WARREN STEALS MASTERS MEN’S FINAL

For curling fans who have become accustomed to a lot of guards in play, Monday’s Manitoba Credit Unions Masters Men’s final at Assiniboine Memorial provided a reminder of the games of years past.

(l-r) Murray Warren, Brian Barker, Terry Warren, Reg Warren, Credit Unions rep Craig Giesbrcht

Undefeated Murray Warren had last rock in the opening end. He got the hoped for miss and put a deuce on the board. Warren and Mark Franklin traded singles over the next four ends in a game with few guards in play.

On the sixth end, Franklin finally got his miss and tied the score with a last rock hit. Franklin’s seventh end high centre guard was immediately followed by a Warren draw to the top eight foot and that got the game going. Warren’s last rock of the end was a hit on a Franklin stone cornered on one of his own behind the centre cover. The idea was to drive his own onto shot stone and stick for a two. He curled up enough to make the raise takeout but rolled out to score only one and lead 5-4 coming home.

The last end came down to the final four shots. Franklin had two buried but a pair of stones covering the centre line, staggered. Warren drew to bite the four foot with ‘maybe an inch’ peeking out. Franklin picked it out. Warren repeated the draw – got to the eight foot for shot stone but with more available to hit. Franklin over-curled and rubbed the guard leaving Warren a steal of one and a 6-4 win.

Murray Warren, Brian Barker, Terry Warren, and Reg Warren will represent Manitoba at the National Masters at Pembina Curling Club in November.

(11AM: Monday, April 11) WARREN-FRANKLIN MASTERS MEN’S FINAL: After running a seven game unbeaten string to finish the round robin with a 7W-0L record, Greg McGibbon’s Granite team has suffered their second defeat to bow out of the Manitoba’s Credit Union Masters Men’s championship at Assiniboine Memorial.

Mark Franklin (also Granite) blanked three ends after McGibbon stuck for one trying to blank the first end of the morning semi-final. McGibbon played the centre guard to start the fifth. That end turned into a deuce for Franklin when he made a delicate tap-back past the centre to remove shot stone. A stolen single on the sixth gave Franklin’s team a 3-1 lead playing seven. McGibbon’s team could get nothing going and his last rock triple-kill attempt yielded a steal of two more.

Up 5-1 coming home, Franklin ran McGibbon out of rocks to advance against the still unbeaten defending champion Murray Warren team in the 1PM final game.

Greg McGibbon & Peter Nicholls consider where to put the next stone – down four playing the seventh end, they needed a three and scored it. But it was not enough!

(10PM: Sunday, April 11) WARREN INTO FINAL; MCGIBBON – FRANKLIN SEMI-FINAL IN MASTERS MEN’S: Defending Champion Murray Warren remains undefeated at the Manitoba Masters Men’s championship. Warren gave up three to Greg McGibbon on the seventh end but still led by one coming home in the Page 1-1 game at AMCC. They won it with a last rock draw facing two. Warren’s brothers Reg & Terry are among the best sweepers in the competition and they were tested on that last rock draw. They responded well, dragging the last shot into the eight foot and winning by about a foot.

The red Franklin stone was touched by Gord McTavish’s last rock draw through the port but stayed shot stone to win the game

The Warren team advances to the Monday 1PM final. McGibbon will play Mark Franklin in the 9AM semi-final after Franklin beat former champion Gord McTavish 6-5 in an extra end Page Playoff elimination game.

Down one coming home, McTavish’s last rock draw to the four foot rubbed a guard and the Pembina team scored only one to force the extra end. On the extra, Franklin established a rock on the front of the button early in the end and it never moved until McTavish rubbed it with a near impossible last rock attempt.

(6:30PM: Sunday, April 10) COLWELL WINS MANITOBA MASTERS WOMEN’S FINAL: Judy Colwell and her East St. Paul team have won the Manitoba’s Credit Unions Masters Women’s final today at Assiniboine Memorial. For Colwell and her team-mates (Wendy Nykoluk, Donna Smiley, Leslie Brown) it is a first Manitoba title.

Credit Unions rep Arthur Harris with (l-r) Judy Colwell, Wendy Nykoluk, Donna Smiley and Leslie Brown

Colwell defeated Sandra Cowling and her Hamiota team, and her two-time defending Manitoba Women’s Masters champions in the afternoon final game.

The 8-6 game, turned in the fifth end. Leading 5-3, Cowling made a last rock hit and roll to lie shot rock partially buried and partially cornered on a pair of Colwell stones in the back of the house. Colwell played a light weight tap-back which curled across the face of the Cowling stone and tapped it back enough to count three and take a 6-5 lead.

The sixth end gave the spectators lots to talk about. The strategy by both teams seemed to be “fill the house with stones”. A slightly overweight guard attempt by Cowling pushed a Colwell stone to second shot stone position in the four foot and when Colwell’s last stone also ended up in front of the rings, Cowling elected to settle for a single and threw her last rock to the boards. The score was tied 6-6 after six ends.

On the seventh, Colwell missed a ‘kill’ opportunity. Her last stone tap-back over-curled, and slid through the rings -resulting in a deuce rather than a possible four. Up two coming home, Cowling was unable to build an end and Colwell made a last rock kill to win the game.

The Colwell team will represent Manitoba at the Canadian Masters Championship event at Winnipeg’s Pembina Curling Club in November.

Sandra Cowling was probably fortunate not to give u7p more than one on the fourth end. Throwing red, her last rock wide out turn tap attempt, leaving one yellow biting the button.

(3PM: Sunday, April 10) COWLING-COLWELL MASTERS WOMEN’S FINAL; MEN’S PLAYOFFS SET Sandra Cowling and her Hamiota team, the same line-up which won the 2016 Manitoba Senior Women’s title, defeated Laurie Deprez (Stonewall) 8-5 Sunday morning to advance to the final game of the Manitoba Credit Unions Masters Women’s championship at Assiniboine Memorial.

Cowling gave up a steal of one and a 3-3 tie after four ends but broke the game open with a four on the fifth.

Cowling’s team will play Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) at 4PM in the Masters Women’s final. The winner will play in the national Masters at Pembina CC in November.

On the Masters Men’s side, the playoffs are set. Murray Warren (Brandon) and Greg McGibbon (Granite) both finished the round robin undefeated. They’ll meet in the Sunday evening Page 1-1 game.

The 2-2 elimination game features two teams whose only loss has come to the unbeaten leaders. Mark Franklin (Granite) beat Jim Renwick (Brandon) to finish 6W-1L behind McGibbon. Gord McTavish, hoping to be a home team at the national event in November, is also 6W-1L after winning the last round robin game over Dale Brooks. Coincidentally, the scores of those two 2nd place games were both 7-2.

