Randy Neufeld’s defending champions from LaSalle and Joelle Brown’s Charleswood team are a win away from winning (respectively) the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s and Pharmasave Senior Women’s CurlManitoba Championships.
Neufeld (Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie) finished the round robin at 6W-1L and defeated Dave Boehmer-Petersfield in the senior men’s Page 1-1 playoff game to advance to the Monday afternoon final. Boehmer had also won his pool with a 6W-1L record.
Boehmer will play Richard Muntain-Granite in the Monday morning semi-final after Muntain survived the Page 2-2 game with a 7-6 stolen extra end win over Allan Gitzel-Altona.
In the senior women’s competition Brown (Maureen Bonar, Natalie Claude-Harding, Deb McCreanor, 5th Allyson Bell) finished with a 6W-1L record, tied with defending champion Terry Ursel-Neepawa. Brown had beaten Ursel in their round robin match so Brown’s Charleswood team earns the bye to the Monday afternoon final. Ursel will play Norma Purdy-St. Vital in the semi-final. Purdy and former champion Kim Link-East St. Paul were tied at 4W-3L but Purdy earned the playoff spot thanks to a round robin win over Link.
(Friday, March 24, 11PM) DEFENDING CHAMPS AMONG TWO UNBEATEN TEAMS IN MANITOBA SENIOR WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP Defending Champion Terry Ursel and her Neepawa team are one of two teams with 4W-0L records in the Manitoba Senior Women’s Championship in Dauphin. Team Ursel is tied in first place with Joelle Brown and her Charleswood team. Former champion Kim Link (East St. Paul) is in second place with a 3W-1L record with three games yet to play in the round robin.
(Friday, March 24, 10:30PM) DEFENDING CHAMPS AMONG THREE UNBEATEN TEAMS IN MANITOBA SENIOR MEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP Randy Neufeld’s LaSalle team is one of three unbeaten teams after four games have been played in the Manitoba Senior Men’s Championship in Dauphin. Team Neufeld along with former champion Dave Boehmer (Petersfield) and Richard Muntain (Granite) lead the way .
Boehmer is alone in first place in his pool, with Allan Gitzel (Altona) Neil Okumura (Pembina), and Butch Mouck (Gilbert Plains) in second place at 3W-1L.
Behind Neufeld and Muntain in their pool is Mike Mahon (Grante) at 3W-1L.
(Wednesday, March 22, 9AM)DEFENDING CHAMPS HEAD THE ENTRY LIST FOR MANITOBA SENIOR CHAMPIONSHIPS Defending champion Randy Neufeld and his LaSalle team, three of whom won the recent Manitoba Masters Men’s Championship, and defending champion Terry Ursel’s Neepawa team will attempt to repeat as CurlManitoba’s Senior Curling Champions this week at the Dauphin Curling Club.
In the Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s, the last eight champion teams are all represented in the competition. Randy Neufeld’s two-time defending champions, who also won the 2015 and 2016 titles, return with the same lineup (Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie).
Two members of Petersfield’s Dave Boehmer three-time champion team (2020, 2019, 2018) will challenge Team Neufeld along with the 2017 champion Murray Warren Brandon team.
In addition to the Warren team, the other two playoff teams from the recent Manitoba Masters Championship, finalist Mike Mahon (Granite) and Allan Gitzel, are set to challenge Team Neufeld again at the Senior Men’s in Dauphin.
The sixteen Senior Men’s teams will play a seven game round robin, in two groups of eight teams, followed by a page playoff. The final game will be played Monday, March 27 at 1:00pm.
In the Pharmasave Senior Women’s, defending champions Terry Ursel, Wanda Rainka and Tracy Igonia have won three of the last four titles (2022, 2020, 2019) are joined this year by Nadine Ralph (with alternate Chris Hamblin and coach Lorne Hamblin).
The eight team field includes East St. Paul’s Kim Link, also a three-time Senior Women’s champion (2021, 2018, 2015), and Sandra Cowling whose Hamiota team won the 2016 Senior Women’s title along with the 2019 and 2020 Masters Women’s titles.
Laurie Deprez, who skipped a LaSalle team to the recent Masters Women’s championship, won the 2013 Senior Women’s title. Her 2023 Masters champion teammates will all be in Dauphin – Deb McCreanor with Charleswood’s Joelle Brown, Lori Pelissier with St. Vital’s Norma Purdy, and Bev Atkins with Team Deprez.
