Franklin, Granite VS Ryan Wiebe, Fort Rouge
Kelly Marnoch, Carberry VS Jeff Stewart, Gladstone
David Hamblin, Morris VS Steen Sigurdson, AMCC
Corey Chambers, Fort Garry VS Wayne Ewasko, Beausejour

OPENING GAMES: 4:00PM WEDNESDAY
Grant Shewfelt, Baldur VS Braden Calvert, Fort Rouge
Tanner Lott, Fort Rouge VS Richard Muntain, Granite
Justin Richter, Beausejour VS Hayden Forrester, Fort Rouge
Matt Dunstone, Fort Rouge VS Tuffy Seguin, Burntwood
Jace Freeman, Virden VS Brett Walter, AMCC

OPENING GAME: 8:00PM WEDNESDAY
Jay Kinnaird, Virden VS Jordan Peters, Fort ROuge

DEFENDING CHAMPS REPEAT AS MANITOBA SCOTTIES CHAMPIONS

(CurlManitoba Release) Jennifer Jones has won her ninth Manitoba Women’s Championship and the defending champion team of Mackenzie Zacharias, Karlee Burgess, Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine have become the first repeat winner of the Manitoba title since Jones did it with her 2012 and 2013 team.

(l-r) Jennifer Jones, Karlee Burgess, Mackenzie Zacharias, Emily Zacharias, Lauren Lenentine with Coach Sheldon Zacharias

The Zacharias team, augmented with the addition of Jennifer Jones as their skip, won the Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment Sunday in East St. Paul.

The team, which curls representing St. Vital and Altona and which identifies as having two leads (Emily Zacharias, and Lauren Lenentine) who alternate game to game, went undefeated through the three rounds of play in the championship. A 5W-0L in the preliminary round robin and three more wins in the championship round earned Team Jones a bye to the Sunday afternoon final.

While most anticipated a re-match of the final championship round game, in which the Jones team defeated former teammate Kaitlyn Lawes and her Fort Rouge team, the final game opponent was Team Abby Ackland, skipped by Meghan Walter, representing the host East St. Paul Curling Club.

The East St. Paul team won three games Saturday, including an evening tiebreaker win over Beth Peterson and her Assiniboine Memorial team, to advance to the Sunday morning semi-final against Lawes. In the semi-final Team Ackland, led 6-5 after eight ends. They forced Lawes to draw facing a pair and her last stone draw was about a foot heavy in the four foot circle, allowing a steal of one. Up two coming home, Team Ackland kept the pressure on, forcing Lawes to a desperation double kill attempt which jammed giving up another point in an 8-5 Ackland win.

In the final, it was the Jones team which kept continual pressure on the Ackland team. They scored three deuces through the first five ends and then stole two more on the sixth end, en route to an eight end victory.

The champion Jones team will wear the Team Manitoba colours at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Kamloops in mid-February. Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team will be in Kamloops as Team Canada. Team Einarson is #1 on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) while Team Jones is CTRS #3.

CurlManitoba awaits confirmation that Kaitlyn Lawes (CTRS #4) and Team Ackland (CTRS #7) will receive wildcard Scotties berths based on other results across the country as the national Scotties field was finalized this weekend.

TEAM ACKLAND JOINS JONES & LAWES IN PLAYOFFS

The much anticipated final round meeting between Jennifer Jones and Kaitlyn Lawes lived up to the expectations of curling fans in the arena and tuning in for the game on CurlManitoba’s YouTube Channel.

The Abby Ackland team, skipped by Meghan Walter, lived up tot heir own expectations, winning a pair of game Saturday to force a late tiebreaker draw and then winning the tiebreaker to earn a spot in today’s 3-team playoff.

Rocks in play!!

The Jones team earned the bye to the Sunday 2PM final game but it wasn’t easy. On the opening end, with a routine draw for two as the easy choice, Kaitlyn Lawes elected to play a tough but makeable double kill for a possible four. A 2, a 3, or a 4 ender were all possible outcomes from curling ‘not quite enough’ or from curling ‘just a little too much’. The result was in-between and the Lawes thrown stone rolled across the top of the second stone without touching it – scoring just a single point.

