WINNIPEG — Jeff Stoughton began his pursuit of an 11th Manitoba men’s curling championship with an 8-1 thrashing of Burntwood’s Grant Brown Wednesday afternoon at the Safeway Championship at MTS Iceplex.
Stoughton, the defending champion, got a big break in the first end when Brown squandered a chance to take a 3-0 lead, crashing out front on what was a routine tapback and handing Stoughton a steal of one instead.
Stoughton went on to steal seven more points over the next three ends and Brown conceded after finally scoring his single in the fifth end.
With Stoughton’s victory, all three of the top seeds at this year’s men’s curling championship recorded victories on opening day, with second seed Mike McEwen and third seed Rob Fowler also winning earlier in the day.
In other games on the 4 p.m. draw at Iceplex, 2012 semifinalist Willie Lyburn defeated Fort Rouge’s Justin Stanus 7-5; Carberry’s William Kuran defeated West Kildonan’s Trevor Loreth 9-6; 2005 champion Randy Dutiaume defeated 2004 champion Brent Scales 8-4; and Fort Rouge’s David Kraichy beat Beausejour’s Wayne Ewasko 6-3.
The event resumes on the 8:15 p.m. draw with the first elimination games of what is a modified double-knockout format.