Tuesday 13 November 2012

McEwen Triumphant. White's Endures

Intimate brush with curling fame.
An era has passed. White's Drug Store has been sold. The Nahnybidas are moving toward retirement. On Friday evening, the first night of the 14th annual White's Drug Store Curling Classic, curlers and committee members honoured the long-standing Gold Sponsor of the White's for their great contribution to world class curling, and there were a few tears shed with the memories of the past 14 White's Classics.

The Draw.
But the curling continued. The best teams in the world were curling on the best ice in Manitoba, aiming for the $51,500 in prize money, and for the Manitoba teams, a berth to the Manitoba Safeway Championships in Neepawa in February. The curling fans swamped to the draw board and were meticulous about their updates.

For the first time, the Whites was streamed out to the internet via Ustream. Local filmmaker, Kevin Penner volunteered his camera and PC and sheet three was set up for streaming. Eleven games were streamed and the link was tweeted across curling circles and around the world. Over 2000 people caught games on sheet three via the Ustream feed. Lorna Spicer and John Caruk also served as video crew for the streams.

Martin & BJ sweep Morris's shot. McEwen holds the broom. !?!
At 11 am, on the dot, on Sunday morning, all games were stopped. The teams moved along side the commemorative wreath at the back of the rink for a solemn ceremony of remembrance, and then it was back to business.

The greatest curlers in the world were on the ice. Six Olympic medalists (Team Martin - 2010, Mark Nichols – 2000, and John Shuster 2006 , USA), World Champions, WCT Money leaders. Really the best of the best were standing shoulder to shoulder with the fans.

Streaming sheet three.
11:00 am.  A pause to Remember.
And there were upsets. And there were amazing shots. And there was a bit of broom banging and lots of laughter. Teams McEwen and Martin earned the right to play in the $1500 skins game by virtue of their A-Side qualifying wins. They decided to “Mix it Up” as Kevin Martin put it. It would be the Front Enders from both teams (Kennedy, Heibert, Denni and Woz) against the big guys: Martin McEwen Morris and BJ. It was really interesting to see Kevin Martin and BJ Neufeld sweeping John Morris's rock while Mike McEwen held the broom. You don't see that very often. In the end, it was Front End triumphant. $1050 to $450. There were lots of laughs and lots of big weight miracle shots. Unforgettable.

6 Sheets in Action.  Best in the world.
In the end, Mike McEwen's Winnipeg team took home the $12,000 big winnings and the 21 CRTS points that will help theme advance their way to the Olympic Curling Trials next December in Winnipeg. Randy Bryden of Regina, defeated Team Martin in the semi-final only to go down to McEwen in the final. This was his second time as a runner-up at the Whites. His $9000 winnings made the loss a bit easier to handle. Terry McNamee's Brandon/Pilot Mound foursome took home the floating MCA berth and will be after the provincial Tankard in Neepawa this February.

Between the Semifinal and Final games, the Whites committee opened the PA system and made an announcement. Rumours and discussion had been drifting around the club all weekend about the future of the White's Drug Store Curling Classic. Would this be the last year? To a curler, all agreed that would be a real shame.

“Too many of the good events have been shutting down,” said qualifying skip, Jeff Hartung of Langenberg. Hartung, curling with two of his sons, knocked off Stoughton in B to qualify and earned $4000 for that win. “This location is great for the Saskatchewan teams. We would really miss this event if this was the last of it.”

Well, his worries were put to rest. The White's committee announced that the new owner wanted to make it known that they would continue as title sponsor for the White's. There was an audible sigh of relief followed by grateful applause.

This White's was the best yet. The blizzard may have reduced the number of curling fans who came to watch, but the curlers all made it before the big storm hit, and the streaming reached many curling fans who were unable to attend.

The White's Drug Store Curling Classic has become a legacy. The curlers love it. They'll be back.

Monday 12 November 2012

Qualifiers & Streaming

Congratulations to the 2012 White's Drug Store Curling Classic Champion
Team McEwen
Skip Mike McEwen, Third BJ Neufled, 2nd Matt Wozniak, and Lead Denni Neufeld

Championship Final:  STREAMED 

 Bryden from Regina - 2
McEwen from Winnipeg - 4

Semi Finals:
STREAMED: McEwen vs Cotter - McEwan 5 Cotter 2
Bryden vs McNamee - Bryden 5 McNamee 4
Quarter Finals:

Martin vs Bryden - Bryden wins 7-6 EE
STREAMED: McNamee vs Heidt - McNamee wins 9-5
McEwen vs Stoughton - McEwen slaughters 8-0 in three ends
Hartung vs Cotter - Cotter wins 6-5

McNamee Team was awarded the berth the the Manitoba Safeway Provincial Championships.

