For Immediate Release
Teams from the Pembina Curling Club have won the first two CurlManitoba championships of the 2022-23 curling season – a great start to the season in which the Pembina celebrates its 75th anniversary.
The teams skipped by Lisa Birchard and Zach Wasylik will represent Manitoba at the national championship event in late November.
Birchard with Kelsey Meger, Breanne Yozenko, Ciara Okumura, and alternate Jenessa Rutter defeated Fort Rouge’s Team Roche in the Sunday afternoon final. They completed the round robin with a 3W-2L record, good enough to be in a Saturday evening tiebreaker for the final playoff spot.
After defeating Charleswood’s Debbie Whittom team 7-5 in the tiebreaker, they posted a semi-final win over former champion Lori Pelissier and her Thistle team 4-3 with a last stone draw for victory. In the other semi-final, Team Roche (skipped by Kristin MacDonell) stole two coming home to beat Nancy Scammell-Granite 6-5.
The Pembina women’s team took control of the final with a four on the second end and a steal on the next end to lead 5-1 in a game which ended 7-2 after six ends.
In the men’s event, the Wasylik foursome had a perfect 5W-0L record to qualify in first place for the semi-final where they defeated Randy Neufeld and his La Salle team 8-3. The other semi-final was won by St. Vital’s Richard Muntain with a 6-5 victory over three-time former champion Andrew Wickman-Fort Rouge.
In the final, the Pembina men ousted the Muntain team with a last stone hit for two coming home. Up one, Muntain appeared to be developing a force to go to an extra end. However, with his first stone, Wasylik’s near perfect draw, to the eight foot circle mostly buried, left Muntain only an attempted corner freeze which rubbed and rolled into the open. Wasylik was perfect on his hit for two and a 5-4 win.
It is a short turn-around for the two champion teams from Pembina. The national Everest Curling Club Championships will be played November 20-26 at the West Edmonton Mall Ice Palace. The shortened timeframe is due to the covid-related postponement of the Manitoba event, which was originally scheduled to be played last March.
Regional qualifying for the next Nature’s Bounty Club Championships is scheduled for March 10-13, 2023 with club qualifying ahead of that.
The Pembina championships are the first in the Club Championships competition for teams from Pembina. Previous championships on the women’s side have been won by teams from Fort Rouge (3), Brandon (3), La Salle (2), St. Vital (2). Granite (1), Stonewall (1), and Thistle (1). Men’s club championships have been won by teams from Fort Rouge (4), Brandon (3), Assiniboine Memorial (2), Carberry (1), Granite (1), Petersfield (1), and Riverview (1)