Two of the three Brandon teams to reach the final six of the provincial men’s curling championship will have a different look next season.
Rob Fowler’s team parted ways with second Richard Daneault on Friday and announced on Wednesday that they have replaced him with Brandonite Brendan Taylor.
After winning a provincial men’s championship and a bronze medal at the Brier last year, Fowler’s team, which also includes third Allan Lyburn and lead Derek Samagalski, struggled to find consistency this season. They looked at making a change by having Daneault move to lead, but he declined the move and left the squad.
Although Fowler has never played with Taylor, he believes he will be a good fit on the team.
"Brendan’s a great player," Fowler said. "He has experience. He’s won the mixed championship a couple times in the second position, so it’s a position he’s familiar with. Brendan’s had some experience skipping the last couple of years and that maybe didn’t go as well as he had hoped, but I think that experience skipping will be good for the team. The way the game is now, you need guys who understand the game at every position."
The new Fowler foursome, which still has its spot at the Road to the Roar Olympic pre-trials and hopes to make December’s Olympic trials in Winnipeg, will debut at the Pomeroy Inn and Suites Prairie Showdown, a World Curling Tour event, in Grande Prairie, Alta., from March 14-17.
Meanwhile, Terry McNamee has left his Brandon Curling Club team of Steve Irwin, Travis Taylor and Travis Saban.
According to Irwin, McNamee, 48, stepped aside so he wouldn’t hold the other three players back as he doesn’t want to tour the bonspiel circuit next season and is preparing to join the seniors ranks in two years. Irwin, Taylor and Saban are planning on sticking together and finding a fourth. Irwin is thinking about stepping up to skip, but he is willing to stay at third if the right skip comes along.
They were trying to recruit Brendan Taylor, but remain optimistic that they can find someone else now that he’s committed to play with Fowler.
"We have a few other options we’re looking into," Irwin said. "We’ll see how it goes."
SENDOFFS: The Brandon Curling Club will host a sendoff for Lois Fowler’s Manitoba senior women’s championship team of Gwen Wooley, Lori Manning, Joan Robertson and Jill Hazelwood on Tuesday at 8 p.m. It will also host one on Thursday, March 14 for Joyce McDougall and her provincial champion masters women’s team of Linda Van Daele, Cheryl Orr and Karen Dunbar at 8 p.m. Both teams are off to nationals, with the seniors running March 16-24 in Summerside, P.E.I. and the masters from April 8-14 in Thunder Bay, Ont. There will be a cash bar, food and a rainbow auction at both events.
U-18 PROVINCIALS: Carberry’s Braden Calvert is the lone Westman team in the Manitoba under-18 men’s curling championship this weekend in Ste. Anne. Brandon’s Kaitlyn Payette, Miniota’s Lisa Rystephanuk and Binscarth’s Stephanie Judd will compete in the eight-team under-18 women’s event.
<Bt-4>EXTRA ENDS: The 114th annual Virden Men’s Bonspiel will run from March 12-17. The cost is $160. Contact <B>Cory Barkley at 204-748-6834 … Minnedosa will host a men’s bonspiel this weekend. Cost is $140. Contact <B>Miles Dalrymple at 204-867-3645 … Glenboro’s mixed masters bonspiel is set for March 13. Limit of 12 teams. Contact <B>Bruce Anderson at 204-827-2303 … Killarney’s St. Pat’s men’s bonspiel will run from March 14-17. Contact <B>Don Chatham at 204-523-8412 … Melita will host a mixed bonspiel from March 22-24. Contact Pat or <B>Bob Brigden at 204-665-2492 … Neepawa’s spring mixed bonspiel will run from March 22-24. Cost is $100. Contact <B>Wanda Rainka at
204-476-3545 … The Souris Survivor Bonspiel is set for March 27-31. Contact Karen at 204-483-3534 or call Val at 204-483-2564 … Killarney’s last chance open bonspiel will run from March 29-31. Call <B>Pierre St. Godard at 204-523-7565 or 204-523-6052.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition March 7, 2013