Undefeated opening weekend for Team Saskatchewan at Montana’s Brier

They would have been fine with a 2-1 record.

Instead, Mike McEwen’s Team Saskatchewan rink from Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club is undefeated after opening weekend at the Montana’s Brier.

Regina Sk, March 2, 2024. Montana’s Brier. Team Saskatchewan skip Mike McEwen, lead Daniel Marsh, 2nd Kevin Marsh, 3rd Colton Flasch, celebrates after defeating team Canada 7-6 in draw 3. Curling Canada/ Michael Burns Photo

A narrow win over Prince Edward Island on opening night and two massive televised performances against Team Canada’s Brad Gushue and Alberta’s Kevin Koe on Saturday and Sunday, respectively, put Saskatchewan in a great position for the playoffs to be determined later this week.

McEwen says beating a team of Koe’s calibre is huge.

“We’re one step closer to trying to get into the top two positions (in Pool B),” McEwen said. “There’s not a lot of room for error in an eight-game round-robin situation, so the difference between fourth and third is not very much, and obviously our goal is to make top two in our pool.”

Saskatchewan fans had to hold their breath in the final end when McEwen opted for a double-takeout for the win instead of a wide-open in-turn draw for the game-winning point. 

McEwen says had it been an out-turn draw to throw, he wouldn’t have thought twice about throwing it. 

“Kevin (Koe) rolled to the perfect spot. That caused some indecision for me,” McEwen said. “I was very prepared to throw the in-turn draw, and anytime you make a shot like that, and the skip, me in this case, is weighing in between two shots, that tells you that I think Kevin made the perfect roll.”

After the win, the Mike McEwen rink met with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe. 

McEwen says meeting the Premier after a win shows how much curling means to the province.

“I got a little bit of that experience in Manitoba with the home Brier in Brandon, and Brian Pallister at the time,” McEwen said. “That just shows you it’s in the roots of the province. You’re not always going to get that in other places.”

Team Saskatchewan has the bye on Monday morning. They will face Nova Scotia’s Matt Manuel on Monday night.

More from 620 CKRM