MCDONALD, TERRICK WIN U-18 TITLES

Team McDonald

Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) and his second Elias Huminicki have won their second Manitoba curling championship of the season. Half of this year’s Manitoba Junior Men’s champion team, the pair teamed with Jace Freeman and Cam Olafson to win the U-18 Men’s championship today as well. Blaine Malo continues as the team’s coach.

Team McDonald won the Page 1-1 game early Sunday to earn a berth in the final, where they took on Ryan Ostrowsky (West St.Paul). Ostrowsky had won the afternoon semi-final 7-3 over Carter Marshall and his St Vital team.

Ryan Ostrowsky, Jack Steski, Luke Robins, Logan Strand, Coach Carlene Strand

Playing their third game of the day, the Ostrowsky team gave up a two and steal of four after McDonald blanked the first two ends. From there it was just a question of patience for the Deer Lodge foursome. They forced Ostrowsky to a single in the fifth…….

The good news for Team Ostrowsky is that Manitoba has two berths in the national U-18 event to be played in early May in Oakville, ON. so they had already earned the second berth by winning the semi-final.

Team Terrick

In the U-18 Women’s final, Page 1-1 winner Zoey Terrick and her Neepawa team (Cassidy Dundas, Tessa Terrick, Madison Sagert) stole victory from semi-final winner Grace Beaudry (St. Vital). Beaudry had reached the final with an afternoon 5-4 win over Dayna Wahl (Altona).

In the final, Team Beaudry scored singles on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th ends to lead 3-1 at the mid-game break. After a blanked fifth end, Terrick was forced to take a single on the sixth and then built a steal of one on the 7th to be tied coming home 3-3.

Grace Beaudry, Arianne Courcelles, Jensen Letham, Chelsea Swaile, Coach Guy Beaudry

A long centre guard and a close centre guard by lead Madison Sagert set the stage for the stolen victory. With her last stone to come, and only one rock out of play, Beaudry had nothing but an attempted double raise to pick out the Terrick shot stone buried biting the back of the four foot. By the time the rocks stopped rolling, Terrick had stolen two for a 5-3 victory.

McDonald and Terrick will wear Manitoba colours at the national U-18 Championship. Like Ostrowky, Team Beaudry also earns Manitoba’s second U-18 National berth.

**

Zoey Terrick

(5PM: Sunday, March 10) TERRICK, MCDONALD ADVANCE TO U-18 FINALS Zoey Terrick’s Neepawa team and Manitoba Junior Champion Jordon McDonald’s Deer Lodge foursome won the morning Page 1-1 Playoff games to advance to the Manitoba U-18 Championship final games. Those games are set to go at Heather at 6PM.

IN the U-18 Women’s final, Team Terrick will play the winner of the afternoon semi-final between Dayna Wahl (Altona) and Grace Beaudry (St. Vital).

Earlier today, Terrick defeated Wahl 7-2 in the Page 1-1 Playoff game while Beaudry was a 7-4 winner over Emily Ogg (AMCC) in the elimination game.

In the U-18 Men’s, Team McDonald awaits the winner of the semi-final between Carter Marshall (St. Vital) and Ryan Ostrowsky (West St. Paul). In the first playoff round, Team McDonald was an 8-1 winner over Marshall and Ostrowsky eliminated Ronan Peterson (Fort Rouge) in a 7-4 game.

Ryan Ostrowsky with sweepers Luke Robins (l) and Logan Strand (r)

FINALS DAY FOR U-18’S & MASTERS WOMEN

Three Manitoba curling championships will wrap up today: the Masters Women at Assiniboine Memorial (final at 4PM) and the U-18 Men & Women at Heather (finals at 6PM).

At Heather, the Page Playoff draws are set for 9AM with semi-finals at 2PM. The U-18 Women’s draw features a pair of unbeaten rural teams in the 1V1 game (winner to the final, loser to the semi-final). Dayna Wahl (Altona) and Zoey Terrick (Neepawa) advanced with perfect 4W-0L records. In the Page bottom side elimination game, Grace Beaudry (St. Vital) will play Emily Ogg (AMCC). Both teams advanced with 3W-1L records.

In the U-18 Men’s championship, no team survived round robin play unbeaten. All four playoff teams advanced with single losses, the only teams with only one loss on their record. Provincial Junior Champion Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) meets Carter Marshall (St. Vital) in the Page top-side game with the winner advancing to the final. In the bottom side elimination game Ronan Peterson (Ft. Rouge) plays Ryan Ostrowsky (West St. Paul).

At Assiniboine Memorial, the top three teams all finished with 3W-1L records. Judy Colwell (East St. Paul), Laurie Deprez (Stonewall) and Sandra Cowling (Hamiota) all beat each other in the round robin. As a result of the last-shot draw ‘contest’, Colwell’s team was awarded the bye to the final game where the East St. Paul skip will try to win her first provincial championship. Deprez and Cowling, both former Senior Women’s champions, will meet in the semi-final.

In the Masters Men’s, the playoff picture is simple but the last two teams will be determined in head-to-head games on the last round-robin draws. Murray Warren (6W-0L) will advance to the Page 1-1 game. Second place will go to the winner of a game between Gord McTavish (Pembina) and Dale Brooks (Hamiota). Brooks is at 4W-2L while McTavish is 5W-1L. If both finish 5W-2L, Brooks will advance thanks to the win. If McTavish wins, his team gets seconds place due to the earlier loss to Brandon’s Warren team.

In the other pool, Greg McGibbon (Granite) is the unbeaten team at 6W-0L and will finish first. Jim Renwick (Brandon) and Mark Franklin (Granite), both with 5W-1L records, will face off at 12:30 Sunday with the winner earning the second playoff berth from the group.

NEUFELD, URSEL TEAMS WIN FOURTH MANITOBA SENIOR TITLES

Manitoba will send a pair of four-time Manitoba Senior champion teams to the 2022 Canadian Seniors in the fall of this year.

Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie won together in 2015, 2016 and 2021. They repeated again today in Beausejour – winning a morning semi-final in six ends over Murray Warren (Brandon) and then beating Richard Muntain’s Granite team in the final.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Randy Neufeld, Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie

Muntain, as Page 1-1 winner, started with last rock and scored a skip’s pair with a draw behind a corned guard on his first, then a draw to the four foot for two after Neufeld came just short trying to follow the first shot. From there, however, it was Neufeld’s game.

He made a runback kill for three on end #2, forced Muntain to a single on #3, and had an open draw for five after Muntain just rubbed attempting a game-saving double (maybe triple) kill. Up 8-3 at the break, Neufeld stole another on the fifth end when Muntain’s hit facing two rolled far enough to require a measure of two rocks biting the four foot.

Facing two more on the sixth end, Muntain drew to the button and conceded the 9-4 victory.

On the Senior Women’s side, Terry Ursel and front end players Tracy Igonia and Brenda Walker won in 2017, 2019 and 2020. Their third Wanda Rainka won in 2019 and 2020, replacing Gwen Wooley who was the third for the Neepawa team’s first championship run.

