Lets Rock! The Brier Opens Friday in Regina

Hot on the heels of the Scotties last week in Calgary, comes the Montana’s Brier.

The national men’s curling championship will be getting underway Friday at Brandt Centre.

One of the big storylines is returning champion Brad Gushue, who is looking to be only the second team to win three straight championships. The only one to turn that trick was the fabled Randy Ferbey and his team from Edmonton, who won in 2001, 2002, and 2003.

Gushue has won two in a row, in Lethbridge, Alberta (2022) and London, Ontario (2023). Gushue will open defense of this team’s title Friday, with an opening draw against Nova Scotia’s Matthew Manuel.

Saskatchewan’s Team Mike McEwen from Saskatoon, will open up the Brier against Prince Edward Island’s Team Tyler Smith.

There are 18 teams competing with the 14 provinces and territories represented, and of course the returning champs Team Canada. There were also three other teams that qualified for the Brier including four time Brier champion Kevin Koe from Alberta, Matt Dunstone from Manitoba, and Brenden Bottcher’s team from Alberta. The teams are divided into two pools of nine.

There will be eight draws against teams in the same pool, with the top three teams from each pool moving on to the playoff round. Below are the pools, and the team’s ranking going into the championship.

Pool A

  • 1. Alberta-Bottcher, Brendan Bottcher (Marc Kennedy, Brett Gallant, Ben Hebert, Paul Webster; Calgary)
  • 4. Manitoba-Dunstone, Matt Dunstone (B.J. Neufeld, Colton Lott, Ryan Harnden, Rob Gordon, Adam Kingsbury; Winnipeg)
  • *-5. Manitoba-Carruthers, Brad Jacobs (Reid Carruthers, Derek Samagalski, Connor Njegovan, Rob Meakin; Winnipeg)
  • 8. Ontario, Glenn Howard [throws second stones] (Scott Howard [throws fourth stones], David Mathers, Tim March, Mathew Camm; Penetanguishene)
  • 9. British Columbia, Catlin Schneider (Alex Horvath [throws lead stones], Jason Ginter [throws third stones], Sterling Middleton [throws second stones], Jamie Schneider, Bryan Miki; Victoria)
  • 12. New Brunswick, James Grattan (Joel Krats, Paul Dobson, Andy McCann, Drew Grattan, Dean Grattan; Oromocto)
  • 13. Northern Ontario, Trevor Bonot (Mike McCarville, Jordan Potts, Kurtis Byrd, Al Hackner; Thunder Bay)
  • 16. Newfoundland/Labrador, Andrew Symonds (Colin Thomas, Stephen Trickett, Alex Smith, Dave Noftall, Jeff Thomas; St. John’s)
  • 17. Yukon, Thomas Scoffin (Trygg Jensen, Joe Wallingham, Evan Latos, Wade Scoffin, Kevin Patterson; Whitehorse)

Pool B

  • 2. Team Canada, Brad Gushue (Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden, Geoff Walker, Caleb Flaxey; St. John’s, N.L.)
  • 3. Alberta-Koe, Kevin Koe (Tyler Tardi, Jacques Gauthier, Karrick Martin, Mike Libbus; Calgary)
  • 6. Saskatchewan, Mike McEwen (Kevin Marsh [throws second stones], Colton Flasch [throws third stones], Daniel Marsh, Pat Simmons, Brent Laing; Saskatoon)
  • *- 7. Alberta-Sluchinski, Aaron Sluchinski (Jeremy Harty, Kerr Drummond, Dylan Webster, Mickey Pendergast; Airdrie)
  • 10. Quebec, Julien Tremblay (Jean-Michel Arsenault, Jesse Mullen, Philippe Brassard, Vincent Roberge, Eric Sylvain; Etchemin/Kenogami/Chicoutimi/Victoria)
  • 11. Nova Scotia, Matthew Manuel (Luke Saunders, Jeff Meagher, Nick Zachernuk, Kim Kelly; Halifax)
  • 14. Prince Edward Island, Tyler Smith (Adam Cocks, Christopher Gallant, Ed White, Paul Flemming; Crapaud)
  • 15. Northwest Territories, Jamie Koe (Glen Kennedy, Cole Parsons, Shadrach McLeod, Stephen Robertson; Yellowknife)
  • 18. Nunavut, Shane Latimer (Sheldon Wettig, Brady St. Louis, Christian Smitheram, Peter Van Strien, Katie Brooks; Iqaluit)

Its not just about the curling, which will be top notch, but its also about the “social”, and the centre of any social activity is at “The Patch”. Friday night the Reklaws will be performing and there will be special events and guests in “The Patch” throughout the event.

It all wraps up on Sunday, March 10th. Tickets are still available online at curling.ca/tickets, or in person at the Brandt Centre box office.

More from 620 CKRM