Winnipeg’s Reg Malanchuk made good on his last chance to land a spot in the provincial masters men’s curling championship.
Malanchuk and his Fort Rouge foursome of third Verne Sheldon, second Rob Rummery and lead Terry Hunter, claimed the Brandon Masters’ Bonspiel berth with a 6-4 victory over Brandon’s Brian Lowdon on Wednesday afternoon at the Brandon Curling Club.
“It is very nice,” said Malanchuk, who qualified for provincials, set for Feb. 27 to March 3 at Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Memorial club. “In Winnipeg we were in our zone finals and we ended up losing the ‘A’ game to get a spot and then we dropped to the ‘B’ to get a spot, so we were kind of depressed … but we were really fortunate and we had a great week. We won every game here, and it was super.”
Malanchuk, who ousted Hamiota’s Lawrence Daniel 8-2 in the semifinals, got a scare in the berth final against Lowdon, who was curling on his home ice. Leading by two after the sixth end, Malanchuk said he could have given up as many as four in the seventh end before making some key shots to hold the Brandon skip to one.
He said Lowdon was in good shape to steal one in the eighth and send the game to an extra end, with shot rock on the button, but Malanchuk came around a guard to promote his own stone at the front of the button just enough to lie shot and leave Lowdon with little on his final shot.
“It was down to last rock and I just think we had more lady luck than they did. I mean, good curling gives you that, but we did get some real good breaks, and we’re very fortunate for that.”
Lowdon, who also finished second to Malanchuk in the Competitive Division’s round robin, advanced to the berth final with a 6-2 semifinal victory over Brandon clubmate Norm Hemstad.
» Brandon Sun