From there, the teams traded deuces until Lawes was forced to a single on the eight, scored only because she called and made a big weight double between two centre lines guards which contacted both and continued through to remove a Jones stone on the four foot.

Always rocks in play!!

Jones and her St. Vital/Altona foursome finally jumped ahead with a deuce on the ninth and had Lawes apparently beaten coming home when Lawes tried one more highlight reel shot. Her attempted double raise double kill for two and a tie was “oh so close” – as her promoted stone sailed between the two Jones stones on either side of the button in the four foot circle.

It left curling fans wanting more but the only way they get more is if the Lawes Fort Rouge team wins the Sunday 9:30AM semi-final against the Walter/Ackland foursome.

Saturday began with Team Ackland facing the daunting task of winning three games – and two would be against Beth Peterson’s Assiniboine Memorial team – if Peterson lost her opening match to Jennifer Jones.

The Ackland team, who give the East St. Paul organizers a team representing their own club in the playoffs, built momentum throughout the day. They defeated Darcy Robertson while Peterson was challenging Jones in a game which went to the final end. The disappointing loss set the stage for a tough day for Peterson’s team. Team Ackland was on a roll, leading 6-5 after seven ends, they stole the eight and ninth for a victory and then dominated the late tiebreaker game against the same Peterson team.

No matter today’s results, Jennifer Jones and Kaitlyn Lawes and their teams will be going to the national Scotties, either as Manitoba champions or wildcard entries. Ranked #3 & #4 respectively on the Canadian Team Ranking they’ll be at the nationals in Kamloops. Team Ackland, who formal name by that time will be Team Walter, still have a very good chance of being there as well.

As #7 on CTRS, they can go as Manitoba champions if they beat Lawes and then Jones to day. If not, a wildcard invitaiton appears to be as simple as Rachel Homan winning the Ontario final today.

The current CTRS rankings are:
#1 – Kerri Einarson (Team Canada)
#2 – Rachel Homan
#3 – Jennifer Jones
#4 – Kaitlyn Lawes
#5 – Clancy Grandy (BC Champion)
#6 – Casey Scheidegger (Alberta Finalist – she’ll get a wildcard entry)
#7 – Abby Ackland

With three wildcard spots available, the formula appears simple. Einarson & Grandy don’t need one and Scheidegger will have one – leaving two for four teams. Assuming a Jones-Lawes final, then one will be provincial champion and the other will get a wild card invitation – leaving one for two teams, either Homan or Ackland.

So Team Ackland will be cheering for Homan – but when the day begins at East St. Paul they can also just focus on the task of beating Lawes and then Jones, an accomplishment which would earn them the champions’ berth at Kamloops and create a legendary finish to be talked about for years.

FYI: Homan in Ontario, like Jones in Manitoba, has advanced to the final and awaits the semi-final winner (Hollie Duncan vs Danielle Inglis)

LAWES, JONES SCOTTIES FACEOFF AT 4PM SATURDAY

For several months, Manitoba curling fans have been looking forward (predicting actually) a Scotties Tournament of Hearts final between the new teams of Kaitlyn Lawes and Jennifer Jones.

That could happen tomorrow in East St. Paul. Meanwhile, the two teams will meet in the final game of the Manitoba Scotties Championship round today (Saturday, January 28). Based on the pattern of play so-far, the game will determine first place and the bye to the Sunday afternoon final.

Lawes with sweepers Jill Officer and Kristin MacCuish

Lawes (Fort Rouge) and Jones (St. Vital/Altona) both completed the preliminary round with perfect 5W-0L records. They each won their first championship round game (Jones over Darcy Robertson, Lawes over Abby Ackland), they both scored 12 points in their first champion ship round game. The teams appear to be that even.

It promises to be a classic!!