Like Muntain, Ursel had last rock on the first end and scored a pair. After stealing another on the second and giving up one on the third, Ursel had Judy Colwell looking at three with her last. Colwell removed only one, leaving Ursel a draw for three and a 6-1 lead after four ends. A steal of three more on the fifth ended the game.

Fourth time champions!! (l-r) Terry Ursel, Wanda Rainka, Brenda Walker, Tracy Igonia, 5th Darla Hanke
Randy Neufeld with sweepers Dean Moxham (l) and Dale Michie

(Monday, March 21, 11AM) MUNTAIN-NEUFELD, URSEL-COLWELL SENIOR FINALS: Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team were 7-1 winners over Murray Warren (Brandon) in the Strathcona Senior Men’s semi-final in Beausejour Monday morning. Warren had run a string of six wins to start the event, including a round-robin win over Neufeld, then lost three in a row to bow out of the competition.

The defending champion Neufeld team will now play Richard Muntain’s Granite foursome in the final at 1PM.

The Senior Women’s final will see Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team challenged by Judy Colwell (East St. Paul). Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link and her team in the morning semi-final. In a game which featured many stones in play on every end, Colwell scored four singles to open the game. Link had a makeable double for three on the 5th end but didn’t curl up quite enough and scored only one. A steal on the sixth gave Link some hope but a single for Colwell gave her a three-point lead coming home and Link had no shot with her last.

Always stones in play! Last rock (red) to come and yellow counting. The yellow Link counter wasn’t moved but the steal of one (down 4-2) wasn’t enough.

(Sunday, March 20, 6:30PM) MUNTAIN INTO SENIOR MEN’S FINAL, LINK WINS SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: After winning six in row, Murray Warren’s Brandon team lost two games Sunday. They lost their final round-robin game 5-4 to Mike Mahon and then were beaten 4-2 Sunday evening in the Page 1-1 game by Richard Muntain (Granite). Muntain advances direct to the Monday 1PM final.

Warren drops to the morning semi-final against defending champion Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) who eliminated Rob Van Kommer with a 7-1 victory in the Page 2-2 game.

In the Senior Women’s tiebreaker, defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul) was an 8-4 winner over Norma Purdy in the tiebreaker. Link will play clubmate Judy Colwell in the Monday morning semi-final. The winner advances to play Terry Ursel in the final

(Sunday, March 20, 7PM) VAN KOMMER WINS SR MEN’S TIEBREAKER; LINK-PURDY MEET IN SR WOMEN’S TIEBREAKER: When all the wins and losses were tallied at the end of the Strathcona Senior Men’s round robin Beausejour, Murray Warren (Brandon) has lost his perfect record, but still finished first in his pool. Richard Muntain (Granite) had won a sixth game and finished first in his pool. Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) had won a fifth game and finished second behind Warren.

And two teams, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry) and Allan Gitzel (Morris) were the only teams involved in a tiebreaker game. Both were 5W-2L behind Muntain. Van Kommer won the tiebreaker 7-4 to advance to the Sunday evening Page 2-2 game against former champion Neufeld.

The Page 1-1 game, between Warren and Muntain, will also be played Sunday evening.

It was not as clean and simple in the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Championship. Three-time former champion Terry Ursel (Neepawa) finished the round-robin in first place with a 6W-1L record. They earn the bye to the provincial final game on Sunday at 1PM.

There is a second place 4W-3L tie between four teams: Judy Colwell, Norma Purdy, Kim Link, and Darcy Robertson. Based on the CurlManitoba tiebreaker policy which involves head-to-head results plus the pre-game button draw and just one tiebreaker game, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) has been awarded second place. Link (East St. Paul) and Purdy (St Vital) will play a Sunday evening tiebreaker game for the chance to play Colwell Monday morning at 9AM. Robertson is on the outside looking in.

(Saturday, March 19, 10:30PM) WARREN, URSEL ADVANCE TO SENIORS’ PLAYOFFS: Murray Warren and his Deloraine-Melita team, playing out of Brandon, are still unbeaten in the Strathcona Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Their 6W-0L record means that with only a game to play in the round-robin, they cannot be caught and will advance to the playoffs.

In the CurlManitoba Senior Women’s, Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team have a 5W-1L record and are assured of advancing no matter the result of their final game against defending champion Kim Link (East St. Paul), whose record is 4W-2L. A Link win on the noon draw Sunday will mean both will finish at 5W-2L and the two will advance.

In the other Men’s pool, Richard Muntain (Granite) also has a 5W-1L record but advancing is not yet a certainty.

There is great potential for several ties for the other playoff positions and for the tiebreaker scenarios to be implemented.

In Warren’s Senior Men’s Pool, Randy Neufeld (La Salle) is at 4W-2L and plays Ray Baker (Dauphin), who is at 3W-3L, in a re-match of last fall’s final. If Baker wins, both will be at 4W-3L. Two other 3W-3L teams will be cheering for Baker. Mike Mahon (Granite) and Allan Croy (Petersfield) need to win and hope for the Baker win to get into the logjam. Mahon plays Warren. Croy plays 2W-4L Sam Antila (Thompson).

The Muntain pool is even more confused as four teams can finish tied for first at 5W-2L. Muntain plays 4W-2L Neil Okumura (Pembina). Also at 4W-2L, Rob Van Kommer (Carberry), and Allan Gitzel (Morris) can be in that first place tie. Gitzel plays 2W-4L Derek Dowsett (Stonewall) and Van Kommer plays 1W-5L Dale Brooks (Hamiota). Also in the conversation is Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) who is 3W-3L. A Boehmer win over 1W-5L Bill Menzies (Granite), along with losses by Okumura, Van Kommer, and Gitzel would mean a four-way second place tie at 4W-3L.

In the Senior Women’s, there will be a three team playoff with #2 VS #3 and the winner playing #1 but other than Ursel there is no certainty who will be in the playoffs. There is absolutely no clarity yet on positioning.

If Link Beats Ursel, they’ll both be 5W-2L and finish Link #1 and Ursel #2 due to the result of the head-to-head. If Ursel beat Link, Ursel would be 6W-1L and assured of the first place bye and Link would be 4W-3L and tied with some others. For certain either Darcy Robertson (AMCC) or Norma Purdy (St. Vital) will finish 4W-3L as both are currently 3W-3L and they play each other in their final game. Judy Colwell is at 3W-2L with two to play so her East St. Paul team can finish as high as second at 5W-2L, in the 4W-3L tie, OR out of the playoffs at 3W-4L.

(Friday, March 18, 11PM) WARREN LAST UNBEATEN AT BEAUSEJOUR SENIORS: Murray Warren’s Brandon team, the reigning Manitoba Masters Champion are the last unbeaten team in the two Manitoba Senior championship events in Beausejour. Warren needed an extra end for a 5-4 victory over Sam Antila on the late draw Friday.

