As opposing skips, they faced each other four times over the last four years in the final of the Manitoba Men’s Curling Championship with each winning the Purple Heart twice.
Now as teammates Reid Carruthers and Mike McEwen will be representing our province at the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier in Brandon.
Carruthers, McEwen, Derek Samagalski and Colin Hodgson defeated William Lyburn of the Granite Curling Club in Winnipeg 5-3 in the final of the 2019 Viterra Championship at Tundra Oil & Pas Place in Virden.
"It's going to take a bit of time to absorb this," said McEwen shortly after the end of the closing ceremonies. "Going back to my hometown and all the guys on the team, we're good buddies and obviously Reid and I for a longer period - it feels like pure joy. It's going to be hard but I think regardless of the outcome, this is going to be something that will be a lasting experience for us. This doesn't come around every day and I'm very happy we have this opportunity."
Carruthers blanked the first three ends and then got a deuce in the fourth and a steal of one in the fifth when Lyburn was heavy with a draw.
Lyburn, Daley Peters, Kyle Doering and Brendan Bilawka drew even in the seventh end but Carruthers got a huge deuce in eight to take a 5-3 lead.
"I'm really proud of the guys," Lyburn said. "It was an amazing week. I put this team at the start of the year together thinking that we would be good and then we had doubts because it just wasn't really working out. Then all of a sudden our hard work and practice and working with (coach) Gerry Sande - it started at the Brandon bonspiel and we were right there. We were close. Just one game."
McEwen, who lost the 2018 provincial final to Carruthers, won the wildcard last year at the Brier.
Unfortunately both Manitoba teams failed to qualify for the Championship Pool in Regina.
"We're ready for it," said Carruthers, who went to the Brier three times playing second for the legendary Jeff Stoughton and has been a part of six of the last nine provincial championship teams. "I felt like we played well this week after we got our lesson from Terry McNamee. For us, I feel likes it's time carry that momentum into Brandon."
The 2019 Tim Hortons Brier will be held March 2nd to 10th at Westoba Place.
photo courtesy CurlManitoba