The eight Senior Women’s teams will pay a seven game round robin followed by a three team playoff. The final game will also be played Monday, March 27th at 1:00pm.
Play in the joint Strathcona Senior Men’s and Pharmasave Senior Women’s Championships will get underway at the Dauphin Curling Club on Thursday, March 23rd at 8:30am.
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.
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.
(CurlManitoba Release) Murray Warren’s Brandon team and Randy Neufeld’s La Salle team, reigning Manitoba’s Credit Unions Masters Men’s and Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s champions respectively, will play in both Manitoba championship events this season.
With last year’s Manitoba title, both earned the champion’s invitation to compete again this year. Both teams have also won qualifying berths to compete in the second event this season and will attempt to win these two titles – a feat which has never before been accomplished in the same year.
The teams captured the Canadian bronze medals in their attempts to win their national titles in recent weeks. Team Neufeld had an 11W-1L record at the Everest Canadian Seniors last week in Yarmouth Nova Scotia. Team Warren compiled a 9W-3L record at the Canadian Masters at Pembina in November.
The Warren team (brothers Murray, Terry, Reg Warren, Brian Barker & alternate Gary Barker) will play intact in the two events while the Neufeld team has one change. Neufeld’s Senior Men’s line-up (Photo: Curling Canada/Clifton Saulnier) includes Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie while his Masters berth winning team has Darren Oryniak replacing Moxham.
Four other skips will also attempt to win both championships. Butch Mouck – Minnedosa, Allan Gitzel – Altona & Miami, Mike Mahon – Granite, and Sam Antila – Burntwood (Thompson) are those four skips although, like Neufeld, none of them will play the two events with the same teams.
Regional playoffs to qualify for the provincial championships in both Senior and Masters Men’s wrapped up Wednesday, December 13. In the Masters competition, 25 teams entered regional playoffs across the province to earn 13 playoff berths while 24 teams entered Senior regionals to earn 11 playoff berths.
The parallel Masters and Senior Women’s championships are both played in open-entry formats. The entry deadline for the Senior Women’s event is February 23 while the deadline for entering the Masters Women’s is January 26.
The Manitoba’s Credit Unions Masters Men’s & Women’s Championship will be played in Thompson, March 8-13, 2023. The Strathcona Trust Senior Men’s and CurlManitoba Senior Women’s Championships will be played in Dauphin, March 22-27, 2023.
With Brandon Bonspiel berths yet to be awarded in both Senior Men’s and Masters Men’s Championships, the teams competing will be:
STRATHCONA TRUST SENIOR MEN’S Randy Neufeld – La Salle (Champion’s Berth) Dean North – Carman (Morden Bonspiel) Paul Scinocca – Charleswood (Granite Bonspiel) Richard Muntain – Granite (Regional Berth) Mike Mahon – Granite (Regional Berth) Cory Anderson – Thistle (Regional Berth) Neil Okumura – Pembina (Regional Berth) Dave Boehmer – Petersfield (Regional Berth) Lawrie Hogg – Stonewall (Regional Berth) Allan Gitzel – Altona (Regional Berth) Kevin Paramor – Arden/Lansdowne (Regional Berth) Butch Mouck – Minnedosa (Regional Berth) Brad Edwards – Carberry (Regional Berth) Murray Warren – Brandon (Regional Berth) Sam Antila – Burntwood (Regional Berth) TBD – Brandon Bonspiel Berth Winner
MANITOBA’S CREDIT UNIONS MASTERS MEN’S Murray Warren – Brandon (Champion’s Berth) Randy Neufeld – La Salle (Fort Rouge Bonspiel) Joe Fouasse – Fort Garry (Regional Berth) John Norget – Pembina (Regional Berth) Mike Mahon – Granite (Regional Berth) Allan Gitzel – Miami (Regional Berth) Neil Schmidt – East St. Paul (Regional Berth) Len Loewen – Riverton (Regional Berth) Butch Mouck – Minnedosa (Regional Berth) Lawrence Daniel – Hamiota (Regional Berth) Dale Brooks – Hamiota (Regional Berth) Ray Baker – Dauphin (Regional Berth) Jim Renwick – Brandon (Regional Berth) Gerry Haight – Brandon (Regional Berth) Sam Antila – Burntwood (Regional Berth) TBD – Brandon Bonspiel Berth Winner
(December 10, 2022: 7PM) Disappointment for Randy Neufeld’s Team Manitoba as they lost their semi-final game at the Everest Canadian Senior Men’s Championship, giving up a two coming home to lose 4-3 to Alberta. They bounced back in the Bronze Medal game, scoring a three and a four in the first two ends enroute to a 10-7 victory over Nova Scotia.
