Mike McEwen is going back to the Brier, but he’ll do so for the first time wearing Saskatchewan green.
The Winnipeg-based skip and his team from Saskatoon’s Nutana Curling Club claimed the SaskTel Tankard Provincial Championship with a 7-3 victory over Rylan Kleiter’s squad in Sunday’s final in Saskatoon.
McEwen, third Colton Flasch, second Kevin Marsh and lead Daniel Marsh jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead after three ends — scoring an opening deuce before stealing three points over the next two ends — and coasted to the title.
McEwen concluded the event with a perfect 7-0 record, and only one of their first six games reached the 10th end. They will serve as the de facto home team at next month’s Canadian men’s curling championship at the Brandt Centre in Regina.
“Perfect. It feels like a really good fit for me,” McEwen told CurlSask. “It’s as close to home as I could possibly feel and especially with the Brier in Regina, just so excited to try and make the whole province as proud as we can.”
The last Saskatchewan team to win a Brier was Rick Folk’s in 1980.
It will be the ninth consecutive Brier appearance for McEwen, who won four of six Manitoba provincial championships between 2016 and 2022. He claimed the Ontario title last year en route to a trip to the Brier, which was won by Brad Gushue for a second straight year.
The best finish at nationals for the 43-year-old came in 2017 when his Manitoba squad finished third in St. John’s.
The format of this year’s tankard changed from a triple-knockout bonspiel to one with a pool system.
Kleiter, whose team also plays out of the Nutana club, defeated clubmate Kody Hartung 7-3 in the semifinal earlier in the day.