The other previously unbeaten men’s team, skipped by Richard Muntain, was beaten 10-4 by Allan Gitzel, whose record is now 3W-1L. Gitzel is tied with Dave Boehmer and Rob Van Kommer in second place in their pool. Behind Warren in the other group are Mike Mahon and Randy Neufeld at 3W-1L.

In the Senior Women’s, Norma Purdy was beaten for the first time on Friday, a 10-3 loss to Marlene Lang. With Purdy at 3W-1L are Terry Ursel and Kim Link. Darcy Robertson lost on the late draw, 8-2 to Laurie Deprez, and has a 2W-2L record.

(Friday, 5PM) PURDY, WARREN & MUNTAIN LEAD MASTERS CHAMPIONSHIPS AT 3W-0L: Norma Purdy , with a win over Judy Colwell, leads the Senior Women’s in Beausejour with a perfect 3W-0L record. Colwell is a 2W-1L along with Darcy Robertson, Kim Link, and Terry Ursel.

Murray Warren and Richard Muntain, at 3W-OL, lead the two pools in the Senior Men’s in Beausejour. Behind Warren, at 2W-1L are Randy Neufeld and Mike Mahon. Behind Muntain, at 2W-1L, are Rob Van Kommer, Dave Boehmer, and Allan Gitzel.

(Friday 8AM) PLAY UNDERWAY IN SENIORS & MIXED PROVINCIALS: Play began with all teams playing two games in the Manitoba Senior Men’s and Women’s Championships in Beausejour and in the Mixed provincials in Carman. It is round-robin play in both Beausejour events and triple knock-out in Carman.

In the Senior Women’s, Judy Colwell (East St. Paul) and Norma Purdy (St. Vital) and their teams both posted a pair of wins while four other teams split their two opening day games. Colwell defeated defending champion clubmate Kim Link (10-7) and Darcy Robertson (5-2) while Purdy had victories over Sandra Cowling (14-1) and Laurie Deprez (5-4).

In the Senior Men’s, defending champion Randy Neufeld (La Salle) was one of 10 teams to split their first day pair. Only three teams survived the day with two wins. Masters champion Murray Warren (Brandon) leads one eight-team pool with a 2-0 record while Richard Muntain (Granite) and Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) lead the other pool at 2-0.

(Wednesday, March 16) FIVE CHAMPIONSHIP EVENTS FOR MANITOBANS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND!!: It will be a great weekend for Manitoba curling fans.  TV fans will be cheering for Kerri Einarson and Team Canada as they kick off the Women’s Worlds in Prince George with two games on Saturday. Two year’s experience wearing the maple leaf puts them in a good place going into the event. Six teams make the playoffs so that they should be among those. Then it is a case of luck of the draw – they should get close and certainly have the ability to win it but with Tirinzoni and Hasselborg in the competition, that’s the furthest I’ll go in the way of a prediction.

Also this weekend, CurlManitoba has three events for fans who like their championship curling in person.

(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.

Kim Links’ 2021 Manitoba Senior Women’s Champion Team (Curling Canada photo)

The CurlManitoba Senior Women’s begins Thursday at 9AM in Beausejour with eight entries. The skips of the last seven Manitoba Senior Women’s champions and eight champions in total, with many of their teammates, have entries in the event. All are competitive at this level, making for an interesting competition. They include Laurie Deprez (2012), Sandra Cowling (2016), Terry Ursel (2017-19-20). Also included is defending champion Kim Link who also won in 2015 and 2018. The credentials of the other teams are also impressive. Norma Purdy skipped the finalist team at the 2021 Senior Women’s at Pembina last fall. Marlene Lang won the Club Champions Championship in 2015 and 2020 and Judy Colwell, a semi-finalist in the Club Champions event in 2020. Darcy Robertson rounds out the field. She will go into the Manitoba Curling Hall of Fame later this year with her 1984 Junior team. There would be interesting career symmetry to winning a senior title in the same year and this team certainly has the credentials. The three team playoff is Monday, with #2 & #3 playing and the winner playing #1 at 1:00PM.

Obviously I have named the winner since I have named all eight teams. If pressed I’d bet on Robertson being in the final. Any one of the teams could beat her in a one-game showdown but I think I’d pick Robertson to win it.

Randy Neufeld’s 2021 Manitoba Senior Men’s Team (Curling Canada photo)

The Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s also begins at 9AM Thursday in Beausejour and runs through until the final at 1PM Monday. Sixteen teams have qualified in the traditional regional and berth spiels model. They play an eight game round robin with a Page Playoff at the end. The gold standard for teams at the Manitoba Senior level is set by Randy Neufeld whose team has been intact since winning the 2015 and 2016 Manitoba titles enroute to a 2016 World Silver medal. They lost the Manitoba final to Dave Boehmer in 2020 and beat Ray Baker to win again in 2021 at Pembina. Boehmer has a completely different team than he won Manitoba with back-to-back-to-back in 2018, 2019, and 2020. Dean Dunstone on the roster makes this an interesting and very competitive team. Baker came close at the 2021 event and has the same team that almost won. He’d love to be the first sitting CurlManitoba President to win a championship during his term. The field represents the best across Manitoba but the other serious contenders are likely to be a pair of Masters teams: Murray Warren’s 2020 Manitoba Masters champs and Bill Menzies, who won the 2007 Seniors with Lionel Walz and whose team (including himself) has won a total of seven Masters ‘buffaloes’ since 2016.

Again, if pressed, I’d bet on Neufeld being in the final against one of the teams I’ve named. Flip a coin against Boehmer and give Neufeld the edge over the other three.

The other event which is happening this weekend is the Manitoba Stick Curling Association’s 2-Person Stick Open Championship at Assiniboine Memorial, beginning Friday morning. It is a quick game played with 6 rocks per side and only 6 ends. Like Mixed Doubles, it has its own unique set of rules and skills – in particular the ability to draw the button without sweeping (under the rules, no sweeping is allowed between the hoglines). You’ll see a lot of rocks in play and great entertainment from this version of the game played competitively. Teams to beat include Barry Tall and Jim Webster from Swan River, reigning Manitoba Open Champions and the Winnipeg team of Gwen Smith and Lynne Rehbein, reigning Maniotoba Women’s Champions. Both teams are preparing for the Canadian Open Championship in Moncton in mid-April. Others who will contend for this year’s Manitoba title include Tom & Rae Campbell from Killarney, the 2018 Canadian Champions; the Warren/Marquette duo of Jim Rouse and Ross MacMillan, the 2015 Canadian Champions; and St. Vital’s Warren Johnson & Dan McDonald team. Johnson is a past Canadian Champion who won the Manitoba title with different partners in 2012 and 2017. 

As for predicting the winner – not a chance! I am playing in the event with Norm Magnusson and I see no point in stirring the fire.