In the Gold Medal game, Ontario defeated the Albertans, 7-6.
In the Senior Women’s, Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson won the semi-final (7-4 over Nova Scotia) and the final (7-3 over Quebec). It was the fifth consecutive Canadian Senior Women’s title for Anderson’s Saskatchewan team.
(December 9 , 2022: 11PM) 10W-0L MANITOBAN’S ADVANCE TO PLAYOFFS … Repeat headline – TWO MORE WINS: NEUFELD STILL PERFECT – as Randy Neufeld and his Manitobans (Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie) wrapped up the championship qualifying round with two more wins. On the early draw they beat BC 7-3 and then, with first place on the line, they defeated Nova Scotia.
Seeded first in playoffs, Team Neufeld will play Alberta’s Pahl team on the early morning draw Saturday – hoping to advance to the gold medal game at 12:30 (10:30 CST). Nova Scotia will play Ontario in the other semi-final.
In the Women’s championship, Nova Scotia earned the #1 seed with a 9W-1L record and they`ll play Saskatchewan (7W-3L). Quebec (also 9W-1L) will play Ontario (also 7W-3L) in the second semi-final.
(December 8, 2022: 9PM) TWO MORE WINS; NEUFELD STILL PERFECT … Thursday started slow for Randy Neufeld’s Team Manitoba with Howard Rajala’s Ontario team scoring three consecutive singles to start their first game of the day. Neufeld scored a three on the fourth end to tie and went on to a 7-4 win.
A 10-3 victory over Quebec followed on the late draw and and the Manitobans had improved to a perfect 8W-0L. They are now guaranteed a spot in the final four playoffs.
At 8W-0L, Neufeld’s La Salle team leads the way – ahead of Nova Scotia (7W-1L), Ontario (6W-2L), and both Alberta and Saskatchewan who are tied at 5W-3L. They wrap the championship round on Friday with games against BC’s Wes Craig (4W-4L) and Glen MacLeod’s Nova Scotians.
Even with two losses, a worst case scenario, Manitoba will finish 8W-2L and no worse than second place seeding going into the semi-finals.
(December 7, 2022: 8PM)NEUFELD UNDEFEATED INTO CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND … Randy Neufeld’s LaSalle team (Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie) haver completed the preliminary round of play at the Everest Canadian Senior Championships with a perfect 6W-1L record. The Manitobans now advance to the second round, the championship round.
Right behind the Neufeld team in the standings are Howard Rajala (Ontario) and Glen MacLeod (Nova Scotia) with 5W-1L records. The two teams both advanced from the other pool so Neufeld must yet play both. Their game with Rajala opens the championship round on the morning draw Thursday while they’ll finish on Friday afternoon against MacLeod.
Their other two games will be against British Columbia and Quebec. The top four teams overall advance to the playoffs.
In the women’s championship, Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson team is the lone unbeaten team as they continue a quest to win a fifth consecutive title. After opening with split of their first two games Manitoba’s Terry Ursel has lost four in a row and finished the preliminary round with a 1W-5L record.
(December 5, 2022)CANADIAN SENIORS UNDERWAY … Manitoba’s Terry Ursel and Randy Neufeld teams have begun their quest for the national Senior championships. Neufeld and his team opened play with a win over Alberta’s James Pahl while Ursel’s first game was a loss to Ontario’s JoAnne Rizzo.
Both teams won their second games. Neufeld defeated Keith Ryan (Nfld/Labrador) while Ursel defeated Sandy Comeau (New Brunswick). The teams play in two pools of seven for a six-game preliminary round. The top four teams will advance to a second championship round for four more games against teams crossing over from the other pool. Four teams then advance to a knockout playoff.
Neufeld (Dean Moxham, Peter Nicholls, Dale Michie) won gold and silver in back to back years in 2015 & 2016 along with a world seniors silver medal in their Canadian championship year. Former Brier & world champion Al Hackner, fresh off his Masters victory at Pembina a couple of weeks ago, won the 2006 Canadian Seniors – the only other former champion skip in the field.
