Dave Elias, a two-time Manitoba men's curling champion, has died.
Elias -- who played second for Mark Lukowich on the 2002 Manitoba men's champion rink and third for Randy Dutiaume on the 2005 provincial champion -- had liver cancer.
Reid Carruthers, second for Jeff Stoughton and one of many in the game who considered Elias a friend, said Wednesday via text that Elias was told a month ago that his cancer was terminal.
Elias kept his condition a closely guarded secret and Wednesday's news came as a shock to Manitoba's tight-knit curling community.
"Always loved playing against Dave Elias," tweeted Manitoba skip Mike McEwen. "His intensity always made me smile! Great guy on and off the ice. He will be missed."
Elias was competitive on the curling ice right until the end. Just last January, he skipped a team at the MCA Bonspiel that won the final berth up for grabs into the 2013 provincial men's curling championship.