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.

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.

TEAM MCEWEN WINS 2022 VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP

Mike McEwen and his West St. Paul team have won the 2022 Viterra Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship. McEwen, with third Reid Carruthers, second Derek Samagalski, lead Colin Hodgson and Coach Rob Meakin won a pair of games Sunday in Selkirk to earn their second title as a team. Team McEwen had previously won the championship together in 2019.

(l-r) Colin Hodgson, Derek Samagalski, Coach Rob Meakin, Reid Carruthers, Mike McEwen
CurlManitoba Photo

Entering the championship as the #1 seed and favourite to win, Team McEwen had lost the Page 1-1 Playoff game Saturday evening to Colton Lott and his Winnipeg Beach team. Lott was supported by his brother Tanner at third, with second Kyle Doering and lead Emerson Klimpke.

The loss put them in the Sunday morning semi-final game which they won, with a last shot draw, 10-9 over Ryan Wiebe – Fort Rouge, with Ty Dillello, Sean Flatt and Adam Flatt.

Colton Lott`s finalist team impressed those watching at the Selkirk CC as a young team with a great future.

The afternoon final against Team Lott opened in the Winnipeg Beach team’s favour with a two on the first end. McEwen came back to score two on the second end and began to take control when the veteran team forced their younger opponents to a single on the third.

After blanks on the fourth and fifth ends, Team McEwen scored a three on the sixth end to lead 6-3 enroute to an 8-3, eight end victory.

This year’s victory is the fourth Manitoba men’s title for Mike McEwen, who won as skip in 2016, 2017 and 2019, and Hodgson, who was at lead for Carruthers in 2015 and 2018 as well as for McEwen in 2019. For Samagalski, it is a fifth Manitoba men’s title after he won as lead for Rob Fowler in 2012 and as second for Carruthers in 2015 and 2018 as well as for McEwen in 2019.

It is a seventh Manitoba men’s title for Carruthers who won three times at second for Jeff Stoughton, including a Brier and World title in 2011 followed by Manitoba wins in 2013 and 2014. He also won as skip in 2015 and 2018 and as McEwen’s third in 2019.

In addition, McEwen owns a pair of Manitoba Junior Men’s titles and a Manitoba Mixed title; Carruthers has a Junior Men’s and a Mixed championship and Samagalski has won a Mixed and a Mixed Doubles final game.

Team McEwen earns the opportunity to represent Manitoba at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge in March.

LOTT ADVANCES TO VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL; MCEWEN – WIEBE SEMI-FINAL IN SELKIRK

Colton Lott

(CurlManitoba Release – Saturday Evening) Colton Lott and his Winnipeg Beach team-mates) Kyle Doering, Tanner Lott, and Emerson Klimpke are a win away from representing Manitoba at the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier as Manitoba champions.

Team Lott posted a pair of wins Saturday at the Viterra Championship in Selkirk; a 9-3 victory over William Lyburn (Granite) on the morning draw to advance to the Page 1-1 Playoff game and then a late 8-7 victory in that game over 2019 champion Mike McEwen (West St. Paul).

The Winnipeg Beach foursome was tied 4-4 with McEwen after five ends and led 6-5 after seven ends but trailed 7-6 coming home. They blanked the ninth to hold last rock coming home but didn’t need to throw it. They will play in the Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship final game, Sunday at 2:00PM.

Ryan Wiebe

In the 9AM semi-final, McEwen will take on Ryan Wiebe and his Fort Rouge team who won three games Saturday in Selkirk. Qualifying through the “B” side of the Playoff Round, Team Wiebe defeated 2020 champion Jason Gunnlaugson and 2015 World Junior champion skip Braden Calvert. They defeated Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 7-4 in the Page 2-2 Playoff game.

THE CHAMPIONSHIP PAGE PLAYOFF
PAGE 1-1 GAME (Winner to the final, Loser to the semi-final)
Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach) 8-7 over Mike McEwen (West St. Paul)

PAGE 2-2 GAME (Winner to the semi-final, Loser eliminated)
Ryan Wiebe (Ft. Rouge) 7-4 over Corey Chambers (Ft. Garry) 

PLAYOFF ROUND –  2PM SATURDAY
“B” Side (Winners advance to Page Playoff Championship Round – Losers eliminated))
Ryan Wiebe (Ft. Rouge) 6-5 over Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial)
Corey Chambers (Ft. Garry) 7-2 over William Lyburn (Granite)

PLAYOFF ROUND – 9AM SATURDAY“A” Side (Winners advance to Page Playoff Championship Round – Losers to “B” Side)
Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) 7-6 over Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial)
Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach) 9-3 over William Lyburn (Granite)

“B” Side ( Winners move on – Losers eliminated)
Corey Chambers (Ft. Garry) 5-4 over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
Ryan Wiebe (Ft. Rouge) 7-4 over Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris)

Braden Calvert

(CurlManitoba Release – Friday Evening) PLAYOFF ROUND UNDERWAY IN VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP: A pair of World Junior champion skips faced off Friday night in Selkirk in the opening game of the 2022 Viterra Championship Playoff Round. The game between Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial), the 2015 world champion, and clubmate Jacques Gauthier, the 2020 world champion, saw Calvert score deuces each of the first four times he had last rock. The third of them, on the fifth end, gave Team Calvert a 6-5 lead as they went on to a 9-5 victory.

Mike McEwen

For Mike McEwen and his top seeded West St. Paul team, the score sheet shows all singles. It was the fourth one, a steal on the extra end, which gave the 2019 champions a 4-3 win over Corey Chambers (Fort Garry).

Jason Gunnlaugson’s Morris foursome gave up a pair of deuces to start their game against Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach). Team Lott never trailed in their 8-3 win over the 2020 champions.

William Lyburn won three Friday

In the fourth game, William Lyburn (Granite) never led in his game with Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge) until Team Lyburn stole a pair coming home to win 7-6.

At 9:00AM Saturday in Selkirk, on the “A” side of the Playoff Round, Lyburn will play Lott and Calvert will play McEwen. Winners of these two games will move on to the Page Playoff format Championship. In the last chance “B” side games, Gunnlaugson will play Wiebe and Gauthier will play Chambers.

Following are the Friday results in the 2022 Viterra Championship.