Ursel (Wanda Rainka, Brenda Walker, Tracy Igonia, Alternate Chris Hamblin, Coach Lorne Hamblin) reached the bronze medal game in 2019. The favorite is no doubt Saskatchewan Sherry Anderson, attempting to win a fifth consecutive title. Alberta’s Diane Foster won the Canadian and world titles in 2008.
With one round-robin game left to play, Randy Neufeld (La Salle) and Ryan Thomson (Morden) share first place in the six-team Access Credit Union Super League in south-central Manitoba. The two teams have both won three games out of their first four.
The final round is tentatively scheduled to be played December 15th in Portage, if ice is available, as a tune-up for Regional playoffs. When that final round-robin game is played, the standings board to start looks like this: *3W-1L: Ryan Thomson (Morden) *3W-1L: Randy Neufeld (La Salle) 2W-2L: Keaton Bachalo (Portage) 1W-2L: David Hamblin (Morris) 1W-2L: Ryan Hyde (Portage) 1W-3L: Dean North (Carman)
Pending the outcome of the final round-robin games, Thomson is ranked above Neufeld based on a 6-5 victory two weeks ago in Carman.
The championship round, to be scheduled in January, will be played in Morris with the top two teams in the round-robin earning byes to the semi-finals. League prize money payout will be a total of $6,800 with the champion earning $2,500 and the finalist receiving $1,500. Third place pays $1,000 with $800-$600-$400 for 4th, 5th, and 6th final placing respectively. That’s on top of $200 per round-robin win – making the league’s total prize pool $9,800.
In addition, the league has continued a long-standing policy of renting the ice they play on, at $100 per sheet – a total contribution of $3,600 to the clubs. The league has continued a tradition of playing at least one game in each team’s home club.
League organizers acknowledge the significant sponsorship contribution of Access Credit Union in enabling the league to continue operating. While the league had larger numbers in earlier years, it continues to provide important early season competition for the teams as well as the noted financial support of the participating clubs.
In their first competition after becoming eligible to compete in 60+ Masters qualifying, reigning Manitoba Senior champions and former World Senior Silver medalists, Randy Neufeld, Peter Nicholls and Dale Michie have won their berth in the provincial Masters in Thompson.
With Darren Oryniak subbing for Dean Moxham (who is still underage for this competition), Team Neufeld had the first draw bye in the seven team event at Fort Rouge. They won their opener, lost their next to Mike Mahon to drop into the playoff semifinal, then won the semi-final over Allan Gitzel.
The final against Mahon was tied at 2-2 after five ends. With a lot of rocks in play, Mahon was faced with a series of challenging shots through the final three ends. On the sixth (see picture), Neufeld stole a single when Mahon’s yellow-green-green raise slid through between the two yellow stones in the rings – a steal of one rather than a possible three.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
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.
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.
Randy Neufeld continued his winning ways Saturday at Portage when he and his team (Dean Moxham, Devon Wiebe, Brett Moxham) won three games to win the South Central SuperLeague championship.
Neufeld beat Ryan Thomson in the final game, following earlier wins over Mike Zacharias and Dean North.
The Neufeld team had finished in a second place round robin tie, with a 5W – 2L record, in the pre-Christmas league play. Darryl Bachalo and Thomson were also at 5W – 2L, behind David Hamblin’s 6W – 1L record.
Neufeld’s team earned the $1,200 winning share of the $4,000 total league prize purse. Bachalo lost his opening game and dropped to the ‘consolation’ event, where a pair of wins earned his team $600 – the same amount as Thomson’s team picked up for their finalist finish.
LEAGUE ROUND-ROBIN STANDINGS
6-1 David Hamblin 5-2 Darryl Bachalo 5-2 Randy Neufeld 5-2 Ryan Thomson 3-4 Kyle McCannell 2-5 Dean North 2-5 Ryan Hyde 0-7 Mike Zacharias
Sherry Anderson (SK) and Mary Anne Arsenault (BC) with 8W-2L records tied atop the standings going forward to the women’s playoff round at the Everest Canadian Seniors in Ottawa. Nova Scotia’s Theresa Breen, with a last round win over Manitoba’s Kim Link, finished with a7W-3L record, also in the playoffs.
Link and her East St. Paul team finish at 6W-4L record as a result of the last round loss. They finished tied with Cheryl Bernard (AB) but Bernard has been awarded the fourth playoff spot based upon a round-robin loss by Link to Bernard.
