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Six in a Row for McEwen

Friday Mar 05 2021
by Resby Coutts / Photo: Curling Canada-Michael Burns

Mike McEwen set a Manitoba Brier record two years ago, added to it a year ago, and adds to it again this year when play gets underway in the Calgary bubble.

McEwen was the first Manitoba curler to play in four consecutive Briers – then five consecutive Briers – now six consecutive Briers.

The record book reads differently than it did in the early days. Team Canada opportunity as the Canadian champion creates back-to-back appearances, although that has not yet been an issue for a Manitoba men’s team.

The Wild Card entry has also changed the discussion considerably. Playing his sixth consecutive Brier this year, McEwen has been a three times Team Manitoba and a three times Wild Card team.

His appearance this year with Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski and Colin Hodgson allows this team to tie another record held by his previous team. Three consecutive appearances by the current team matchs the three consecutive appearances by McEwen, BJ & Denni Neufeld and Matt Wozniak from 2016 to 2018 as the only three-in-a-row Manitoba teams in Brier history.

Prior to 2018 there had been a handful of individuals who had played in three in a row. These included Carruthers (2013 to 2015 with Stoughton and then his own team); Jeff Stoughton and Steve Gould (2009 to 2011), and Doug Armstong (1998 to 2000 with Duguid and Stoughton).

Prior to McEwen, in nearly 100 years of championship curling, only three Manitoba skips had taken the same team to the Brier in back-to-back years. Don Duguid in 1970 &’71 was the first. Vic Peters in 1992 & ’93 was the second. The third, Jeff Stoughton did it three times with three different teams: 1999 & 2000, 2009 &’10, and 2013 &’14.

When Bryan Wood played in five Briers with three different Manitoba champion teams in the 1970’s, it was a record that many thought would never be matched. Of course, it was passed by Jeff Stoughton who played in eleven. This year, Colin Hodgson matches the Wood record of 5 appearances. McEwen and Samagalski are at six. Reid Carruthers will play in his eighth Brier.

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