Mike McEwen (curler)

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Michael McEwen
Curler
MikeMcwen2010.jpg
Born (1980-07-30) July 30, 1980 (age 36)
Brandon, Manitoba
Team
Curling club Fort Rouge CC,
Winnipeg, MB
Skip Mike McEwen
Third B.J. Neufeld
Second Matt Wozniak
Lead Denni Neufeld
Alternate Jon Mead
Career
Brier appearances 2 (2016, 2017)
Top CTRS ranking 1st (2014-15)
Grand Slam victories 6 (World Cup/Masters (2010, 2015); The National (Nov. 2014); Canadian Open (Jan. 2011, Dec. 2011); Elite 10 (2015)

Michael "Mike" McEwen (born July 30, 1980 in Brandon, Manitoba) is a Canadian curler from Winnipeg, Manitoba, who grew up in Brandon, Manitoba. The McEwen team curls out of the Fort Rouge Curling Club in Winnipeg. McEwen won six Grand Slams in his career before his team qualified for their first Brier, Canada's national championship in 2016. He is noted as one of the top curlers using the Manitoba tuck delivery today.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1998, McEwen won his first of two Manitoba Junior championships, sending him and his team of David Chalmers, Bryce Granger and Kevin Schmidt to the 1998 Canadian Junior Curling Championships. There, he led his Manitoba rink to 9-3 round robin record, in 2nd place. This put the team in a semifinal match up against Ontario's John Morris. McEwen would lose the match 8-4, settling for third place.[2]

Three years later, McEwen and his new team of Denni Neufeld, Geordie Hargreaves and Nolan Thiessen won the Manitoba junior championships again, qualifying them to represent Manitoba at the 2001 Canadian Juniors. There, they finished in 3rd place after the round robin, with a 9-3 record. This put the team into the semifinals against Northern Ontario's Brian Adams. McEwen beat Adams 8-3, qualifying for the final against Newfoundland's Brad Gushue. McEwen and his Manitoba rink would lose to Gushue, by a score of 8-3, placing them in 2nd place.[3]

In 2003, McEwen and teammates Denni Neufeld, Sheldon Wettig , Marc Kennedy and Nolan Thiessen represented Canada at the 2003 Winter Universiade. McEwen and Wettig represented Brandon University, while his teammates represented the University of Manitoba (Neufeld and Thiessen) and the University of Alberta (Kennedy) . The team finished the round robin with a 6-3 record, in third place. The team then went on to beat Great Britain's Paul Stevenson in the semi-final, then Switzerland's Cyril Stutz in the final, to claim the gold medal.[4]

The following season, McEwen joined the James Kirkness rink as the team's third. McEwen would play for Kirkness for two seasons, and won one World Curling Tour event, the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Cashspiel. In 2005, McEwen would form his own team of Justin Richter, Matt Wozniak and Andrew Melnuk. However, his lone Grand Slam appearance before forming his current rink in 2007 was the February 2006 Masters of Curling event, where he joined up with Ryan Fry.

For the 2006-07 season, Richter and Melnuk left the team and were replaced with Geordie Hargreaves and Adam Guenther. The team disbanded after just one season together.

2007-2010[edit]

McEwen formed his current rink of brothers Denni and B. J. Neufeld and Matt Wozniak in 2007. In their first season together, they were a semi-finalist at the 2008 Safeway Championship, Manitoba's provincial championship. Their first Grand Slam event as a team was at the end season, at the 2008 Players' Championships. The team won two games, before being eliminated.

At the conclusion of the 2008-09 season the McEwen team was ranked 7th on the CCA rankings. They had made it to three Grand Slam playoffs, and finished 4th at the 2009 Safeway Championship.

During the 'Road to the Roar' 2009 Olympic Qualifier, the McEwen team just lost out to fellow Manitobans the Jason Gunnlaugson team in the semi-finals.[5] McEwen thus missed out on the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials final despite being the favourite in that particular matchup vs Gunnlaugson.

McEwen's rink made it to his first provincial final in 2010, when he lost to Jeff Stoughton in the 2010 Manitoba provincial final. The game was being played in Steinbach, Manitoba and as the Neufeld brothers and their father, have roots in Steinbach were treated very much as the home team and crowd favourites.[6]

2010-2015: Grand Slam success and perennial provincial runner-up[edit]

McEwen started the 2010-11 season off well by defeating provincial rival Jeff Stoughton to win the World Cup of Curling and his first ever Grand Slam title in November, 2010.[7] In part of the teams runner-up result in the provincial finals of 2010 and in part because of his 4 victories and leading the overall money winnings in the World Curling Tour season as of November 2010, the McEwen team was named as a nominee for the provincial team of the year by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.[8]

The team continued their strong season that year by defeating provincial rival Stoughton in the semi-final of the 2011 Canadian Open. McEwen would then go on to beat the Glenn Howard team in the extra end of the final, thus winning their second career Grand Slam and their second of that season.[9]

McEwen's rink once again made it to the Manitoba provincial this time, being the top seed (also ranked 1st in Canada). However, once again lost to Stoughton in the final of the 2011 Safeway Championship, losing by one point in the final end.[10] The McEwen team then lost their third straight provincial final game at the 2012 Safeway Championship, this time losing to Rob Fowler, thus tying a provincial record for consecutive final losses previous set by Kerry Burtnyk from 97-99.[11] This dubious record was avoided in 2013, when the McEwen rink failed to reach the final, but again losing to the rival Stoughton rink in the 2013 Safeway Championship semi-final. Once again, at the 2014 Safeway Championship, the team lost the final to Stoughton.