Friday 9 November 2012


To recieve post game drawsheets, by email, contact the draw room crew at:

Follow the linescores live, and Check the Draw

A simple one-Camera UStream
Streaming Sheet Three 
noon. Hartung vs Shuster 3pm Cotter vs McNamee
6pm Stoughton vs McEwen  9pm Fowler vs Lyburn 
noon. Grassie vs Manners 3pm $1500 Skins: McEwen vs Martin 
6pm J.Heidt vs S.Michel
9pm Grassie vs Cotter

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Rubbing Shoulders

Hey! Armchair Curlers.

If you want to see the best curlers in the world, but are not keen on sitting through a two hour game, (the games are only eight ends in the World Curling Tour events), why not come to the club for the second half of the game? Come an hour after the draw begins. Have a drink, or a coffee. Watch the winning shots. Order a meal in the curling clubroom, have a visit and rub shoulders with, oh, I dunno, Kevin Martin? Mike McEwen? Or how about the Gunner, Jason Gunnlaugson, who went to curl in Russia and is now curling for Jim Cotter? Or maybe last year's Saskatchewan champs, the mild-mannered team Manners. Manitoba Champs, Rob Fowler will be here, and well, yah, Stoughton is coming too. Nothing like having a few world champions in the club. How about an Olympic Medalist... No, not Martin, we mean John Shuster (from Duluth Minnesota). He won a bronze in Turin in '06. Well, there's also the leading money winner from Europe, team Michel from Switzerland, and their arch rivals and countrymen, deCruz. The strong Saskatchewan teams are lining up for the $50,000 prize money... Laycock, Bryden, Hartung. And our loyal regulars, who know the ice the best, like Thompson's Sam Antila, and Willie Lyburn, provincial runner-up. This is going to be the best White's yet.

The fifteenth annual White's Drug Store Curling Classic takes place at the Swan River Curling Club this weekend, Friday November 9 – starting at 10 am until playoff time on Monday November 12. There are four draws every day. The games will pause for a Remembrance Day ceremony at 11am on Sunday.

Day passes are only $5. Weekend passes are only $15. Come for a visit, buy some refreshments. Enjoy the excitement. See you there.

Friday 2 November 2012

Draw of 24

Top 8 Teams in the standings earned a bye into the second round of play.  In any old order:  McEwen Lyburn Cotter Stoughton Michel Fowler Martin deCruz.

Here's the draw. (click to enlarge)

Critical Mass

One of the Manitoba teams has dropped out of the White's.  Team Ramsay got their berth to the provincials last weekend in Gimli and despite the opportunity to play the best on the planet, they just can not make it to Swan River for the rumble.

So, we are one team short with a week to go. 
oops... UPDATE
  Thanks to Scott Madams Team from 
Winnipeg for stepping in off the waiting 
list.  Good Luck and Good curling guys.

We think the critical mass of this line-up will tease a top notch team into making the trip...  Hackner (on a roll), Jacobs (with Fry, who knows the ice), Koe (ever the rival, no the champ!), Epping (can whop the best of them).  Spread the word.

Call Gord 204-734-8767 or drop him an ... EMAIL

Thursday 1 November 2012


Teams will have practice ice available as follows:

Thursday after 8:30 pm.  2 or 3 sheets will be available right away, and the other three will open up when the men's league winds up their Thursday night draw.

Friday all day.  Two (outside) sheets will be available all day, from 10 am - 5pm for warm up and practice time.  Everyone knows the outside sheets are just as good as the other four.  No adjustments required.

See you soon.

Thursday 18 October 2012

Youth Power

Josh Heidt at the Helm
Josh Heidt has stepped out from under the veil of his ever present father's curling legacy.  In his last showing at The White's, Josh was with his dad and his brother, Mitch.  This year, he is at the helm.  He has his own team.  He wants to face some of the biggies and here is his opportunity raise the Heidt name.

From Kerrobert, Josh has Brock Montgomery, Matt Lang, and Dustin Kirby with him.  Youth is on their side.  White's fans love the reckless abandon of the young teams and expects to see some drama and excitement from these boys.

Monday 15 October 2012

Cotter with a loaded Gunn

He's Baaayaaak.  But this time Jason Gunnlaugson has stayed in the country to find his curling destiny.  Flamboyant up and comer who fearlessly wowed the crowd at the Oly Trials before Vanoc2010, gambles professionally, considers relinquishing his Canadian Olympic rights to Moscow offers and now has landed with perhaps the meekest of contenders in the country.  But meek in a good way.  Quiet.  Determined.  Accurate.  The ever present Jim Cotter has also been shuffling positions and relationships on the ice, throwing the brick, calling the game, sweeping.  We don't hear much from him but his signature Cat Hat makes him instantly identifiable and when we see him we know the team will not be taken lightly.  What a match up.  Joining Jim and Gunner are Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky.  They are curling out of Kelowna/Vernon.  Good luck boys.

