Matt Dunstone and Braden Calvert of Fort Rouge along with Steve Irwin of Brandon extended their respective winning streaks to four games Friday night at the Viterra Provincial Men’s Curling Championship in Neepawa and all three teams got off the ice early at the Yellowhead Centre.
Dunstone defeated Corey Chambers of Fort Garry 7-2 in five ends. Calvert beat Justin Richter of Beausejour 9-3 in eight ends while Irwin knocked off JT Ryan of Assiniboine Memorial 9-2 in seven ends.
It’s been an impressive run for Irwin, third Travis Taylor, second Travis Brooks and lead Travis Saban who got four coming home and beat Justin Reynolds of Winnipeg Beach 7-6 in their opener Wednesday morning.
“First game, obviously that was a pretty lucky break we got there,” said Irwin shortly after dispatching Team Ryan. “I had a bad second half of that game but for the most part we’ve been building. That game against Ryan was a little more sloppy but still pretty good. That sheet was tricky. The stands side was tough to play on. We played on it before and knew what to expect. We forced them into some tough shots, and we were getting the breaks when they were missing.”
As for shaking hands after seven ends.
“That was great,” noted the Brandon skip. “To get a win and get off early is not expected. Usually, you’re expecting an extra end battle. It’s Friday night, it’s hot out there with a lot of people in the stands. Got some breaks as JT missed a couple.”
“Friday night is a huge game because it gives you an opportunity to get to that Page Playoff and if you win Saturday morning then you get to play Sunday and it’s a huge goal,” added Irwin. “It’s either going to be Wiebe or Carruthers so we’re not in for an easy one which we knew but when you get to that point, you’re not going to have an easy game. Hopefully come out like we have been and give them a game.”
The Irwin foursome will face former champion Reid Carruthers of the Morris Curling Club.
Carruthers, Derek Samagalski and Connor Njegovan defeated Ryan Wiebe of Fort Rouge 7-4.
It was the first loss of the Viterra Championship for Wiebe, Ty Dilello, Sean Flatt and Adam Flatt.
Day four starts at 9 a.m. with Irwin against Carruthers and Calvert will face Dunstone in “A” side qualifiers. The winners move on to the Page Playoff Championship Round that begins tonight. Wiebe will take on Ryan and Richter will face Chambers. The losers will be eliminated, and the winners will play at 2 p.m. in “B” side qualifiers against the two teams who lose those “A” side qualifiers.