Despite being ranked first in the world on both the World Curling Tour Order of Merit rankings and on the WCT money list, McEwen lost his fifth provincial final in six years in 2015, losing to Reid Carruthers.

First and Second brier[edit]

McEwen's rink would win their first provincial title in 2016, sending them to their first Brier. The team had already booked their place to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier as their opponents, the Matt Dunstone rink had committed themselves to the 2016 World Junior Curling Championships which occurred at the same time as the Brier. When the Dunstone rink beat Reid Carruthers in the semi-final this meant that McEwen's team would go to the Brier, even if they had lost to Dunstone.[12]

In 2017 McEwen would defend his Manitoba Championship by beating Reid Carruthers in the final. He would then better his 2016 Brier showing, going 9-2 in the round robin to enter the playoffs in 1st place and with hammer and choice of rocks (Brad Gushue would also be 9-2 but would lose 1st place due to losing his round robin meeting with Mike). He would fall 7-5 to Brad Gushue in the 1-2 game however. In the semi finals against reigning Brier and World Champion Kevin Koe he was in control almost the whole way but up 5-3 with hammer in the 8th end Koe would make an incredible comeback with a steal in the 8th, a two in the 10th, and another steal in the extra end, dropping Mike to the bronze medal game. Mike would recover from this dissapointment to win his first Brier medal, defeating Brad Jacobs in their rematch of the 2016 bronze medal game, 7-6 in an extra end.

Personal[edit]

McEwen's wife is Dawn McEwen (Askin) who plays lead for Jennifer Jones.[13] He met his wife while billeting with her family in Ottawa for bonspiels in the late 1990s.[14] They have a daughter together.[14] McEwen attended Crocus Plains Regional Secondary School and Brandon University. McEwen is employed as a sales representative for Hardline Curling.[15]

Grand Slam record[edit]

Key
C Champion
F Lost in Final
SF Lost in Semifinal
QF Lost in Quarterfinals
R16 Lost in the round of 16
Q Did not advance to playoffs
T2 Played in Tier 2 event
DNP Did not participate in event
N/A Not a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016-17
Masters / World Cup Q DNP DNP Q DNP C QF QF Q F C QF
Tour Challenge N/A SF QF
The National DNP DNP DNP QF QF QF Q F QF C Q Q
Canadian Open DNP DNP DNP SF QF C C SF Q QF Q QF
Elite 10 N/A C QF DNP
Players' DNP DNP Q SF Q QF SF F SF F SF F
Champions Cup N/A SF

References[edit]

  1. ^ Paul Wiecek (March 7, 2016). "Team of 'tuckers'". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  2. ^ http://cloudfront10.curling.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Juniors_Men_1998.pdf
  3. ^ http://cloudfront10.curling.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/Juniors_Men_2001.pdf
  4. ^ "Wilfrid Laurier to represent Canada in curling". Canadian Interuniversity Sport. 19 January 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  5. ^ "Gunnlaugson Surprises at Road to the Roar". CCA. 14 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  6. ^ Gary Lawless (13 February 2010). "McEwen advances to first Safeway Championship final". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  7. ^ Doug Harrison (7 November 2010). "McEwen wins 1st Grand Slam of Curling". CBC News. CBC Sports. Retrieved 2010-02-13. 
  8. ^ "Man. athletes, teams up for honours". CBC News. 8 December 2010. Retrieved 2010-12-10. 
  9. ^ "McEwen wins Canadian Open curling event". CBC. 30 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-01-30. 
  10. ^ Paul Wiecek (14 February 2011). "Hoping to party like it's 1999". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 14 February 2011. 
  11. ^ Paul Wiecek (February 13, 2012). "A new and worthy champion". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  12. ^ Paul Wiecek (February 14, 2016). "Manitoba skip McEwen headed to the Brier". Winnipeg Free Press. 
  13. ^ "Canada's curling couples on trial". CTV News. 9 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-02-02. 
  14. ^ a b Gord Holder (February 14, 2016). "McEwen finally Brier bound: Manitoba skip ends years of heartbreak, securing berth in Ottawa". Ottawa Citizen. 
  15. ^ http://cloudfront6.curling.ca/2016brier/files/2016/03/BRIER-WED-ALL.pdf

External links[edit]