Macdonell, Arbuckle to represent Manitoba at Canada Winter Games

Mixed doubles team perfect at provincial trials


Advertise with us

For the first time in their young careers, Aaron Macdonell and Mackenzie Arbuckle have earned the right to wear the buffalo jacket.

Read this article for free:


Already have an account? Log in here »

To continue reading, please subscribe with this special offer:

All-Access Digital Subscription

$4.75 per week*

  • Enjoy unlimited reading on
  • Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
  • Access News Break, our award-winning app
  • Play interactive puzzles

*Pay $19.00 every four weeks. GST will be added to each payment. Subscription can be cancelled anytime.

For the first time in their young careers, Aaron Macdonell and Mackenzie Arbuckle have earned the right to wear the buffalo jacket.

The duo from the St. Vital Curling Club went a perfect 7-0 at Manitoba’s Canada Games Mixed Doubles Trials at the Heather Curling Club this past weekend. Macdonell and Arbuckle capped off their run with a thrilling 10-8 extra end victory over Granite Curling Club’s Katy Lukowich and Thomas McGillivray.

With the win, Macdonell and Arbuckle will represent Manitoba at the 2023 Canada Winter Games in February in Prince Edward Island.


Aaron Macdonell (left), Mackenzie Arbuckle, and coach Tim Arbuckle were all smiles after winning Manitoba’s Canada Games mixed doubles trials at the Heather Curling Club.

“It’s an exciting feeling. I can’t really put it into words right now,” Macdonell told the Free Press on Monday.

“I’m still taking it all in because it’s something I’ve wanted for a while. To actually get it done is something special.”

Macdonell and Arbuckle cruised to an early 5-1 lead in the gold medal match, but the game flipped when Lukowich and McGillivray stormed back with a four-ender to go up 6-5 after six ends. The eventual winners responded with a three before Lukowich had a clutch draw for two to force the extra end.

“Yeah, it was definitely very stressful. But I think overall, being able to bounce back after giving up a big end is what helped us because we definitely felt the pressure after that,” said Arbuckle.

Macdonell and Arbuckle, who will both be 20 by the time the Canada Games begin, started curling together in 2020. They joined the 2020 Mixed Doubles Provincials in Brandon just for fun but ended up going on an impressive run and finishing the event at 4-3. Macdonell, who plays lead for Jace Freeman, and Arbuckle, the lead for Grace Beaudry, have been teaming up and working together ever since.

Freeman will also be in P.E.I. as he won the province’s under-18 Canada Games trails last month. Since Macdonell is 19, his only shot to make it was the under-21 mixed doubles.

“Going to Canada Games is something I wanted to do for mixed doubles. Mackenzie and I, it’s been our goal to win this. To work for the past couple of years and then finally get it done and win this one event that they have, it’s awesome,” said Macdonell.

Macdonell and Arbuckle think they have what it takes to reach the podium on the national stage, but that won’t be their sole focus.

“I think we just want to soak it all in. This is the first experience for both of us so we just want to take advantage of the experience overall,” said Arbuckle.

Twitter: @TaylorAllen31

Taylor Allen

Taylor Allen

Eighteen years old and still in high school, Taylor got his start with the Free Press on June 1, 2011. Well, sort of...


Updated on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 9:42 AM CST: Corrects headline

Report Error Submit a Tip


Advertise With Us