In the men’s event, Randy Neufeld’s La Salle finished with a victory and an overall 5-4 record in the ‘seeding pool’ featuring the six teams which did not advance to the championship round.
(9AM: December 10) TEAM LINK STILL IN CONTENTION AT CANADIAN SENIOR WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP ..Thursday was a day of missed opportunity for Manitoba’s Team Link at the Everest Canadian Seniors. The bad news was that they split their two games, going into the final day of play with a 5W-3L record and two games to play.
The good news was that Team Link do not lose ground to the leaders.
It will be and exciting final day for fans in Ottawa as seven teams have with 6W-2L OR 5W-3L records. Sherry Anderson (SK), Sherry Middaugh (ON), Mary Anne Arsenault (BC) and Theresa Breen (NS) share the lead at (6W-2L). Link, Chery Bernard (AB) and Isabelle Neron (PQ) are all at 5W-3L.
At 3W-5L, Yukon’s Rhonda Horte is the only team which cannot still win the championship.
For those seven leading teams, all play two games today and all are MUST WINs. Manitoba plays Ontario at 1pm and Nova Scotia at 6pm.
In the Men’s Division, Randy Neufeld’s foursome had a good Thursday – winning two games. At 4W-4L, they moved into a tie at the top of the seeding pool. (A Friday morning win over Nunavut has improved their record to 5W-4L)
(December 9)TEAM LINK ADVANCES TO CANADIAN SENIOR WOMEN’S CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND … Kim Link and her East St. Paul team have lost a pair of games on the final day of round robin play but their 4W-2L record has them in contention as they advance to the championship round.
Quebec’s Isabelle Neron sits atop the pool with a 5W-1L record. Team Link shares second place in the pool with BC’s Mary Anne Arsenault and Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson – all at 4W-2L.
The four teams will now play the top four from the other pool with their total 10 game record determining payoff positions. The good news for Team Link and the other 4W-2L teams is that they are only a game behind the leaders. There were no undefeated teams in Pool B.
Sherry Middaugh (Ontario) and Theresa Breen (Nova Scotia) are both at 5W-1L. Alberta’s Cheryl Bernard is at 4W-2L while Rhonda Horte (Yukon) has a 3W-3L record.
The Manitobans play Alberta and Yukon on Thursday. Two wins would be an important step to the playoffs as they must play the two teams from the other pool, Ontario and Nova Scotia, on the final day.
Meanwhile, Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team will miss the championship round. With a pair of losses today, their 2W-4L record means they drop in the ‘ranking round’ for their last three games.
(December 7)LINK STILL LEADS CANADIAN SENIORS WITH 4W-OL RECORD .. Kim Link and Randy Neufeld and their Manitoba teams begin the final day of round-robin play with identical schedules but in much different places in their pool standings.
Link’s East St. Paul team has a perfect 4W-0L record while Neufeld’s La Salle foursome is at 2W-2L. Both will play later Wednesday, with games at 3PM and 7PM to complete their first round.
The women will play Quebec (currently 3W-1L) and Saskatchewan (currently 2W-2L) while the men take on Newfoundland-Labrador (2W-2L) and Saskatchewan (3W-1L).
The top four in each group advance tot he next round of championship play.
(December 7)LINK LEADS CANADIAN SENIORS WITH 3W-OL RECORD .. The Everest Canadian Seniors is underway in Ottawa with Manitoba represented by Kim Link (East St. Paul) and Randy Neufeld (La Salle).
With a comeback win Tuesday over BC’s Mary Anne Arsenault, Team Link has moved to the top of their seven team pool with a 3W-0L record. The Manitobans scored three on the 7th end and stole the home end for a 6-5 win over BC. Arsenault, Sherry Anderson (SK) and Quebec’s Isabelle Neron are all at 2W-1L.
Meanwhile Neufeld has had a tough start with one win in the team’s first three games. The losses have come at the hands of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick while the victory was over Northwest Territories.
The top four in each pool advance to the Championship Pool for games against teams from the other pool, while the remaining teams go to the Seeding Pool. At the conclusion of the Championship Pool on Friday, Dec. 10, the semifinals will be held Saturday, Dec. 11, at 10:30 a.m., pairing 1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3. The winners then advance to their respective gold-medal final while the losers will play for bronze. The medal games are set for 3:30 p.m.