PLAYOFF ROUND – First Games (New Double Knockout)

7:45PM: William Lyburn (Granite) 7-6 over Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge)
7:45PM: Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach)  8-3 over Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris)
7:45PM: Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) 9-5 over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
7:45PM: Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) vs Corey Chambers (Fort Garry)

 “B” Side Qualifying Games (Winners advancing to the Friday evening playoff round – losers eliminated)
4:00PM: Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial) 7-2 over Justin Richter (Beausejour)
4:00PM: William Lyburn (Granite) 7-6 over Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial)

4:00PM: Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) 8-4 over JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial)
4:00PM: Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 6-3 over Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge)

“B” Side (Winners play on – Losers eliminated)
12:15PM:  Justin Richter (Beausejour) 10-4 over Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge)
12:15PM: Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 7-6  over Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial)
12:15PM: William Lyburn (Granite) 8-5 over Daniel Birchard (Pembina)
12:15PM: JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) 9-4 over Jack Hykaway (Pembina)

“A” Side Qualifying Games (Winners advancing to the Friday evening playoff round – losers to “B” Qualifying Games)
8:30AM: Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach) 7-5 over Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial)
8:30AM: Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge) 5-4 over Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris)
8:30AM: Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) 4-2 over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
8:30AM: Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) 7-1 over Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge)

(CurlManitoba Release) VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP NOW A FIELD OF SIXTEEN: An even dozen teams have been eliminated from the 2022 Viterra Championship in Selkirk, leaving 16 teams still in the chase for the Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship.

The first four qualifiers for the Playoff Round will be identified on the early morning draw Friday. The other 12 teams will play the 12:15PM and 4PM draws with four of them advancing as well.

There are still eight unbeaten teams, including all four of the top four seeds. They’ll meet in the Friday 8:30AM draw.  The match-ups are:

#1 seed Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) vs Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
#2 seed Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) vs Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge)
#3 seed Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach) vs Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial)
#4 Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) vs Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge

Two of the most dramatic games of the day involved William Lyburn and his Granite team. On the 12:15 draw, Riley Smith needed to win measures on the tenth end, for two to tie, and again on the eleventh, for a steal of one and a 7-6 victory over Lyburn. On the late draw, trailing 6-0 after three ends, Lyburn bounced back to tie Dean North (Carman) 7-7 coming home and stayed alive with a steal of two for a 9-7 win.

Following are the Thursday results in the 2022 Viterra Championship.

“A” Side (Winners advancing to the Friday morning qualifying game)
12:15PM: Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial) 7-3 over Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge)
12:15PM: Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) 11-6 over Corey Chambers (Fort Garry)
12:15PM: Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial) 7-6 over  William Lyburn (Granite)
12:15PM: Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge) 5-4 over JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial)

8:30AM: Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) 7-2 over Richard Muntain (Granite)

“B” Side (Winners play on – Losers eliminated)
8:15PM: Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) 8-2 over Sam Antila (Burntwood
8:15PM: Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 9-3 over Jeff Stewart (Gladstone)
8:15PM: William Lyburn (Granite) 9-7 over Dean North (Carman)
8:15PM: JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) 8-1 over Randy Neufeld (LaSalle)

4:00PM: Jack Hykaway (Pembina) 7-4 over Grant Shewfelt (Baldur)
4:00PM: Daniel Birchard (Pembina) 10-9 over Ryan Thomson (Morden)
4:00PM: Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial) 8-1 over Graham Freeman (Virden)
4:00PM: Justin Richter (Beausejour) 11-2 over Richard Muntain (Granite)

8:30AM: Ryan Thomson (Morden) 9-2 over Kelly Marnoch (Carberry)
8:30AM: Graham Freeman (Virden) 11-4 over Graham Freeman (Virden)
8:30AM: Justin Richter (Beausejour) 9-6 over Kyle McCannell (Pilot Mound)

(Thursday, February 10: 3:30PM) DRAMATIC WINS FOR WIEBE & SMITH ON DRAW #6 IN SELKIRK: The noon draw at the 2022 Viterra Championship in Selkirk had four “A” side games so no eliminations but among the four a last shot victory and a dramatic extra end victory.

JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) and Ryan Wiebe (Ft Rouge) were tied coming home in their match. Former Junior Champ JT Ryan made a fine last rock hit and roll to the button, buried. Ryan Wiebe won the game 5-4 with his last shot past the centre guard, a tap-back for victory.

Second victory for Ryan Wiebe (foreground)

On the sheet beside, Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial) stole an extra end on a measure to beat William Lyburn (Granite). Smith blanked the ninth with a big weight double kill then needed a measure for the tie 6-6 on end ten when his last draw slid deep into the 12 foot circle. On the extra end, Smith drew the back half of the four foot behind Lyburn’s stone. A rock in front of it meant Lyburn needed to gently move two stones but his draw-tap was light and Smith won his second measure and the game.

Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial) was a 7-3 winner over Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) and Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) beat former Grassie teammate Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 11-6.

Top seed Mike McEwen and third Reid Carruthers look on as Richard Muntain calls line. Team McEwen won their opener Thursday morning

On the early draw Thursday, top seeded Mike McEwen and his West St. Paul team won their opening game of the 2022 Viterra Championship in Selkirk. With the first day bye thanks to their top seed position, Team McEwen played Richard Muntain (Granite) who had won their opener yesterday but didn’t mount a significant challenge. McEwen blanked the first two ends and took control of the game with two on the third enroute to a 7-2 win.

Three early “B” side games saw three teams eliminated. Kelly Marnoch (Carberry) bowed out in 9-2 loss to Ryan Thomson (Morden), Kyle McCannell (Pilot Mound) lost to 9-6 to Justin Richter (Beausejour), and Mark Lukowich (Ft Rouge) lost 11-4 to Graham Freeman (Virden).

(CurlManitoba Release) PAST CHAMPIONS LEAD THE WAY ON DAY ONE OF THE VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP: Among the 28 teams who began play Wednesday in the Viterra Championship in Selkirk, there are no fewer than 13 skips who have won at least one previous Manitoba championship. Eleven skipped those earlier championship teams. Two won Manitoba championships at the third position.

Twelve of those former champions played on Day #1 of the Manitoba Men’s Championship and collectively posted a record of 9 wins and 5 losses.

On the late draw Wednesday, three of the top four seeds played their first games after the seeding by the competing teams gave them a first round bye.

Defending Manitoba champion and #2 seed Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) opened his defense of the title with a 9-1, 6-end victory over Grant Shewfelt (Baldur)

Former Manitoba Mixed Doubles champion and #3 seed Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach) jumped out to a 4-1 lead over Daniel Birchard (Pembina) at the 5th end break and went on to a 7-3 victory.

A first game win for Braden Calvert (foreground) while Brett Walter had a win and a loss on Day #1

Tied 3-3 after eight ends with clubmate Brett Walter, former World Junior champion and #4 seed Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) scored a deuce on the ninth end but Walter forced an extra end with two of his own coming home. With last rock, Calvert won the game 6-5. Walter, who is the reigning Manitoba Junior champion, had a win and a loss in his two games on opening day.

Top seeded Mike McEwen and his 2019 Manitoba Viterra Championship winning team will play their first game Thursday morning on the 8:30AM draw against Richard Muntain (Granite).

In the fourth late draw game, the first “B” side game; Jack Hykaway (Pembina) bested Evan Martin (Fort Rouge) by a 7-4 score. The second loss of the day for the Martin team, skipped by Travis Bale, means they are eliminated.

