Manitoba will have to wait until 2021 for another chance to bring home the Tim Hortons Brier tankard.
The province’s last hope, Mike McEwen and his Wild Card team fell 7-6 to John Epping of Ontario in the first of three tie-breakers on Saturday.
Manitoba champ Jason Gunlagsson failed to advance to the tie-breaker after two losses on Friday.
McEwen, Epping, Kevin Koe of Team Canada and Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario were all part of a logjam at 7-4 following the championship pool, which meant the four teams had to fight for the fourth seed before the page playoffs got underway.
Jacobs advanced past the defending champ Koe 8-3.
Ontario jumped out to an early lead on Wild Card in the first, but the West St. Paul rink answered, and the two sides traded blows until the ninth end, when McEwen needed two to stay alive.
With just a handful of seconds left on the clock, McEwen stood in the hack, and his game-tying shot curled too much, giving the team one point — one less than they needed.
Epping moves on to face his provincial rival, and Brad Gushue awaits the winner of that game — his Newfoundland and Labrador squad barely avoided the four-team mess with an 8-3 record.
While Jacobs and Epping take to the ice at 1 o-clock, a transplanted Manitoban will be trying to put Saskatchewan in to the Brier final against Alberta.
Winnipeg’s Matt Dunstone and his rink won over Gushue in the final draw on Friday night, securing the number two spot in the page playoff — and a date with Alberta’s Brendan Botcher.