Roll on, Saskatchewan! McEwen moves on to Brier semifinal

In an ending that made Saskatchewan fans sweat a little, the host province is moving on to Sunday’s semifinal at the Montana’s Brier.

The Mike McEwen rink out of Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club defeated Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone 6-5 in the 3-4 page playoff game.

It was a game of stolen points for both sides. Up 3-1 in the fourth end, McEwen stole points in both the fifth and sixth ends to take a commanding 5-1 lead.

Dunstone got a deuce in the seventh to trail 5-3 heading to the eighth end. Then, the 2023 Brier finalists stole points in the eighth and ninth ends to tie the game.

The final shot of the game was a tap-back for the win, where McEwen made no mistake.

The Saskatchewan skip says sometimes, you don’t know what’s good for you.

“I had to make a shot that, for all intents and purposes, might be what it feels like to have a shot to win the Brier,” McEwen said. “Maybe it was good that happened, that I missed a shot in the eighth, that I had to throw a precise shot to win. Should we get the opportunity, that’s what it’s going to take to beat (Brad) Gushue or (Brendan) Bottcher.”

This is Saskatchewan’s first trip to the semi-final since 2021 when Matt Dunstone led the province to back-to-back semifinals.

However, it’s McEwen’s first trip back to the semifinals since 2017 in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

“St. John’s was amazing, but I wasn’t the home team, so this is better,” McEwen said. “This is going to go down as one of my best memories ever in my whole career no matter how this ends.”

McEwen and his rink will play the loser of Saturday night’s 1-2 page playoff game between Team Canada’s Brad Gushue and Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher. The winner of the 1-2 moves on to Sunday night’s final.

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