PORTAGE LA PRARIE- The top two seeds will meet up on Saturday night for a spot in the final at the Viterra Championship in Portage la Prairie.
Top seed and 2015 champion Reid Carruthers will face second seed and reigning champ Mike McEwen in a battle of the last two unbeaten rinks. Carruthers earned his way into the championship round with an 8-5 extra end victory over fourth seed William Lyburn. Carruthers scored three points in the extra frame to secure his spot in the 1-vs-2 Page Playoff game. McEwen found his way into the final four by defeating third seed Matt Dunstone 7-2 in a rematch of last year’s championship game.
The winner between Carruthers/McEwen will earn a direct berth into Sunday afternoon’s final. The losing team will play in Sunday morning’s semifinal.
The first top seed was knocked out in Saturday’s 2:00 pm draw as Dunstone, last year’s runner-up, suffered a 5-3 loss to fifth seed Jason Gunnlaugson.
“We’re really clicking on all cylinders today.” said Gunnlaugson. “And hopefully we can get through to the next one and get our ugly mugs on TV.”
Dunstone won all of his first four matches of the playdowns but back to back losses on Saturday ended his bonspiel. And losing to a friend and former teammate didn’t make it hurt any less.
“To come out and play like I did today is absolutely pathetic.” Dunstone said. “It’s upsetting, but I mean, overall a good season. We worked hard and at the end of the day we just weren’t good enough to get to the playoff round here.”
In the other elimination game Trevor Loreth of the Granite Curling Club knocked out fourth seed William Lyburn with a 6-5 upset victory.
“Crazy.” Loreth said. “Never expected it but Brad’s (Haight) playing unreal so I guess we’ll keep it going and see what happens.”
Only four teams remain from the original 32 team field as Loreth will now face Gunnlaugson in the 3-vs-4 Page Playoff game where the winner will advance to the semifinal while the loser will head home.
Twin brothers Dennis and David Bohn were both eliminated with losses in Saturday’s early draw.