Jennifer Jones

Seeded #1 (Lawes) and #2 (Jones) coming into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment, even if the two teams somehow lost both games today, they will both advance to the three-team playoff round. Only the third team is still in some question.

Third seed Chelsea Carey never got the stones rolling for her this week in East St. Paul. The hybrid prairie team of players from Alberta (Carey-birthright), Saskatchewan (Rachel Erickson-birthright and Jolene Campbell-import) and Manitoba (Liz Fyfe) ended with a disappointing 1W-4L record.

Of the six teams who advanced to the championship round, five still have a chance to advance. Only former champion Darcy Robertson, who limped into the second round with only two wins, has been eliminated.

Best positioned to advance is Beth Peterson who impressed as a wildcard national Scotties entry in the covid bubble. Currently at 5W-1L, Peterson needs one win today to advance but it won’t be automatic as her Assiniboine Memorial team plays Jones and Granite’s Abby Ackland team (skipped by Meghan Walter). A loss to Jones is predictable, although far from guaranteed. If Team Ackland beats Darcy Robertson on the morning draw, and Jones beats Peterson at the same time, it will set up an Ackland-Peterson afternoon game to create a third place tie.

Beth Peterson

Lisa McLeod (Portage) can also be in the tiebreaker mix – with wins today over Robertson and Lawes.

The 10AM (Central) draw has the games between Ackland & Robertson, Lawes & McLeod, and Jones & Pete4rson. The 4PM games are the ones between Jones & Lawes, McLeod & Robertson, and Peterson & Ackland. If needed a tiebreaker game will go at 8PM.

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The feature game on CurlManitoba’s UTube Channel at 10AM will be the Ackland-Robertson game. The 4PM game will be the Lawes-Jones game.

It is exciting for me to anticipate those two games, with the implications of both, and know that I will have the privileged opportunity to watch them from the commentator’s booth. Barry Gorlick and I have done six games so far with four to go (and possibly five if there is an evening tiebreaker draw).

Resby Coutts with Barry Gorlick (r)

I have been in the broadcast booth since my first experiences doing radio broadcasts of Mel Logan’s 1982 Brier in Brandon and Brian Fowler’s 1987 Brier in Edmonton (alongside Ron Arnst). Also a radio broadcast of the 1994 Thompson Tankard final between Dave Smith and Doug Armour (along side Bob Picken) and a lot of Shaw Cable work over several years with Bob Picken, Ralph Bagley and Cathy Gauthier. There is no better seat in the house for these two games today.

I have enjoyed working with Barry, a friend and sometimes teammate, who is a student of what I have called both the art and the science of curling. He studies the game in much greater depth than most curling fans and is very articulate in his analysis.

If you can’t be in East St. Paul to enjoy the games today, I hope you enjoy our efforts to describe them to you.

Looking at the other teams draws for the day, a gambler might be inclined to say Acklands’ odds of two wins are best and that there is at least a chance of the tie happening, as only Ackland does not have to play the undefeated teams on Saturday.

MCDONALD, TERRICK TEAMS WIN TELUS JUNIOR TITLES

(CurlManitoba Release) Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) and Zoey Terrick (Heather) and their teams have won CurlManitoba’s TELUS Junior Men’s and Junior Women’s championships. The events wrapped up Saturday at the Portage Curling Club.

Team McDonald (l-r) Coach Blaine Malo, Jordon McDonald, Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Cam Olafson
Team Terrick (l-r) Zoey Terrick, Jaycee Terrick, Jensen Letham, Tessa Terrick, Coach Clint Cullen

In the Junior Men’s, McDonald with Reece Hamm, Elias Huminicki, Cam Olafson, and Coach Blaine Malo had been seeded #1 going into the championships. They went undefeated through the competition, winning their four round robin games and defeating Jace Freeman’s Virden team (with Thomas McGillivray, Ryan Ostrowsky, Aaron Macdonell, 5th Alex Fontaine and Coach Graham Freeman) twice in the playoffs, first in the Page 1 vs 1 playoff game and then in the final.

