SILVER AND BRONZE FOR MANITOBA AT THE 2022 CANADIAN MASTERS

Manitoba’s two teams both earned medals at the 2022 Canadian Masters Championship at Pembina – not the colour they wanted but still a reward for a great week of curling.

The Brandon-Melita team of Murray Warren (Brian Barker, Terry Warren, Reg Warren, Gary Barker)…with Gary Barker pinch-hitting for Reg Warren AND East St. Paul’s Judy Colwell (Wendy Nykoluk, Donna Smiley, Leslie Brown, Debbie Palson) won the Bronze and Silver medals respectively at the Canadian Masters Championships at Pembina Curling Club.

Warren won the Bronze Medal with a 7-4 winner over BC’s Wes Craig (Ron Schmidt, Tony Anslow, Victor Gamble). Warren was in control much of the way after giving up two on the opening end. Warren had a delicate split for a four on the second end but neither rock counted so the game was just tied after two. From there however, the Manitobans controlled play ad led by three coming home.

On the next sheet over, BC’s Penny Shantz defeated Colwell 8-4 in a game closer than the score suggests. It was a three on the first that was the difference. The three and a two matched with four singles to give BC a 5-4 lead after six ends. Facing three, Shantz drew for one, which she won on a measure on the seventh end, to lead by two coming home. Colwell’s last shot attempted double kill failed and gave up a steal of two more.

Shantz and her BC team (Cindy Curtain, Shirley Wong, Janet Suter) won the Gold Medal.

Al Hackner’s Northern Ontario team (Eric Harnden, Frank Morissette, Bruce Munro, Coach Arnold Asham) defeated God Bell’s Saskatchewan champions (Maurel Elrick, Rod Slatnik, Gord Fritzler) to win the men’s Gold Medal.

COLWELL TEAM TO PLAY FOR GOLD; WARREN TEAM FOR BRONZE

(Saturday, November 19, 5pm) The two Team Manitobas will play for different colour medals Sunday afternoon at Pembina Curling Club. East St. Paul’s Judy Colwell (Wendy Nykoluk, Donna Smiley, Leslie Brown) defeated Nova Scotia Saturday afternoon to advance to the gold medal game while Brandon’s Murray Warren (Brian Barker, Terry Warren, Reg Warren) lost an extra end on a last stone draw to the edge of the button by Saskatchewan skip Gord Bell.

Colwell will play BC’s Penny Shantz team while the men’s gold medal game will have Saskatchewan against Northern Ontario (Al Hackner).

Nova Scotia and the Manitoba men were both the #2 seeds in the semi-finals. The BC Women and Northern Ontario Men were the top seeds.

Colwell’s victory was decisive, winning in six ends while Warren led by two after six ends but gave up a three to trail by one coming home. Warren made a draw facing three to force the extra end.

The key in the Colwell game was the sixth end when a seemingly likely four or five ender for Nova Scotia (throwing yellow) turned into a steal of two by Manitoba for an 8-2 lead. Nova Scotia had no shot to score with the last stone which went unthrown on the seventh as the team conceded.

(Saturday, November 19, 1pm) WARREN’S MANITOBANS FINISH SECOND, ADVANCE TO SEMIFINALS………..Manitoba’s Murray Warren team has finished second in the championship pool and advanced to the semi-finals of the Canadian Masters Championship at Pembina. A 5-4 win over New Brunswick on Saturday morning’s last draw set the team from Brandon (Deloraine/Medora/Melita) up for a semi-final game against Gord Bell and Team Saskatchewan.

In the other semi-final, Wes Craig and Team BC (who eliminated the Mark Franklin host team) will play Northern Ontario’s Al Hackner. Hackner had already advanced but defeated Ontario to finish in first place at 9W-1L and eliminate Ontario.

Warren’s win was another tester as they once again let slip a four point lead to sit tied 4-4 coming home with last rock. The end was going New Brunswick’s way until third Brian Barker made a light weight hit past a centre guard to bounce a frozen stone on the button. The NB stone did not leave the four foot, but was re-positioned. With his first stone a Murray Warren triple kill left Manitoba shot stone and the New Brunswick skip slid deep with his final draw.

On this occasion, Warren may have been relieved not to have to throw his final stone.

In the Women’s division, Manitoba’s Judy Colwell will play Jocelyn Nix (Nova Scotia) and Penny Shantz (BC) will play Onatrio (Jan Carwardine).

The semi finals go at 2pm with the gold and bronze medal games at 10AM Sunday.

WARREN BEATS HACKNER, AT 7W-2L STILL NOT ASSURED OF PLAYOFFS

It looked like Murray Warren’s Team Manitoba was cruising to a victory over unbeaten Al Hacker (Northern Ontario) when they hit a speed bump sixth end Friday afternoon. Up four at the time, Warren and his team saw the Hackner foursome build a four ender to tie and then steal two on the seventh to lead by two coming home.

The last end looked like the Hackner win streak would continue until second Terry Warren buried in the 12 foot circle behind a corner guard (picture 1). The peel attempt was flashed and play moved to the centre where Hackner was laying two. A series of draws and taps turned the two red stones into two yellow Warren stones. With his first stone, skip Murray Warren put his stone exactly where he wanted it in the eight foot in front of the tee line.

