Well it has been a few weeks since I have had a chance to post on the blog for various reasons. It is a quiet Sunday afternoon and Manitoba might be back on the map for curling. This past weekend Manitoba had 4 representatives in Windsor for the Grey Power World Cup of Curling. Three of the 4 Manitoba teams made the playoffs and all happened to make the semi-finals. Joining Jeff Stoughton, Rob Fowler and Mike McEwen in the semi-finals was the 4-time defending champion Glenn Howard. McEwen defeated Fowler 7-2 in the semi-final and then for a second straight bonspiel defeated Stoughton in the final of the grand slam event.
I strongly feel that this is a transitional year of curling where we could finally see the passing of the torch in many provinces. In Manitoba there is a definite top 4 teams in Jeff Stoughton, Mike McEwen, Kevin Park and Rob Fowler. There is no real surprise in the teams at the top but all of the lineups feature some type of youth movement. Reid Carruthers has stepped in at second to play alongside Stoughton. Carruthers had the chance to throw third rocks in the grand slam final as Jon Mead was unable to play in the semi or final. McEwen's rink includes BJ Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld. On Fowler's team the front end includes Derek Samagalski & Richard Daneault. Finally Taren Gesell and Brendan Taylor played front end on Fowlers rink. I have had the great opportunity to play with or against everyone just listed in either juniors Mens. All four rinks are talented top to bottom and could be a force to be reckoned at the Brier later this curling season. It has been a long time since Manitoba's Brier win in '99. I have a feeling that Manitoba might extend its lead over Alberta this year for Brier wins.
Just a reminder for everyone that Rock Talk is on this Wednesday at 7pm CST. Join Resby Coutts, Mitch Terapasky and myself on Sports Radio 1290 where I'm sure we will have some discussion on this past weekend's events. Till next time have a good one.