The Tim Hortons Brier field is set with the final four provincials wrapping up Sunday.
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Mike McEwen had been waiting a while for this moment.
Five times McEwen finished runner-up for the provincial title, but the Winnipeg native can now finally lay claim to the Manitoba Viterra Championship.
McEwen made a takeout with his final shot in the 10th end to score a deuce and lift his team to a 4-2 win over Matt Dunstone during Sunday’s final in Selkirk.
The clutch shot booked McEwen’s first trip to the Tim Hortons Brier next month in Ottawa.
Team McEwen — which also includes third B.J. Neufeld, second Matt Wozniak, and lead Denni Neufeld — had been on point throughout the event posting a perfect 7-0 record and will now wear the buffalo jackets for the first time.
McEwen opened the final with the hammer and blanked the first two ends unable to generate offence against the reigning Canadian junior champion Dunstone.
The teams split singles in three and four to keep things tight.
Dunstone made a double with his last in five to clear the house and McEwen threw his final rock through the rings to blank again. McEwen was held to another single in six and forced Dunstone to the same in seven knotting it up 2-2.
McEwen blanked the eighth and ninth ends to retain the hammer coming home and set up the dramatic finish.
Dunstone toppled defending champ Reid Carruthers 8-4 earlier Sunday in the semifinal.
Down by a point after four, the 20-year-old Dunstone broke the game open with a four-ender in the fifth to take the lead 5-2. Carruthers made a nearly perfect draw to the button, but Dunstone was able to follow through with his last to punch the counter back far enough to score four.
Carruthers struggled with his draw weight during the game and was held to one point in the sixth. Dunstone could have settled for a single in seven but opted to attempt a double takeout and pulled it off for a deuce to make it a four-point advantage. The teams alternated singles in eight and nine and Carruthers shook hands.
Dunstone had already committed to competing in the world juniors and wouldn’t be attending the Brier regardless, however, McEwen was able to earn his Brier berth on merit with the final win.
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Kevin Koe has won his third consecutive Alberta Boston Pizza Cup title defeating Charley Thomas 8-4 during Sunday’s final in Camrose.
It’s the second straight provincial title Koe has won with third Marc Kennedy, second Brent Laing and lead Ben Hebert as they will represent Alberta again at the Tim Hortons Brier.
The Calgary based crew have quite the resume at the event with Koe capturing the Brier in 2010 and 2014, Kennedy and Hebert winning back-to-back national titles in 2008 and 2009 with Kevin Martin, and Laing earning the Canadian championship in 2007 and 2012 with Glenn Howard.
Thomas, also from Calgary, beat Koe in the A vs. B page playoff to open the final with the hammer but gave up a steal of one in the first on a close measurement.
After Thomas bounced back with a deuce in the second, Koe made a triple takeout to score three in the third to reclaim the lead 4-2.
Thomas blanked the fourth and was forced to a point in the fifth. The teams split singles in six and seven as Koe maintained the two-point advantage 6-4.
Looking to make a quad takeout in nine, Thomas could only get two counters going, giving up a steal of two, and shook hands.
Koe defeated Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher 7-4 Sunday in the semifinal to set up the rematch with Thomas.
Jim Cotter went on a perfect run to claim his sixth Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Curling Championship capped with a 7-6 win over Sean Geall during Sunday’s final in Nelson.
Cotter’s Vernon-based team — which includes third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith, and lead Rick Sawatsky — led the field from start to finish with an unblemished 6-0 record to claim their third consecutive provincial title and return to the Tim Hortons Brier.
Cotter settled for a single in the second and stole one in the third when Geall looked to make a runback double and possibly score four but could only move one counter and gave up a point. Geall wrecked on a guard with his last in four as Cotter swiped another.
Geall got on the board drawing for a single in five and Cotter also drew for one in six as his final shot put on the breaks right on the button to reclaim the three-point advantage.
Just when Geall narrowed the gap with a deuce in the seventh, Cotter fired a double takeout to score three and go ahead by four points.
Geall made an open hit for another pair in nine and sat two counters after his last in the 10th, but Cotter held on with a hit and roll to secure the title.
Earlier Sunday, Geall defeated Dean Joanisse 4-2 in the semifinal.
Reigning Olympic champion Brad Jacobs is returning to the Tim Hortons Brier.
The Sault Ste. Marie native Jacobs pitched a 5-0 shutout over Jordan Chandler in Sunday’s final to win his seventh Northern Ontario Travelers Championship in North Bay.
Jacobs scored a deuce in the first, stole one point in the fifth and swiped two more in the eighth.
Team Jacobs also includes third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden. The crew won the national championship in 2013 and finished runner-up last year to Team Pat Simmons.
TIM HORTONS BRIER LINEUP
The 2016 Tim Hortons Brier runs March 5-13 in Ottawa.
|New Brunswick||Mike Kennedy|
|Newfoundland & Labrador||Brad Gushue|
|Northern Ontario||Brad Jacobs|
|Northwest Territories||Jamie Koe|
|Nova Scotia||Jamie Murphy|
Pre-qualifying round: NWT, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.