Hackner had nothing but a double and roll (picture 2) to some kind of protected position but he rolled out and left Warren a draw to the rings for 3 and an 11-10 win.

Despite the loss, Northern Ontario will advance to the playoff round. The win gave Team Manitoba a 7W-2L record but no guarantee yet of being in the playoffs. They will advance with a Saturday morning win over New Brunswick. However, BC, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Mark Franklin’s Manitoba Host team are all at 6W-3L so the three teams to join Hackner in the playoffs will all be determined on Saturday’s final draw.

All four games on the final draw will have a bearing on the final standings.

In the women’s championship, Manitoba’s Judy Colwell team will advance to the playoff round. With a game to play Friday evening, British Columbia and Nova Scotia had 7W-1L records while Manitoba

FRANKLIN TEAM WINS TWO THURSDAY, IN CONTENTION AT MASTERS

A pair of wins Thursday moved Mark Franklin’s Manitoba Host team into the heart of the championship race at the Canadian Masters Men’s Championship at Pembina CC.

Franklin, now 5W-3L, opened the day with a 4-3 extra end win over Murray Warren’s Team Manitoba and then, on the late draw, posted a 7-6 win over Ontario.

The Warren team rebounded with a late 9-3 win over Saskatchewan to improve their record to 6W-2L, tied with British Columbia who gave up a steal of two on the last end to lose 6-5 to still undefeated Al Hackner, Northern Ontario.

In all, six of the eight teams in the championship round are still very much in contention.

MEN STANDINGS AFTER 2 CHAMPIONSHIP ROUNDS:
8-0 Northern Ontario
6-2 British Columbia
6-2 Manitoba
5-3 Saskatchewan
5-3 Ontario
5-3 Manitoba Host
3-5 New Brunswick
3-5 Nova Scotia

With two games in the championship round yet to play, six of the eight teams can still qualify for the final four semifinals. Northern Ontario and British Columbia must still play two teams who are in the top six. The other four contenders have only one game remaining against a team in the top six.

** Northern Ontario will play Manitoba (6W-2L) and Ontario (5W-3L)
** Manitoba will play Northern Ontario (8W-0L) and New Brunswick (5W-3L)
** British Columbia will play Saskatchewan (5W-3L) and Manitoba Host team (5W-3L)
** Manitoba Host team will play Nova Scotia (3W-5L) and British Columbia (6W-2L)
** Saskatchewan will play British Columbia (6W-2L) and Nova Scotia (3W-5L)
** Ontario will play New Brunswick (5W-3L) and Northern Ontario (8W-0L)

(UPDATED Nov. 17, 9am) HACKNER’S NORTHERN ONTARIO TEAM UNBEATEN AT MASTERS, TEAM MANITOBA 5-1

Former Brier and World Champion Al Hackner and his Northern Ontario team have advanced to the championship round of the Canadian Masters (age 60+) Men’s Championship at Pembina Curling Club with an undefeated run through their first six games.

Hackner, whose Canadian championship career began in Manitoba with a 1982 Brier win in Brandon, previously won the Canadian Masters in 2017. Teammates Eric Harnden, Frank Morissette, and Bruce Munro were all part of that 2017 Masters championship team.

The leader in the other 7-team pool is Murray Warren’s Team Manitoba. Warren, with his brothers Reg & Terry and Brian Barker, opened round robin play with a loss to Ontario but reeled off five straight wins for a 5W-1L record. British Columbia also sits at 5W-1L but a Manitoba win over BC gives the home team the seeding edge.

Behind Manitoba and BC in the pool standings are Ontario at 4W-2L and three teams (Northwest Territories, Alberta, Nova Scotia) at 2W-4L. Based on the tiebreaker formula, Nova Scotia advancess to the championship round.

Behind Northern Ontario, Team Saskatchewan has a 4W-1L record. Tied at 3W-3L, Team New Brunswick and the Manitoba Host team skipped by Mark Franklin will also advance. (A provincial host team is included as a wildcard team in the draw when there are an odd number of provincial/territorial entries.)

The four teams from each pool will play the four from the other pool in the championship round. The preliminary round record carries forward and wins continue to accumulate to determine the four semi-finalist teams to meet Saturday at 2PM, with the finals set for 10AM Sunday.

In the Masters Women’s championship, the final round robin draw at 7:45pm Wednesday will determine the fate of the two Manitoba teams. The Manitoba Host team, skipped by Sandra Cowling, has completed the preliminary round with a 2W-3L record while Judy Colwell’s Team Manitoba has a 2W-2L record and a game to play. Results of several different games on the ice at the same time will dictate whether either or both advance to the women’s championship round.

Women’s championship round play is scheduled for Thursday, Nov 17: 8:30am & 4pm; and Friday, Nov. 18: 10am & 6pm. Men’s championship round play is scheduled for Thursday, Nov 17: 12:15pm & 7:45pm; Friday, Nov. 18: 2pm; & Saturday, Nov 19: 10am.