WINNIPEG — The defending champions are the team to beat at this years Viterra Championship to determine the provincial men’s curling champion.
Reid Carruthers was voted the top seed by his peers for the first time as a skip.
“It’s an honour actually,” Carruthers said. “I was kinda thinking after watching (Matt) Dunstone on the weekend that they might re-do the seeds and put him one. But you know what, we were three last year and managed to win.”
Perennial favourite Mike McEwen is the second seed followed by William Lyburn, Daley Peters and Alex Forrest. McEwen’s rink is third on the World Curling Tour Money List with earnings of $86,613 this season, but they’ve lost in the provincial final in five of the last six years.
“We want to win this pretty badly” Third B.J. Neufeld said. “And we’re going to work really hard and put out heads down and try to make it happen.”
“A team that’s that good I’d have to say they’re going to win,” Carruthers said. “And when they do win I’m sure they’re going to win a lot of times but hopefully it’s not this year.”
This year’s event is in Selkirk and the last time the provincials were held at the Selkirk Recreation Complex was in 2009 where Carruthers had a third place finish. But this time as champs they’ll have a big target on their backs.
“It might put a little more pressure on ourselves but it is what you make of it,” said Carruthers. “There’s teams that are still going to be gunning for McEwen cause he’s number two and guys like Dunstone cause he’s obviously headed off to the Worlds. There’s a whole bunch of guys in this event that have won it before.”
The 32 team field gathers for the first draw on Wednesday morning.
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