Throughout the first three draws of the day, reigning World Junior Champion Jacques Gauthier (who was a Manitoba Junior champion third but won the World Juniors after winning Canada as a Wild Card entry); Manitoba Junior Champions Brett Walter, JT Ryan and Riley Smith (also a Manitoba Junior champion third); U-18 Champion Jordon McDonald; and former Canadian Mixed champion (and World Mixed Doubles Bronze Medallist) Sean Grassie; all won their first games of the competition.

Former World Senior silver medallist Randy Neufeld and former Manitoba Men’s champion Mark Lukowich lost their first games. Former Manitoba Junior champion Travis Bale, skipping the Evan Martin entry, lost a pair of games.

Following are the results of the first three draws on the first day of play in the 2022 Viterra Championship.

4PM DRAW:
Richard Muntain (Granite) 10-4 over Sam Antila (Burntwood)
Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) 7-4 over Justin Richter (Beausejour)
Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) 7-5 over Graham Freeman (Virden)
Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial) 8-3 over Kyle McCannell (Pilot Mound)

12:15PM DRAW:
Corey Chambers (Fort Garry) 8-3 over Mark Lukowich (Fort Rouge)
Brett Walter (AMCC) 7-6 over Jeff Stewart (Gladstone).
Riley Smith (AMCC) 8-3 over Ryan Thomson (Morden)
William Lyburn (Granite) 6-5 over  Kelly Marnoch (Carberry)

8:30AM DRAW
Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge) 9-3 over Jack Hykaway (Pembina)
JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) 6-2 over Evan Martin (Fort Rouge)
Daniel Birchard (Pembina) 8-3 over Dean North (Carman)
William Lyburn (Granite) 6-5 over Kelly Marnoch (Carberry)

(February 9, 8PM) FIRST ROUND WIN EARNS MUNTAIN A DATE WITH MCEWEN: Richard Muntain and his Granite team opened play today in the 2022 Viterra Championship in Selkirk with a victory over Sam Antila and his Thompson team. The first round victory advances Muntain and his team to a Thursday morning game against top seed Mike McEwen (West St. Paul).

Richard Muntain (foreground) will play top seed Mike McEwen Thursday morning

Muntain will be hoping there is an advantage for him in the fact his team has now played a game on the Selkirk Curling Club ice while McEwen’s top seed position got his team bye and they’ll therefore be playing their first game.

Muntain will also be hoping the McEwen foursome’s practice schedules has been disrupted by last week’s coaching assignments at the national Scotties for both Reid Carruthers and Colin Hodgson.

He’ll know by 11AM Thursday!

A first round win for Jacques Gauthier (foreground)

In other games on Draw #3 at 4PM in Selkirk, a pair of Deer Lodge teams posted victories. Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge), a former Manitoba finalist, won 7-4 over Justin Richter (Beausejour) and Jordon McDonald (Der Lodge) beat Graham Freeman (Virden) 7-5.

In the fourth 4PM game, Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial) defeated Kyle McCannell (Pilot Mound) 8-3. Due to pandemic cancellation, Gauthier is still the reigning world junior champion. It has rarely occurred that a world junior champion has held that title and next-level provincial title at the same time.

Mackenzie Zacharias accomplished the feat with her Manitoba Scotties win in Carberry in December. Gauthier has taken the first step along the difficult road to matching the accomplishment.

A first round win for Daniel Birchard (foreground)

(February 9, 5PM) VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP UNDERWAY: FIRST GAME WINNERS ADVANCE TO PLAY TOP SEEDS: For the first time in almost a quarter of a century, the Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship is underway on curling club ice. The Viterra Championship, usually played in an arena and scheduled this year for the Selkirk Recreation Centre, was moved to the Selkirk Curling Club in a covid-related decision.

The last time curling rink ice was used was 1998 in Virden when teams played their first day games split between the curling rink and arena. In 1999, in Portage, all games in the event were played in that community’s arena.

After the first two draws of preliminary round play in the 2022 Viterra Championship, general assessment is that CurlManitoba Ice Technician Greg Ewasko and his crew of Matt Rankine, Dale Lott and club volunteers have been able to approximate arena conditions. The ice is keen with a predictable curl – all you need to determine a champion.

The first two draws went pretty much according to the form chart with only one game of eight which might be considered an upset. On the opening draw, former World Senior silver medallist Randy Neufeld and his LaSalle team were defeated 7-6 by Grant Shewfelt and his Baldur team. Tied coming home, Shewfelt had an open centre line hit for the victory.

Ryan Wiebe (Ft Rouge) jumped out to a 7-0 three end lead over Jack Hykaway (Pembina) and cruised to a 9-3 win. The Hykaway foursome, with Richard Hawkins throwing first and calling the game, will be back on the ice on the late draw Wednesday in their “B” side elimination game as they got the cruel spot in the draw which will eliminate one team on day one fo the competition.

Former provincial champion JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) beat Evan Martin (Ft Rouge) 6-2 and Daniel Birchard beat Dean North (Carman) 8-3. The Martin drops in that evening draw elimination game against Hykaway.

A first round win for Corey Chambers (foreground)

On the noon draw, Corey Chambers (Ft Garry) Brett Walter (AMCC), Riley Smith (AMCC), and William Lyburn (Granite) were first game winners.

Chambers posted an 8-3 win over former Manitoba Men’s champion Mark Lukowich (Ft Rouge). Walter was a 7-6 victor over Jeff Stewart (Gladstone). Smith beat Ryan Thomson (Morden) 8-3.

In their first game playing together Lyburn and his new third Scott McDonald were tied 5-5 coming home and didn’t need their last rock in beating Kelly Marnoch (Carberry) 6-5. The game was the kind of close affair which Lyburn would have wanted for the first playing with McDonald. They scored a deuce on the third end and played with a one or two point lead for the entire game, until Marnoch’s deuce on the ninth tied the game and gave Lyburn last rock coming home.

The early results set up 8:15PM Wednesday “A” side games against the top seeds. Grant Shewfelt (Baldur) will play #2 seed Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris), Daniel Birchard (Pembina) will play Colton Lott (Winnipeg Beach), and Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial) will play #4 Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial). Top seeded Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) will play his first game at 8:30AM Thursday against the winner of the 4PM game between Sam Antila (Burntwood) and Richard Muntain (Granite).

(Tuesday, February 8) DRAW SET FOR VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP, MCEWEN TOP SEED: The draw has been published for the Viterra Championship, the Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship which gets underway Wednesday (Feb 9) in the Selkirk Curling Club. (Check the complete draw at curlmanitoba.org)

The draw format is identical to recent past years – double knockout preliminary round; 8-team double knockout playoff round; 4-team Page Playoff championship round. Because the event is being played with 28 teams rather than the usual 32, the top four seeds will all get a first round bye and will play their opening games at 8:15PM Wednesday against teams who win their openers earlier in the day.

