Randy Neufeld and his LaSalle team (Peter Nicholls, Darren Oryniak, Dale Michie) have won CurlManitoba’s Manitoba’s Credit Unions Masters Men’s championship with a 4-3 win over Mike Mahon and his Granite CC team.

The win for the LaSalle team mirrors the accomplishment of Laurie Deprez and her LaSalle team who won the Masters Women’s championship Sunday. It is the first time in the Manitoba’s Credit Unions sponsorship years that the two championships have been won by teams from the same club.

Randy Neufeld, Peter Nicholls, Darren Oryniak, Dale Michie

The Neufeld foursome was the top seed coming into the event and will have a chance to win a second Manitoba title in two weeks time when they compete as the defending champion in CurlManitoba’s Strathcona Seniors in Dauphin (with Dean Moxham replacing Oryniak).

The championship gives Nicholls, who won the 1994 Labatt Tankard in Thompson with Dave Smith, his seventh Manitoba “buffalo” championship crest as he also won the 2018 Manitoba Mixed to go with four Manitoba Senior Men’s.

Neufeld, Nicholls and Michie won the 2015, 2016, 2021, and 2022 Manitoba Senior Men’s titles. Michie also won the Manitoba Mixed in 2001. Oryniak is also a former Manitoba champion, having won the 2013 Manitoba Senior Men’s championship.

Randy Neufeld and his team had reached the final undefeated in the seven game round robin, to finish atop the Asham pool, and with a 7-5 victory over Team Mahon in the Page 1 vs 1 playoff game.

Mike Mahon (Bill Menzies, Blair Smith, Larry Borus) posted a 6W-1L record in round robin play to top the Asham Express pool. They had eliminated defending champion Murray Warren (Brandon) in the Monday morning semi-final when they won a last end measure and a steal to win 4-2. The Warren team had beaten Allan Gitzel (Miami) 6-4 in the Saturday evening Page 3 vs game.

Gord Mackay (Pembina) and Ray Baker (Dauphin) had also advanced past the round-robin stage but were eliminated in the first round of playoffs by Gitzel and Warren respectively.

(Sunday, March 12) PLAYOFFS SET IN MANITOBA MASTERS MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP IN THOMPSON Randy Neufeld’s LaSalle team have completed an undefeated run through the round-robin portion of the CurlManitoba Master’s Men’s Championship. The Neufeld team beat Jim Renwick (Brandon) 8-6 Saturday afternoon thanks to a big five-ender on the sixth end.

Trailing 6-4 at the time, Neufeld made a last rock triple kill for the five and a one-point lead enroute to the victory.

Ray Baker’s Dauphin team finished 5W-2L with a final game win over Butch Mouck (Minnedosa) and Gord MacKay’s Pembina team also finished 5W-2L with a final game win over Neil Schmidt (East St. Paul). Baker is awarded second place in the pool thanks to his round-robin win over MacKay.

In the other pool, Mike Mahon (Granite) defeated Allan Gitzel (Miami) on the morning draw to earn first place at 6W-1L while Gitzel dropped to 5W-2L and second place. Defending champion Murray Warren (Brandon) defeated Dale Brooks (Hamiota), giving both a 4W-3L record but Warren gets third spot in the standings thanks to the win.

Mahon and Neufeld advance to the Page 1-1 playoff game on Sunday evening. Baker will play Warren and MacKay will play Gitzel at 4PM Sunday with the winners advancing to the Sunday evening Page 2-2 game.

(Sunday, March 12, 2PM) DEPREZ WINS MANITOBA MASTERS WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP IN THOMPSON Laurie Deprez and her LaSalle team have won the Manitoba’s Credit Unions 2023 Masters Women’s Championship. Deprez, Deb McCreanor, Lori Pelissier, and Bev Atkins defeated Sandra Cowling’s Hamiota team 5-3 in the Sunday morning final in Thompson.

The Deprez foursome completed the championship with five wins and a loss. Their loss came in the round robin to Team Cowling who were unbeaten with four wins in the five-team round robin. The perfect record gave the Hamiota team a bye to the Sunday morning final.

In the Saturday afternoon semi-final, Team Deprez had an 8-7 win over defending champion Judy Colwell and her East St. Paul team.

A stolen two on the fifth end gave Deprez a 4-3 lead and another stolen single on the seventh, when Cowling rolled out facing two, gave the champions a 5-3 lead coming home.

The seventh steal was set up by a pick on Cowling’s first rock hit attempt on the only stone in the rings. The miss allowed Deprez to put a second stone in the rings. Cowling rolled out on her second hit to give up the steal.

Cowling, playing in their fourth consecutive final, ran out of stones coming home. 

For Deprez and Atkins, it is a second Manitoba championship. Deprez skipped the 2012 Manitoba Senior Women’s champion team while Atkins played second on the 1984 Manitoba Mixed Champion team.

For McCreanor, it is a third Manitoba title. She previously skipped the Manitoba Club champions teams in 2018 & 2021.

For Pelissier, it is a fourth Manitoba championship. She was the second on Mixed champion teams in 1995 and 2000 as well as skipping the 2012 Club champions.

(Saturday, March 11) NEUFELD, COWLING LAST UNBEATEN TEAMS AT MANITOBA MASTERS IN THOMPSON Randy Neufeld (LaSalle), with five straight wins, and Sandra Cowling (Hamiota), with four wins, are the last two unbeaten teams in CurlManitoba’s Manitoba’s Credit Unions Masters Championships.

The last two unbeaten teams in both divisions met on the early draws Saturday at Thompson’s Burntwood Curling Club.

Cowling, whose team played as a wildcard Manitoba entry in last fall’s Canadian Masters Championship at the Pembina Curling Club, was last year’s finalist in this championship. The Saturday morning win over Laurie Deprez (LaSalle) earned the Hamiota team a return trip to the provincial final game.

The final game opponent, Sunday morning at 9AM, will be the winner of a semi-final game between Deprez and defending champion Judy Colwell (East St. Paul). Colwell finished the round-robin with only one win in four starts but came out on top of a three way tiebreaker with the other two teams.

In the Masters Men’s, Randy Neufeld’s foursome took on Ray Baker (Dauphin). A first end three, and a 5-1 lead after four ends, led to seven end victory for La Salle team which includes three members of the reigning Manitoba Senior Men’s champion team.

In their pool, Neufeld (5W-0L) and Baker (4W-1L) lead the way. Gord MacKay (Pembina) and Butch Mouck (Minnedosa) are both still very much in the chase for the third playoff spot at 3W-2L. With a record of 2W-3L, Jim Renwick (Brandon) still has an outside chance of making the playoffs.

In the other pool, Dale Brooks (Hamiota), Allan Gitzel (Miami), and Mike Mahon (Granite) lead the way with 4W-1L records. Defending champion Murray Warren (Brandon) has a 3W-2L record and Gerry Haight (Brandon) with a 2W-3L record can still make the playoffs.