(December 8) Three teams from Winnipeg’s Granite and individual teams from nine different clubs across Manitoba have won invitations this week to compete in the Manitoba Credit Unions Masters Men’s Curling Championship in early March at Assiniboine Memorial.
Regional playoffs were completed late Wednesday afternoon when Laurie Hogg defeated Rob Atkins with a last shot takeout, stick for one, to win the second berth available in the East/Interlake playoff.
The dozen winners this week join defending (from two years ago, pre-Covid) champion Murray Warren, berth bonspiel winners Greg McGibbon (Granite) and Gord McTavish (Pembina) in the 16-team provincial field. The one remaining berth available will be available through the Brandon Men’s Masters bonspiel in early-January.
This week’s provincial berth winners are: Sam Antila – Burntwood, Thompson Dale Brooks – Hamiota Mark Franklin – Granite, Winnipeg Carl German – East St. Paul Allan Gitzel – Morris Laurie Hogg -Stonewall Paul Kruk – Souris Bill Menzies – Granite, Winnipeg Jim Renwick – Brandon Ken Ringaert – Granite, Winnipeg Kelly Robertson – Dauphin Al Sharpe – Fort Rouge, Winnipeg
Four provincial Junior berths were awarded Sunday afternoon at Heather. Junior Men’s teams skipped by Jace Freeman and Cameron Olafson, and Junior Women’s teams skipped by Grace Beaudry and Morgan Maguet will be going to Brandon, February 22-27, for the CurlManitoba TELUS Juniors.
Cameron Olafson and his East St. Paul team (Riel Dufault, Jonathan Kostna, Seth Boschmann, Coach Richard Harding) defeated Thomas McGillvary and his Fort Garry team in a seven end secpond berth game. Earlier in the day Jace Freeman and his Virden team (Andrew McKay, Cyrus Brandt Randy Ostrowsky, Coach Graham Freeman) had also posted a win over team McGillvary.
On the Junior Women’s side, the afternoon game was won by Morgan Maguet’s East St. Paul team (Kyle Lippens, Lauren Evason, Danica Metcalfe, Coach Kevin Young). They had lost earlier in the day to Grace Beaudry-St. Vital (Chelsea Swaile, Jensen Letham, Arianne Courcelles, Coach Guy Beaudry).
Down two coming home to Tansy Tober – Fort Garry, Maguet faced a difficult light-weight hit past a centre guard, need to at least remove two rocks in the four foot. She had third and fourth shot stone in the 12 foot circle – needed to stick to win, a rollout meant an extra end. She removed one and the other rolled to the 12 foot, just far enough that no measure was required.
The four berth winners join the winners of two earlier MJCT bonspiels in the TELUS Juniors in Brandon.
(4PM: Thursday, Nov. 25) 2019 Manitoba Masters Champion Gord McTavish and his Pembina team have joined Greg McGibbon’s foursome as the berth winners in this week’s CurlManitoba Credit Unions Masters Berth Bonspiel at Fort Rouge.
Team McTavish handed Carl German his second loss of the day to win the berth Thursday afternoon.
McTavish (with Neil Okumura, Victor Bellay, and Larry Lagace) stole three on the fifth end for a 7-2 lead. They looked set to give German back the three, maybe 4 or 5, on the sixth but McTavish made a hit and roll (facing four) which buried in the four foot. German made an attempt to pick the rock out from behind one of his own but overcurled, rubbed and rolled harmlessly away.
In 2019, when McTavish won the title, he was aided by Okumura, Lagace and Ross Allen.
(Noon: Thursday, Nov 25) MCGIBBON WINS FIRST BERTH IN MASTERS BERTH BONSPIEL … Greg McGibbon, Peter Nicholls, Darren Oryniak, and Andy Stewart have won the first of two provincial berths available in the CurlManitoba Credit Unions Masters Berth Bonspiel at Fort Rouge.
The Granite foursome defeated Carl German’s East St. Paul team in six ends this morning at Fort Rouge.
German will now play former champion Gord McTavish and his Pembina team for the second provincial berth available through the bonspiel. McTavish had to miss the morning game but, playing with three, Neil Okumura skipped the team to victory over Granite’s Mark Franklin team.
(5PM: Wednesday, Nov. 24) FINAL FOUR PLAYOFFS SET IN MASTERS BERTH BONSPIEL … The last four unbeaten teams in the bonspiel are the four teams lined up to play in Thursday’s playoff games in the CurlManitoba Credit Unions Masters Berth Bonspiel at Fort Rouge.
Greg McGibbon (Peter Nicholls, Darren Oryniak, Andy Stewart) stayed perfect Wednesday afternoon with a 6-4 win over former Masters champion Gord McTavish (Neil Okumura, Victor Bellay, Larry Lagace). By the same score, former Manitoba senior champion Carl German (Harold Mauthe, Ray McDougall, Mirron German) pushed another former Masters champion, Mark Franklin (Jamie Hay, Barry Campbell, Greg Ziemanski) to the “B” side of the draw.
