Defending champion Jeff Stoughton and second seed Mike McEwen are just one more win away from the 8-team playoff round at the Safeway Championship at MTS Iceplex.
Stoughton drummed 2005 Manitoba men’s curling champion Randy Dutiaume 6-1 in just 5 ends this afternoon to advance to an A-side qualifier on Friday, while McEwen also advanced to an A-side qualifier tomorrow with a 10-4 win this afternoon over 2011 Canadian Seniors champion Kelly Robertson of Neepawa.
McEwen will play Heather’s Steen Sigurdson, who advanced with a 7-6 win this afternoon over West Kildonan’s Bob Sigurdson. Stoughton, meantime, will play Brandon’s Steve Irwin, who advanced with a 7-4 win over David Kraichy.
In Friday’s two other A-side qualifiers, 2012 Manitoba mens champion Rob Fowler will play his second from that team, Richard Daneault of Granite, while Pembina’s Randy Neufeld will play Fort Rouge’s Willie Lyburn.
The remaining two draws on Thursday are scheduled for 4 p.m. and 7:45 p.m. and will feature all B-side elimination games.
* * *
Rob Fowler, the 2012 Manitoba men’s curling champion, is one more win away from the playoff round at the 2014 Safeway Championship at MTS Iceplex.
Fowler won his second straight game Thursday morning, dumping Pinawa’s Richard Muntain 9-5 to advance to an A-side qualifier on Friday. Eight teams make the weekend playoff round, which begins Friday night.
Other teams winning their second straight Thursday morning and also advancing to A-side qualifiers were Fort Rouge’s Willie Lyburn, who dropped Carberry’s William Kuran 6-3; and Pembina’s Randy Neufeld, who was a 10-7 winner over Dauphin’s Greg Todoruk.
In the morning’s two B-side games, Sean Grassie -- the 2013 finalist -- eliminated 2002 champion Mark Lukowich and West Kildonan’s Trevor Loreth eliminated Fort Rouge’s Justin Stanus 9-8.
The event resumes on the 12:15 p.m. draw when both of the top two seeds -- Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen respectively -- will be playing A-side games. Stoughton plays 2005 champion Randy Dutiaume, while McEwen plays 2011 Canadian Seniors champion Kelly Robertson of Neepawa.