With the victory, McDonald, Hamm and Huminicki were able to defend the title they won a year ago.

In the Junior Women’s, Terrick, with older sister Jaycee and younger sister Tessa, as well as Jensen Letham, 5th Cassidy Dundas and Coach Clint Cullen, had been seeded #2 entering the competition. They were the unbeaten “A” playoff qualifiers in the triple knockout championship. After losing the Page 1 vs 2 playoff game to Grace Beaudry’s St. Vital team (with Emily Ogg, Madelyn Hollins, Mackenzie Arbuckle, 5th Julia Milan and Coach Calvin Edie), they beat Cheyenne Ehnes (Pembina) in the semi-final and defeated Team Beaudry in the final game.

Team Terrick, the first three-sisters team to win a Manitoba Championship since Connie Laliberte’s 1984 World Champion team, trailed Team Beaudry 5-1 after three ends but rebounded to lead 8-7 coming home. They forced a single on the home end and won on an extra end with a last stone draw which had to be in the eight foot circle but bit the button.

The Terrick and McDonald teams will go to the New Holland Canadian Junior Championships in late March in Quebec as Team Manitoba. The finalist Freeman and Beaudry teams will also both go to the nationals as Manitoba #2 teams. Manitoba has two entries in both the national Men’s & Women’s Junior championships thanks to the performance of past teams at the national event.

The trips earned Saturday in Portage by the four teams represent remarkable youth curling accomplishments for several of the players involved, as many of then will now participate in multiple national events this season (Canada Games, U18, U21).

Provincial level competition will continue for three of the four teams. The Beaudry team has qualified to compete in the Manitoba Scotties presented by RME, next week at East St. Paul. The McDonald and Freeman teams will compete in the Viterra championship in Neepawa in February.

PLAYOFFS RECAP – JUNIOR MEN: Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) and Jace Freeman (Virden) had been the two top seeded teams entering the competition and they went undefeated (4W-0L) through the round robin to meet in the Page Playoff 1 vs 1 game. After McDonald sent Freeman to the semi-final, the Virden team rebounded with a 7-2 win over Ronan Peterson (Heather) to set up the re-match final game. Peterson had won the Page Playoff 3 vs 4 game over Colton Olafson (Portage). The final game went down to last stone on the tenth end – facing two Freeman counters, McDonald had to draw to the eight foot circle to win the game 8-7.

PLAYOFFS RECAP – JUNIOR WOMEN: Zoey Terrick (Heather) and Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) entered the event as the #2 and #3 seeds respectively. In the triple knockout competition, Terrick was the unbeaten “A” qualifier while Beaudry was the “B” qualifier. They met in the Page 1 vs 2 game with Beaudry winning on a dramatic last shot takeout thrown through a very narrow centre line port in a game which was tied 6-6 coming home. Terrick rebounded in the semi-final with a win over Cheyenne Ehnes (Pembina), who had beaten defending champion skip Tansy Tober (Fort Garry) in an extra end in the Page 3 vs 4 game. Down 5-1 after three ends in the final, the Terrick team led 8-7 coming home. A Terrick guard on a stone in the four foot circle overcurled, leaving Beaudry a hit for one to force the extra end. Successfully using the difficult tick shot to remove well placed guards, the Terrick team was able to keep the front clear and won the game with a last rock draw to the edge of the button.

TEAM LAWES #1 SEED IN EAST ST. PAUL SCOTTIES

(Curl Manitoba Release) CurlManitoba has announced the top five seeds for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by Rocky Mountain Equipment which will be played January 24-29 at East St. Paul. The seeding of the draw is done by the curlers with the some weighting for each team’s CTRS rankings.

The host East St. Paul Curling Club has three teams representing them in the championship and two of those teams have been ranked in the event’s top five.

