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

DUNSTONE, ACKLAND WIN DEKALB SUPERSPIELS

Manitoba teams skipped by Matt Dunstone-Fort Rouge and Abby Ackland-Assiniboine Memorial have won their respective halves of the 15th annual DEKALB SuperSpiel in Morris.

Dunstone with BJ Neufeld, Ryan Harnden, and Colton Lott (pictured with Kevin Chevalier-DEKALB (l) and Jack Maendel-Ecopoxy) had an undefeated run through the bonspiel, winning six games over all Manitoba teams.

Dunstone qualified through the “A” event with wins over Jordan Peters-Morris (8-2) Braden Calvert-Deer Lodge (4-2), and Ryan Wiebe-Fort Rouge (6-4). In the playoffs, the Dunstone foursome won re-matches with Calvert (6-2) and Wiebe (7-3) before playing Reid Carruthers -Morris in the final.

The final game, projected by many as a possible preview of a provincial final in February in Neepawa, saw Dunstone jump in front with a three on the second end in a 7-2 win.

Carruthers had a much different route to the final – never playing a Manitoba team until the final. Along the way they had a pair of wins over Tommy Sullivan (NB) by scores of 4-3 and 9-3; a 7-3 win over Ryan Kleiter (Saskatoon) a loss (8-2); and a win (5-4) in games with US Olympic gold medalist John Shuster.

Like Carruthers, Ackland with Meghan Walter, Sara Oliver, Mackenzie Elias (pictured with Leon Friesen-Meridian) did not play a Manitoba opponent in their 7W-1L run to the title. Preliminary round wins over Kim Rhyme (MN) 9-2; Corryn Brown (BC) 8-4; Andrea Kelly (NB) 7-5; and Christine McMakin (ND) 9-1 followed a first game loss to Delaney Strouse (MN) 7-4. Playoff wins over Casey Scheidegger (AB) 7-0 and Clancy Grandy (BC) 8-7 preceded 7-3 final game win over Nancy Martin (Saskatoon).

Martin had defeated the Jennifer Jones-Mackenzie Zacharias team by a 6-4 score.

Photos: Connie Norris

LOTT JOINS MCEWEN AT BRIER; GUNNLAUGSON A WILDCARD TEAM

Lott vs McEwen – Viterra Final

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

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

Team McEwen – Manitoba Champions, CurlManitoba Photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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