With day one of competition complete at the Viterra Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship at Eric Coy Arena in Charleswood, the initial assessment is that the seeding of the draw, undertaken only by the competing teams, has been a success.

 

The top eight seeds all won their single game on opening day of the competition. The A-Side of the opening double knock-out round allows those teams to play a game a day to qualify for the next round, so long as they don’t drop to the B-Side.

 

Dropping to the B-Side with losses in the first game means four teams are bounced from the event on the late draw opening day. This year, luck of the draw timing and a second loss mean that Steen Sigurdson-Gimli, Gerry Janz-Baldur, Randy Neufeld-LaSalle (skipped by Dean Moxham), and Shaun Parson (Burntwood) are the four teams able to use their competitor passes to get through the doors of the arena without having to play any more games.

 

The first elimination survivors, now with 1W – 1L records were Ray Baker – Dauphin (over Sigurdson 10-6); Jeff Stewart-Gladstone (over Janz 7-1), Darren Perche-Charleswood (7-6 over Neufeld), and Mark Lukowich-Granite (5-4 over Parsons).

 

First game results for the top 8:

1- Mike McEwen (West St Paul) defeats Paul Scinocca (St Vital) 11-2
2- Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) defeats Darren Perche (Charleswood) 10-5
3-Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach) defeats Shaun Parsons (Burntwood) 10-3
4- Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) defeats Allan Gitzel (Morris) 11-1
5- William Lyburn (Granite) defeats Jay Kinnaird (Virden) 8-4
6- Corey Chambers (Thistle) defeats Gerry Janz (Baldur) 9-4
7- JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) defeats Ray Baker (Dauphin)11-3
8- Dennis Bohn (Assiniboine Memorial) defeats Cale Dunbar (Brandon) 12-3

The top six seeds in the Viterra Championship at Eric Coy Arena all won their single games on Thursday to improve their records to 2W-0L. All will play at 8:30AM in the A-Side qualifiers games. The winners will advance to the next round of play.

Seventh seed JT Ryan and eighth seed Dennis Bohn ( both Assiniboine Memorial) lost their first games Thursday but bounced back to win second games and stay alive in the competition. Ryan needed an extra end steal to beat Darren Perche (Charleswood) on the late draw.

The original field of 32 has been reduced to 16. Eight more will be eliminated across the first three draws Friday with the late draw Friday being the first round of play in the eight-team championship round.

The first teams in the final eight will be identified on the 8:30AM draw Friday when the featured match-ups are:

#1 Mike McEwen (West St. Paul) vs Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge)
#2 Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) vs Ryan Wiebe St. Vital)
#3 Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach) vs #6 Corey Chambers (Thistle)
#4 Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) vs #5 William Lyburn (Granite)

TOP 8 SEEDS THURSDAY RESULTS

1- Mike McEwen (West St Paul) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 8-2 over Jordan Smith (Deer Lodge)
2- Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 7-6 over Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial)
3-Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 9-1 over Kelly Marnoch (Carberry)
4- Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 8-1 over Trevor Loreth (Granite)
5- William Lyburn (Granite) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 8-7EE over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
6- Corey Chambers (Thistle) 2W-0L after a Thursday win: 6-5 over Steve Irwin (Brandon)
7- JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) 2W-1L after a Thursday 9-5 loss to Ryan Wiebe (St Vital) AND an extra end 9-5 win over Darren Perche (Charleswood).
8- Dennis Bohn (Assiniboine Memorial) 2W-1L after a Thursday 6-5 loss to Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) AND an 11-7 win over Graham Freeman (Virden)

Only two of the top five seeds in the 2020 Viterra Championship at the Eric Coy Arena remain undefeated after victories in their late Friday first playoff round games.

Top seed and defending champion Mike McEwen (West St Paul) posted a 10-7 win over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial).

 

Fifth seed William Lyburn (Granite) led Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) 4-1 after eight ends but gave up a three on the ninth and a steal of one on the home end. Grassie won 5-4.

McEwen meets Grassie on the A-Side of the playoff draw while Lyburn and Gauthier will meet in an elimination game Saturday at 9AM.

 

Second seed Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) needed an extra end but didn’t have to throw his last shot in a 9-7 win over #3 Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach).

 

In the fourth playoff game on the ice Friday night, Steve Irwin (Brandon) led 8-5 coming home but Ryan Wiebe (St Vital) manufactured a three to tie and force an extra end. Wiebe was unable to get the last shot roll under cover that he wanted and left Irwin a hit up centre for the 9-8 win.