Including CTRS #1, Kerri Einarson and her Gimli Team Canada, Manitoba has three teams in the CTRS top five and four in the CTRS top ten teams in Canada. Not surprisingly the three are the top three teams in the draw seeding. Team Canada earned an automatic berth in this year’s national Scotties by winning a year ago.

The top three seeds go slightly against traditional patterns where the defending champion team has often been accorded the first seed.

Seed #1: Representing Fort Rouge CC: Kaitlyn Lawes (Selena Njegovan, Jocelyn Peterman, Kristin MacCuish, Jill Officer) – With a very brief pause for the birth of Kaitlyn Lawes’ baby, the team has focussed this season on the week at East St. Paul. All former champions, their season has justified the top seed position. They have qualified in nine events, reached the final three times and won two championships in their first season together. They are currently ranked CTRS #4. They qualified as the November 2022 CTRS leader.

Seed #2: Representing St. Vital CC/Altona CC: Jennifer Jones (Karlee Burgess, Mackenzie Zacharias, Emily Zacharias, Lauren Lenentine) – Currently ranked CTRS #3, the defending champion Mackenzie Zacharias team has added the many times Manitoba and Canadian champion Jennifer Jones to the roster. The season’s performance also includes qualifying in nine events with two final appearances and two championships. They hold the defending champion’s berth.

Seed #3: Representing East St. Paul CC: Abby Ackland (Meghan Walter, Sara Oliver, Mackenzie Elias, Kaitlyn Jones) – The top seed among a talented group of highly regarded aspiring young teams, they are currently ranked CTRS #8. Their season performance includes a championship and a finalist finish in tour events along with a finalist finish in the CurlManitoba berth bonspiel. They are a Manitoba Curling Tour Points qualifier for the Scotties.

The 4th and 5th seeds are the other two Manitoba teams currently in the CTRS top 25. In ranking these two, their fellow competitors have acknowledged the past Scotties championships as a consideration. 

Seed #4: Representing East St. Paul CC: Chelsea Carey (Jolene Campbell, Liz Fyfe, Rachel Erickson) are currently ranked CTRS #25, qualifying in 2 events this season. A former Manitoba champion and a twice Canadian champion from Alberta, Chelsea Carey returns to Manitoba and the Carey-Peters partnership evokes the success of their fathers curling together as Manitoba Men’s champions in the 90’s. They were untested in qualifying through the CurlManitoba Winnipeg regional playoff.

Seed #5: Representing Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club: Beth Peterson (Jenna Loder, Katherine Doerksen, Melissa Gordon, Robyn Njegovan) –They are currently ranked CTRS #21, the Peterson team qualified twice this season and reached the semi-final once. Three members of the team (Peterson, Loder, Doerksen) were impressive in a 2021 national Scotties Wild Card appearance which saw them finish with a 7W-5L record, one placement out of the playoffs. While playing a lesser schedule than the more high profile teams above them, they are a strong aspiring Manitoba team. They qualified by winning the CurlManitoba berth bonspiel.

The draw for the 2023 Scotties Tournament of Hearts presented by RME is available now at curlmanitoba.org.

The remaining teams in the competition, listed alphabetically are:

WINNIPEG:  Grace Beaudry (St. Vital)
WESTMAN: Alyssa Calvert (Carberry)
WINNIPEG: Emma Jensen (Heather)
WINNIPEG:  Katy Lukowich (Granite)
MCT Champion: Lisa McLeod (Portage)
WINNIPEG:  Darcy Robertson (AMCC)
2021-22 Season CTRS: Kristy Watling (East St. Paul)

TEAM WAHL ADVANCES TO ASHAM U-18 WOMEN`S CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL

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.

FREEMAN FINISHES FIRST; NORRIS-PETERSON SEMIFINAL IN U-18 MEN`S

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.

SIX WOMEN’S TEAMS STILL IN THE U-18 CHASE WITH ONE GAME TO PLAY

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.

FOUR U-18 MEN’S TEAMS WITH THREE WINS WITH A DAY TO GO IN ALTONA

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.