Mike McEwen, BJ Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld are going back to the Brier.

The Fort Rouge foursome, who uncharacteristically struggled for the first couple of months of the curling season, successfully defended their Manitoba championship Sunday in Portage la Prairie.

McEwen defeated Reid Carruthers of West St. Paul 8-7 in the final of the 2017 Viterra Championship.

“Feels even better than the first one,” said McEwen. “That's the best we've ever played start to finish in a provincial championship. I knew it still might not be enough. It's a shame that only one of us can go. They're a tremendous team.”

“It's the difference, how much more united we felt after getting to the cliff, feeling like it was done and being able to turn it around,” added McEwen. “It's feels so much more satisfying than even that huge hurdle we had last year which obviously wasn't a small feat for us to get through that, but this feels even better.”

Carruthers, Braeden Moskowy, Derek Samagalski and Colin Hodgson lost just one game all week at Stride Place and unfortunately for the West St. Paul foursome it just so happened to be the last one.

“My team played really well,” said Carruthers who beat McEwen in the 2015 final in Brandon. “I played pretty good during the heart of the week but this is probably the worst game for myself. Not to take away from the way McEwen's team played because they were really hard to beat today no matter how I was playing.”

The pivotal end proved to be the eighth for the second day in a row.

A hit for four by McEwen gave the 2016 champions an 8-5 lead playing nine. 

“It kind of came a little bit out of nowhere,” said Denni Neufeld. “I wasn't expecting that we were going to get three or four that end. But a couple of miscues from Reid, his rocks not curling enough on him and going a little deep gave us that opportunity. We jumped on it.”

It was an eighth end pick on his last rock draw attempt that played a role in McEwen's 4-2 loss to Carruthers in the 1-2 page playoff game on Saturday night.

That forced McEwen, Neufeld, Wozniak and Neufeld to set their alarms early Sunday morning for a semifinal match with Trevor Loreth of the Granite.

McEwen dominated winning 8-2.

“We looked at it as a positive getting a chance to play this morning with those rocks that we knew we were going to have in this game.” said Wozniak. “If we're not going to win the semi, we weren't playing good enough to win the final anyways. We looked at it as a positive. Had a great outlook on that morning game and came out and obviously play great.”

The Fort Rouge foursome will be looking to improve on their fourth place finish at last years Brier in Ottawa when they head off to St. John's next month for their second trip to the Canadian Men's Curling Championship. 

“It's great to know exactly what it's all about,” said BJ Neufeld. “The little curve balls that we might get, we're going to be a little bit more prepared for them. It's such a long week and I don't think we realized how long it is and how taxing it is. You're standing around so much. We'll be a little bit better prepared to handle it.”

It was McEwen's fourth straight appearance in the final of the Manitoba Men's Curling Championship and he joins Bruce Hudson as the only skip since at least 1945 to play in four consecutive finals. Hudson won the British Consols in 1964 and 1967 and lost the final in 1965 to Terry Braunstein and again in 1966 to Hersh Lerner.

The 2018 Viterra Championship will be held in Winkler.

mcewen celebrate feb13

More Local Sports

Terriers Sputter In Game 1

Penalty trouble in the second period cost the Portage Terriers in game one of the MJHL semi-finals. The Dogs fell 5-4 last night to the Steinbach Pistons at the T.G. Smith Centre. Both teams eased…

Pivotal Game Tonight In SEMHL Final

It's now a best of three series in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League championship final. Portage Islanders head to Notre Dame tonight, tied 2-all. The Isles' Eric Delong thinks the series…

The Battle Begins In Steinbach

You can already feel the tension. Heated rivals the Portage Terriers and Steinbach Pistons go at it tonight in Game 1 of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League's best-of-seven semifinal series in…

Portage Curlers Honoured At Portage Curling Club

Portage la Prairie curlers Dean Moxham and Dale Michie were honoured last night at the Portage Curling Club for their stellar year of curling through 2016. The finished off the year with a Silver…

SEMHL Final A Best-Of-Three After Hawks Victory

It's all tied up at two. The Notre Dame Hawks knotted the best-of-seven South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League Championship Final up two games a piece with last night's win over Portage. They beat the…

Islanders Look For 3-1 Series Lead Over Hawks

Tonight sees the Portage Islanders and Notre Dame Hawks hit the ice in Portage la Prairie for Game 4 of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League's championship final. The Hawks rebounded with a win…

Curling Club Wind-up Tonight

The End-of-Year Wind Up is tonight at the Portage Curling Club. Tickets are still available, but there aren't many so you have to act quick. "We're having supper and then recognizing Dean Moxham and…

MJHL Semi-Final Kicks Off Later This Week

The Manitoba Junior Hockey League Semi-finals are set after the quarter-finals wrapped up with two teams advancing last night. There was only one upset in the first round, if you call fifth place…

Terriers Advance To The Semi Finals

The Portage Terriers' offence came to life last night as they blasted the Selkirk Steelers 7-1 at Stride Place. Their defensive game was strong too, as Kurtis Chapman made 35 saves in the win. The…