The top four seeds are skipped by Mike McEwen (West St. Paul), Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris), Tanner Lott (Winnipeg Beach), and Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial).

The match-ups on the first three draws Wednesday follow.

8:30AM: Randy Neufeld (LaSalle) vs Grant Shewfelt (Baldur)
8:30AM: Jack Hykaway (Pembina) vs Ryan Wiebe (Fort Rouge)
8:30AM: JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) vs Evan Martin (Fort Rouge)
8:30AM: Dean North (Carman) vs Daniel Birchard (Pembina)

12:15PM: Riley Smith (Assiniboine Memorial) vs Ryan Thomson (Morden)
12:15PM: Jeff Stewart (Gladstone) vs Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial)
12:15PM: William Lyburn (Granite) vs Kelly Marnoch (Carberry)
12:15PM: Mark Lukowich (Fort Rouge) vs Corey Chambers (Fort Garry)

4:00PM: Jordon McDonald (Deer Lodge) vs Graham Freeman (Virden)
4:00PM: Sam Antila (Burntwood) vs Richard Muntain (Granite)
4:00PM: Kyle McCannell (Pilot Mound) vs Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
4:00PM: Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) vs Justin Richter (Beausejour)

8:15PM: #2 Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) vs Winner (Shewfelt-Neufeld)
8:15PM: #3 Tanner Lott (Winnipeg Beach) vs Winner (North-Birchard)
8:15PM: #4 Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) vs Winner (Stewart-Walter)

THURSDAY:
8:30AM: #1 Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) vs Winner (Antila-Muntain)

A limited number of spectators will be allowed in the upstairs clubrooms of the Selkirk Curling Club. Tickets can be purchased via the CurlManitoba website at https://curlmanitoba.org/viterra-championship/ . Spectators will be required to leave the building between draws. All spectators are expected to be fully vaccinated and to follow all health protocols requested by the Selkirk Curling Club, including the wearing of masks.

VITERRA CHAMPIONSHIP DATE, VENUE CHANGED

SUPPOSED TO START TODAY but announced earlier in the month…CurlManitoba’s Viterra Championship will be played in the Selkirk Curling Club, February 9-13.

At the time of cancellation, 28 teams had qualified for the Viterra Championship. Only the Brandon Bonspiel (one berth) and Manitoba Open (three berths) had yet to be determined. The championship will go ahead with the 28 teams already identified – logical to assume the top four seeds will get first round byes. Hard to say if that’s a good thing or not – ice conditions will dictate whether there is an advantage to playing a lesser team in the opening round as a chance to acclimatize!

The championship carries with it an invitation to represent Manitoba at the Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge in early March. A very few Manitoba teams have a chance to move up the CTRS list to earn a shot at one of the three available wildcard entries in the Brier.

Brad Gushue’s Olympic team is currently #1 and appears to be so far ahead on the CTRS list that they would be a certain wildcard entry. However, the standing rule is that it is highest ranking CTRS teams after provincial playdowns and Team Gushue opted out. However, the Nfld-Labradon provincial men’s was canceled. If not re-scheduled, it would seem to open the door for them to come home from the Olympics and play the Brier as either the appointed NL rep or as a wildcard team.

Kevin Koe (#2) has already won Alberta and Brendan Bottcher (#7) is Team Canada so they are not part of the wild card discussion.

Status of Brad Jacobs (#4) and Glenn Howard (#5) is up in the air. Currently they are certain wild card selections. The Northern Ontario playoff has been postponed with no re-schedule date. When the Scotties starts this week Krista McCarville’s team has been selected as the Northern Ontario rep – the parallel men’s decision would be to select Team Jacobs and remove them from the wildcard discussion.

Howard may still have to play the Ontario Tankard. It has been re-scheduled to February 9-13, the same time as Manitoba’s Viterra event.

Jason Gunnlaugson’s team is currently ranked #5 so they currently hold the third wild card position. Mike McEwen’s foursome is #8 behind Matt Dunstone (#6). Dunstone’s status will also be determined February 9-13 when the Saskatchewan Tankard playoff occurs. If he doesn’t win Saskatchewan, he needs a high finish to move up the CTRS into a wild card spot.

John Epping is currently #9. Like Howard in Ontario, Dunstone in Saskatchewan, and McEwen in Manitoba, if they don’t win they need a high finish to be in the wildcard conversation.

Of the lesser ranked Manitoba teams, it seems likely only one has even a remote shot at the wild card spots. Tanner & Colton Lott, Kyle Doering and Emerson Klimpke, still listed as Team Pat Simmons, are at #13. If they were to lose the Manitoba final, depending on results in other provinces, they might (but seems unlikely) jump far enough up the list.

The others, starting with Braden Calvert (#18) and Riley Smith (#19) have one chance of a trip to Brier – they have to win in Selkirk.

The teams qualified for Manitoba’s Viterra Championship represent curling clubs and communities across Manitoba. They are:

Assiniboine Memorial: Braden Calvert
Assiniboine Memorial: Jacques Gauthier
Assiniboine Memorial: JT Ryan
Assiniboine Memorial: Riley Smith
Assiniboine Memorial: Brett Walter
Baldur: Grant Shewfelt
Beausejour: Justin Richter
Burntwood: Sam Antila
Carberry: Kelly Marnoch
Carman: Dean North
Deer Lodge: Sean Grassie
Deer Lodge: Jordon McDonald
Fort Garry: Corey Chambers
Fort Rouge: Mark Lukowich
Fort Rouge: Evan Martin
Fort Rouge: Ryan Wiebe
Gladstone: Jeff Stewart
Granite: William Lyburn
Granite: Richard Muntain
LaSalle: Randy Neufeld
Morden: Ryan Thomson
Morris: Jason Gunnlaugson
Pembina: Daniel Birchard
Pembina: Jack Hykaway
Pilot Mound: Kyle McCannell
Virden: Graham Freeman
West St. Paul: Mike McEwen
Winnipeg Beach: Colton Lott

CANADIAN MIXED DOUBLES A ‘GO’, CURLMANITOBA EVENTS POSTPONED

Curling Canada has announced the CanadInns Mixed Doubles Trials in Portage will go ahead as scheduled (December 28-January 2). In light of the pandemic, a heightened set of ‘bubbling’ and testing protocols will be in place. For more information, the Curling Canada News Release is available elsewhere here at thecurler.com

Meanwhile, CurlManitoba has announced that four events are being postponed. These include:

The 2022 – ASHAM U18 Provincials
The 2022 – Canada Inns Youth Winter Bonspiel
The 2022 – Manitoba Open and HalfSPIEL

The word ‘postponed’ is used deliberately instead of ‘cancelled’ as there is a desire on the part of CurlManitoba to re-schedule these events if it is possible to do so.