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.