Hawks Soar Over Islanders

The Notre Dame Hawks scored three goals in the second period as they earned their first win of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League's (SEMHL) final series 4-1 over the Portage Islanders. "The…

U-14A Thunder Capture Bronze Medal

Portage Thunder Ringette's U-14A team won the bronze at the Provincial Championship on the weekend. The team rebounded after losing a close game Saturday morning that would have put them in the gold…

Terriers Can Close Out Series On Home Ice

The Portage Terriers can advance to the Manitoba Junior Hockey League Semi-final with a win tonight. They welcome Selkirk for Game 6 of their best-of-seven Quarter-final series. The Terriers are up…

Islanders Look For 3-0 Lead Over Hawks In SEMHL Final

The Portage Islanders and Notre Dame Hawks play Game 3 of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League championship final tonight in Notre Dame. The Islanders lead the best-of-seven series 2-0 after last…

Terriers Take 3-2 Series Lead

Kurtis Chapman recorded his first shutout as a Terrier last night as Portage blanked Selkirk 3-0 in MJHL quarterfinal action. The Terriers came out strong in the first period on the road. Ryan…

Mustangs Capture Silver Medal At Provincials

The MacGregor Mustangs finished second place at the 'AA' Senior Boys Basketball Provincial Championship this weekend in MacGregor. They lost to Carman in the championship match to be awarded the…

Curling Season Winding Down In Portage

The curling season may be winding down but there's still a couple of exciting events you can be a part of happening here in Portage la Prairie. The Portage Curling Club's Spring Break Family Bonspiel…

Terriers Look For Second Series Lead In Selkirk

It's now a best-of-three. The Portage Terriers and Selkirk Steelers are tied 2-2 in their Manitoba Junior Hockey League best-of-seven Quarter-final. The Dogs will look to take a 3-2 lead tonight on…

Islanders Blank Hawks In Game 2

Mitch Wiebe was more like a brick wall between the pipes last night. He earned the shutout for Portage in their 3-0 win over Notre Dame in Game 2 of the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League…

Hoedown Throwdown A Hit

It was another great Carnival put on by the Portage Skating Club. The 'Hoedown Throwdown' featured over 100 skaters from in and around the Portage area.Fraser taking a lap at the end of the Hoedown…

Mustangs In Semi-final At Provincials

The MacGregor Mustangs knocked off Killarney in their opening game of the Provincial 'AA' Varsity Boys Basketball Provincial Championships. They won 67-65 in an exciting game that came down to the…

DiscoverWestman.com is Westman's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

SCOREBOARD

Friday March 24th

MJHL
Steinbach 5 Portage 4
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

MMJHL
Stonewall 6 Pembina Valley 3
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

THHL
Killarney 2 Carberry 0

Allan Cup Playdowns
Manitoba/Saskatchewan Series
SE Prairie Thunder 4 Rosetown 3
(1st game in best of 5 series)

WHL
Eastern Conference
Medicine Hat 7 Brandon 2
(1st game in best of 7 quarterfinal)

AHL
Milwaukee 3 Manitoba 1

NHL
Anaheim 3 Winnipeg 1
N.Y. Islanders 4 Pittsburgh 3 (SO)
Tampa Bay 2 Detroit 1 (OT)
Dallas 6 San Jose 1

NBA
Denver 125 Indiana 117
Cleveland 112 Charlotte 105
Washington 129 Brooklyn 108
Orlando 115 Detroit 87
Boston 130 Phoenix 120
Houston 117 New Orleans 107
Milwaukee 100 Altanta 97
Philadelphia 117 Chicago 107
L.A. Lakers 130 Minnesota 119 (OT)
Golden State 114 Sacramento 100

Saturday, March 25th

SEMHL
Portage at Notre Dame, 8 p.m.
(best of 7 final tied 2-2)

MJHL
OCN at Winkler, 7:30 p.m.
(1st game in best of 7 semifinal)

KJHL
Juniors vs. Warriors 7:30 p.m.

WHL
Eastern Conference
Brandon at Medicine Hat, 8:30 p.m.
(Tigers lead best of 7 quarterfinal 1-0)

NHL
Vancouver at Minnesota, 1 p.m.
Toronto at Buffalo, 6 p.m.
Calgary at St. Louis, 6 p.m.
Ottawa at Montreal, 6 p.m.
Colorado at Edmonton, 9 p.m.
Philadelphia at Columbus, 1 p.m.
Arizona at Washington, 6 p.m.
Boston at N.Y. Islanders, 6 p.m.
Chicago at Florida, 6 p.m.
Carolina at New Jersey, 6 p.m.
San Jose at Nashville, 7 p.m.
N.Y. Rangers at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m.

NBA
Toronto at Dallas, 7:30 p.m.
Utah at Detroit, 2:30 p.m.
Washington at Cleveland, 6:30 p.m.
New York at San Antonio, 7:30 p.m.
Minnesota at Portland, 9 p.m.

Search the Biz Guide

Login