Thursday, McGibbon and German face off at 10AM in a berth game with a second chance. The winner earns the first of two available provincial berths. The loser drops in the “B” final at 1:30PM against the winner between Franklin and McTavish.
(Updated 5PM: Tuesday, Nov. 23) FOUR UNBEATEN IN MASTERS BERTH BONSPIEL ..The Mark Franklin (Granite), Gord McTavish (Pembina), Greg McGibbon (Granite) and Carl German (East St. Paul) teams won their second games in the CurlManitoba Credit Unions Masters Berth Bonspiel Tuesday morning at Fort Rouge. Having reached “A” semi-finals, the four will face off, McGibbon vs McTavish and Franklin vs German, with the two winners qualifying for the playoff round.
Mark Franklin led Lionel Walz (Pembina) by four when he gave up a five on the fifth end. They were tied coming home with Franklin holding last rock. Walz’ second man Bill Mamchuk made a perfect draw to the four foot with his last stone. It was buried behind a four stone line-up on the centre line. “Automatic” said the clubroom experts but it took three remove and replace shots before Walz saw his guard attempt slide a little too deep allowing Franklin to make the four stone runback to stick in the four foot. With his last stone draw attempt, Walz was full four foot but not quite good enough and Franklin won without throwing his last.
With Neil Okamura skipping the team in McTavish’s absence, the Pembina team beat Rob Atkins (East St. Paul) in six ends. The key shot was an Okamura rub and roll behind cover in the four foot to lie three coming home. It turned into a steal of three and victory.
German needed an extra end, thanks to a delicate tapback that had to executive a centre-line port to get to the Bill Menzies (Granite) stone in the four foot circle. On the extra end, German had to choose between leaving Menzies a last stone draw or runback. He guarded the draw line and Menzies last shot hit didn’t curl up quite enough and his own raised stone crossed the shot stone without contact, leaving German a steal of one.
In the fourth game, Greg McGibbon led Ron Westcott 7-4 coming home and ran the Fort Rouge team out of stones.
In “B” side games, Howard Doerksen (Pembina) beat Pat Carson (Ft Rouge) and Neil Schmidt (East St. Paul) defeated Barry Mandryk (Ft Rouge).
UPDATE: On the afternoon draw, Walz (8-4 over Dave Fisher), Menzies (8-4 over Brian Kushner), and Rob Atkins (8-2 over Neil Schmidt) all recovered from the morning loss with “B” side wins. Only Ron Westcott (8-4 loss to Howard Doerksen) had two losses on Tuesday.
(5PM: Monday, Nov. 22) FORMER CHAMPS WIN OPENERS IN MASTERS BERTH ‘SPIEL .. Gord McTavish, who skipped Manitoba’s 2019 Manitoba Masters Men champion team, won his opener on Monday afternoon at Fort Rouge. McTavish bested clubmate Howard Doerksen 7-1.
McTavish join former champions Mark Franklin and Ron Westcott with first game wins. A pair of former senior champion skips, Carl German and Lionel Walz, also won their openers earlier Monday.
Also on the afternoon draw at Fort Rouge, Rob Atkins and his team defeated the host club’s Pat Carson for their first win.
Meanwhile, Lorne Hamblin’s Morris team and the Lawrie Hogg Stonewall team had their second, elimination, loss. Hamblin lost to Brian Kushner while Dave Fisher beat the Hogg entry.
(1PM: Monday, November 22) MORRIS ROOKIES COME CLOSE IN MASTERS BERTH ‘SPIEL ..In a rink full of household names it was a group of competition rookies who pushed their opposition the furthest this morning at Fort Rouge in the opening draw of the Masters Berth Bonspiel.
Lorne Hamblin’s name and record as coach and volunteer organizer are well known, and he has even had some success as a competitor. However his Morris team of three “somewhat over 60” players are all competition rookies – playing for the first time in a CurlManitoba provincial qualifying bonspiel, although one does admit he thinks he played in a zone playoff “about 40 years ago”.
Hamblin (with Rene Nolette, Normand Lemoine, and George Lecuyer) fell behind three time Manitoba Masters champion Mark Franklin, trailing 7-3 after five ends but scored one on the sixth and stole two on the seventh to trail 7-6 coming home without last rock.
They forced Franklin to throw that last rock. Facing one wide open with a possible second shot fully buried, Franklin’s in-turn hit on the shot stone in the edge of the eight foot rolled to the four foot for one and the win.
“It was close. If he rolled out, we’d have measured – I think we had it,” said Hamblin after the game – sounding exactly like every skip who has ever come off the ice in the same situation.
However, maybe they did. Certainly, Franklin’s ice call was such that he was clearly ensuring the in-roll to remove any doubt.
Along with Franklin’s Granite team, first game winners were those household names referred to: Ron Westcott (Ft. Rouge), Lionel Walz (Pembina), Carl German (East St. Paul), Bill Menzies (Granite), and Greg McGibbon, Granite.
The bonspiel continues to with two draws daily and provincial berth finals at 10AM and 1:30PM on Thursday at Fort Rouge.