Mike McEwen’s curling team from Winnipeg, Manitoba has qualified for the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier in Regina, Saskatchewan. On Friday evening at the Brandt Center, McEwen defeated Jason Gunnlaugson 4-3 in 11 ends, in an exciting wildcard game.
Gunnlaugson, who is also from Winnipeg, gave up a point with the hammer in the extra end. In his first shot, his stone picked and with his second shot, Gunnlaugson’s draw attempt went too deep and allowed McEwen to participate in his third straight Brier.
It will be interesting to see how healthy McEwen will be this week, He currently has a bad cold and recently had a bout of the chickenpox, which forced him to miss some of the Viterra Championship (Manitoba men’s provincial curling championship) in Winkler, Manitoba in early February.
McEwen’s team, which will be known as Team Wildcard throughout the week, will look to become the second wildcard team from Winnipeg this year to qualify for the final of a Canadian curling championship. At the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, Manitoba’s Kerri Einarson went all the way to the final before losing 8-6 to Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones.
McEwen is part of Group A which also includes Brad Gushue’s Team Canada rink and Alberta champion Brendan Bottcher. The elite teams in Group B are skipped by 2014 Canadian Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs, Ontario champion John Epping, Manitoba champion Reid Carruthers and Saskatchewan champion Steve Laycock,