South of the Line

Team Shuster.  The four J's: John, Jeff, Jared and JohnII.  Skip, John Shuster has had a taste of the biggest podium in our sport, he got the Bronze in Turin in '06.  Since then, he's been climbing the ranks in the USA, as the skipper and now is clearly in the top five.  He sees himself heading to Sochi in 2014 and needs to face the music to test his mettle.   The Duluth foresome will cross the 49th and head up to The Valley so they can earn some points, some money and look their challengers in the eye.  Early season results have been strong for Team Schuster.  They took top prize in the St. Paul's Cash Spiel and qualified in the Point Optical in Saskatoon. Whites will be their 4th WCT event of the season.

John Shuster curls with Jeff Isaacson, Jared Zezel, and John Lansteiner

Sunday 14 October 2012

The Money Hunter

Yep. McEwen is in the mix.  We can see the smug grin and the determined posture.  Whites' here it comes.

Westman connections run deep at the Whites' so this will be a natural.

Thursday 20 September 2012

Ongoing Community Support

The recipe for a waiting list:

A Manitoba Safeway Championships Berth  +  Fantastic Community Support to BOOST THE PURSE TO $50,000 = The Best In The World and those who wanna be here.

We have a full court press for the Cash and the Berth.  The Ice is In and will be in Top Notch Condition for the Remembrance Day weekend and the White's.  What a Line-up.

Please Support our sponsors.  They selflessly donate cash to make this event happen.  The 15th Annual White's Drug Store Curling Classic is ready to roll.

Our gold sponsor, White's Drug Store welcomes our annual Silver Sponsors and our generous Bronze group.

Silver Sponsors.  Thanks for the Boost!
Bronze Sponsors contribute products, services or cash.

Any businesses wanting to participate in The White's this year, or in the future can contact Joyce, to get on board.

Sunday 16 September 2012

What's in a Name

Peters Galbraith Einarson Neufeld.  Not so young anymore and hunting for the chemistry to put it all together.  Whites fans have watched the young Peters mature from temper to tactics.  We love his sometimes radical shot decisions and his aggressive wins and play.  His team has seen it all too and if, no, WHEN this team clicks.  Watch Out.  The anger settles into determination and the experience ices the cake.  Daley Peters, Chris Galbraith, Kyle Einerson and Mike Neufeld have trekked up to The Valley to topple a few.

Saturday 15 September 2012

The Regina Shuffle.

Randy Bryden has knocked on the door of the Championship Final in the White's, and more than once.  He always leaves with money.  This year, he is bringing a different team.  A friendly rivalry will ensue should the former team mates meet, and as Murphy's Law dictates, they likely will.  But Bryden is a take-the-helm kind of guy and is great to watch.  He's a Saskatchewan Tankard regular.  He's methodical.  Steady.  Finalist in the MNP - Classic this season. Hungry. Great to have you back Randy.

Thursday 13 September 2012

World Champs

... with that Newfoundland Labrador transplant at LEAD!  This should be a tough challenger, and, can we say for the repeat?  Second Reid Carruthers is returning as defending champ... this time with his skipper in tow.  All Eyes On The Valley - these games will be important, yah, for the money but those top contenders for the Olympic CTRS Points will be knocking eachother off here at The Whites'. 

Welcome to The Valley, Jeff.  Happy to have ya.

Manitoba Champs

These athletes have played with and against one another.  They know the teams they will face at the Whites' and are coming because they can depend on the Ice.  Team Fowler is a regular to the Whites and has qualified more than once.  Third Allan Lyburn has taken  home the big winnings more than once.  Bronze at the 2012 Brier. Shooting for the stars.  Team Fowler always brings a cheering section.  Welcome back Brandonites.

Wednesday 12 September 2012

Team Martin - Say No More

They are back - for the money.  They know the rocks are good and they trust Barry Tall... translation? Ice = world class. They have flown back to Alberta with the big prize twice before, but with the Manitoba Championship berth at stake, a few more of the tough Winnipeggers are trekking up to The Valley to get a slice of that hefty money pie.  Having Team Martin in the mix will bring some extra zest to the Whites.

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Sask Champs

Remember these guy?  Poof!! From vitually out of nowhere, spotlighted into the 2012 Brier, mild- mannered Manners and his western Saskatchewan foresome became the ones we were rooting for.  No slouches, and clearly in for the long haul, they will not be taken for the one trick pony some predict they may be.  They've thrown themselves into the mix and with their attitude, will be ready for the showdown.  Will be great team to follow.