 

Irwin will play Gunnlaugson on the A-Side of the playoff round draw while Horgan and Wiebe will play an elimination game – both games at 9AM Saturday.

 

The event’s 4th (Braden Calvert) 7th (JT Ryan) and 8th (Dennis Bohn) seeds, all from Assiniboine Memorial AND  6th seed Corey Chambers-Thistle were all eliminated on the 4pm B-Side qualifying draw.

 

FRIDAY RESULTS FOR THE TOP EIGHT SEEDS

1- Mike McEwen (West St Paul) 4W–0L
** 6-1 win over Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) to qualify
** 10-7 win over Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
2- Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) 4W-1L
** 8-2 loss to Ryan Wiebe (St Vital) in A-Side qualifier game
** 9-5 win over JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial)
** 9-7 win over Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach)
3-Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach) 3W–1L
** 7-3 win over Corey Chambers (Thistle) to qualify
** 9-7 loss to Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris)
4- Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) 2W-2L (OUT)
** 7-3 loss to #5 William Lyburn in A-Side qualifier game
** 5-4 loss to Jacques Gauthier (Assiniboine Memorial)
5- William Lyburn (Granite) 3W–1L
** 7-3 win over #4 Braden Calvert (Assiniboine Memorial) to qualify
** 5-4 loss to Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge)
6- Corey Chambers (Thistle) 2W-2L (OUT)
** 7-3 loss to Tanner Horgan (Winnipeg Beach) in A-Side qualifier game
** 7-4 loss to Steve Irwin (Brandon)
7- JT Ryan (Assiniboine Memorial) 3W-2L (OUT)
** 5-4 win over Brett Walter (Assiniboine Memorial)
** 9-5 loss to Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris)
8- Dennis Bohn (Assiniboine Memorial) 3W-2L (OUT)
** 6-4 win over Jordan Smith (Der Lodge)
** 9-7 loss to Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge)

Only the top seed has advanced undefeated to the Championship round of the Viterra Championship at the Eric Coy Arena in Charleswood. Top seed, and defending champion, Mike McEwen (West St Paul) will play  #2 Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) in the 6PM Saturday playoff game on the top side of the page-format championship draw.

The winner goes direct to the Sunday 2:30PM final game. The loser will have a second chance in the 8:30AM semi-final. Both games will be televised nationally on Sportsnet.

McEwen advanced with a morning 8-4 win today over Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) while Gunnlaugson defeated Steve Irwin (Brandon) 8-5.

On the bottom side of the draw, William Lyburn (Granite) will play Grassie who bounced back from the morning loss to beat Ryan Wiebe (St Vital) 8-5. Lyburn won a pair today to advance – first 9-3 over Jacques Gauthier and then 8-7 over Irwin.

 

 

The winner of the Lyburn-Grassie match will advance to the Sunday semi-final while the loser will be eliminated.

Mike McEwen and his West St. Paul team will have to win two games Sunday if they wish to defend the provincial championship title they won a year ago in Virden.

Down one coming home, with his last shot McEwen attempted to rub the shot rock off the button but just slid by to give Jason Gunnlaugson (Morris) a steal of one for an 8-6 win.

Gunnlaugson advances to the final game at 2:30PM Sunday while McEwen will have to win a pair of games on Sunday,

 

 

McEwen will face off against Sean Grassie (Deer Lodge) in the 8:30AM semi-final. Grassie needed an extra end to eliminate William Lyburn (Granite). Lyburn had scored a pair coming home to tie but overcurled with his last rock on the extra end and Grassie did not have to throw his final stone.

Jason Gunnlaugson, Alex Forrest, Adam Casey and Connor Njegovan, representing the Morris Curling Club, have won the 96th Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship – the 5th Viterra Championship.

The first time champions defeated the reigning champion Mike McEwen West St. Paul team 7-4 in the Sunday afternoon final game at Eric Coy Arena.

Team Gunnlaugson jumped out to a 4-0 lead before giving up a three to McEwen on the fifth end.

After a blank, Gunnlaugson was forced to take one for a 5-3 lead after seven ends and it looked like momentum might be switching in McEwen’s favour. Gunnlaugson made a big weight double kill on eight and left McEwen a draw for two. He came up short of the rings and trailed 5-4 after eight ends.

Team Gunnlaugson scored two more on nine and ran Team McEwen out of rocks coming home.

 

 

Gunnlaugson and his Morris team will represent Manitoba at the Brier in Kingston. The McEwen foursome will also be in Kingston for the Friday night Wild Card game.