The top four seeds have a combined 12-0 record at the 2017 Viterra Provincial Men's Curling Championship in Portage la Prairie.
Reid Carruthers of West St. Paul, Mike McEwen of Fort Rouge, Matt Dunstone of Deer Lodge and William Lyburn of Granite all won their first game of the Playoff Round at Stride Place on Friday night.
Carruthers, the number one seed, got three in the first end en route to a 7-2 victory over Jason Gunnlaugson of the Granite.
“I'm pretty happy,” said Carruthers who won in seven ends. “The guys played pretty well in front of me and I made a couple of big shots that were big ends. Other than that it was a pretty close game.”
McEwen, the reigning provincial men's champion and second seed, also started off strong with three in the first end and then added two more in the fifth in a 7-2 victory over Dennis Bohn of Assiniboine Memorial.
“This is the best we've played in a long time,” said McEwen who walked off the ice after just six ends. “There's a little something extra that's happened in the last month. I feel like we've got something back that we've been missing for the last couple of years. As well as I thought we played last year, I think we're an even better team than we were then.”
Dunstone, who is the number three seed, beat Trevor Loreth of the Granite 6-4.
Lyburn, the fourth seed who rallied from a 6-0 deficit Friday morning and beat Sean Grassie of Fort Rouge 11-7 in their “A” side qualifier, shaded David Bohn of Assiniboine Memorial 4-3.
“We have to play better if we want a chance to win this thing,” Lyburn said. “The nice thing is we didn't play our best and got two wins today.”
The first two qualifiers for the Championship Round will be decided Saturday at 9 a.m. as Carruthers will face Lyburn and McEwen will take on Dunstone in a rematch of the 2016 Viterra final in Selkirk.
“Looking forward to it,” said Dunstone. “We've been waiting for this matchup all year. We're right where we want to be in the event and we knew we were going to have to play one of them at this point.”
The “B” side games also go at 9 a.m. as Loreth will meet Dennis Bohn and Gunnlaugson will take on David Bohn.
The losers will be eliminated.