Team Sven Michel - On a Roll

Team Michel won the opener for the 2012-2013 World Curling Tour in Baden Switzerland.  And just to rub it in, it was their second consecutive win of that prestigeous event.  Clearly Team Michel is heading to Canada to get in tough with some of our best, and has chosen the White's as an event worth fighting for.  Skip Sven Michel is as buff as a bricklayer, because he is one!  This team is fit and furious.  Watch for some Swiss wins.

Monday 10 September 2012

The Pesky MCT Regulars

Manitoba teams are never counted out.  These teams earn berths to the provinicals through their regions, or through the spiels.  They earn their points and the win the money.  They know the ways to win and are in the Whites', fearless and determined.  Young front ends.  Seasoned skippers.
  • Sam Antila drives south to The Valley from the Burntwood Curling Club is a well known face in the Whites'.  Marnoch comes from Cash Spiel Headquarters in Carberry.  Has Safeway Championships play under his belt.  Sean Grassie known for his play at the Mixed Nationals and also as a heavyweight among MCT teams. The Whites has been rounded out by team Scott Madams from Winnipeg.  Thanks for making the trip Scott.

Back for More

Steve Laycock went to the chiropractor for a season and now has adopted a strapping Colton Flasch, runner-up skip from Whites' 2011. In fact, he is bringing a completely revamped team to steamroll in a classically Saskatoon way, through the lineup at the Whites' Drug Store Curling Classic.

Their state goal: "winning the Brier Championship for the first time in 33 years for Saskatchewan and ultimately to represent Canada at the Winter Olympics in 2014".
Team Laycock is  Steve Laycock Kirk Muyres, Colton Flasch and Dallan Muyres

Never under estimate the rank and file of Saskatchewanians.  Grrrrr.

Willie the Younger

William Lyburn is a former Scottish Junior Champion who curls to win.  Current, as in reigning, MCT leader, Lyburn burned (as in killed) at last year's Manitoba Safeway Championships.  He is no stranger to the Whites'.  He knows Barry Tall's ice.  He knows how to win.  He just may.  He curls with a Kirkness and a couple of Forrests.  YIKES.  Watch Out!

Young and Hungry

Peter deCruz and team is just off national juniors success.  Runner up at WCT Baden in 2012-13 - they are chasing the big guns with a serious attitude.  Where have they found them?  Well, at The Whites'!

A second Swiss team is on the roster so watch for the grudge match and that serious European motivation.

Family Power Team

Langenburg will depopulate for the weekend, well, the Hartung residence in particular.  Jeff and his boys have made the White's a regular event for the past few years.  They can knock of the big guns and they do.  The young Hartungs curled without the senior last year, but they are back with that extra advantage of the unspoken communication method.  A relaxed and supportive group.  Friendly off the ice.  Focused on.  Will chalk wins.

HARTUNG: Jeff, Kody & Tyler with outlyer, Clair Decock. 

Sunday 9 September 2012

Regional and Local Favourites

van Krommer
Rob van Kommer from Carberry wants to repeat.  He made his way to the 2012 Safeway Championships through the berth 'spiel and you can bet he's heading here to get back to the big 'spiel and improve his record there.  van Kommer curls in the Westman Superleague.

Howie Scales - the OTHER Scales.  A Swan River team with the same pedigree as the former provincial champ. Unscathed. Unrattled. Watch for Truck Saver Auto Imports.  That's these guys.

Neil Watkins.  A precision thrower and a strategist.  Curlers throw well for Neil.  He puts a great end together and is in the mix to line 'em and stack 'em into some wins.  Valley fans will be out in full support.

Wednesday 5 September 2012

McNamee & Jacobson - Mens 'n Mixed

Early into the mix are Terry McNamee from Westman - Brandon for curling - and Jason Jacobson from the Saskatoon race.  McNamee plays the MCT events and has knocked on the door at the Provincial championships more than once. Steady and steely.  He has represented MB in Mixed as has Jacobson, out of SK.  Jason Jacobson curled vice at the White's, losing the final to Martin in '09 and qualifying more than once. So, he's back, calling the game and intending to make a bit more dough. Looks like Clint Dieno will throw last brick for Team Jacobson.

Tuesday 4 September 2012

The 2012 edition of the White's Drug Store Curling Classic will include a berth to the Manitoba Curling Championships.

Novermber 9 - 12.  Curling starts on the Friday.  Championships for 8 qualifiers on the Monday.

24 teams.  Triple knock-out

This event with $50,000 in prize money will fill quickly and more of Manitoba's great curlers will get to experience the great ice conditions of the Swan River Curling Club via icemaker Barry Tall and his able and dedicated crew.

Saskatchewan teams are always big finishers at the Whites.  Get your entries in early.

Contact Gord Hardy by email or by phone 204-734-8767 to get the ball rolling on your entry.

Monday 3 September 2012

 2011 finals featured a young break-away team from Saskatoon, Colton Flasch, making the final against a world champion in Reid Carruthers.