Manitoba's Mike McEwen put up a four-spot in the opening end and it was more than enough to defeat Ontario's Glenn Howard 6-3 in the final of the Ashley HomeStore Curling Classic on Monday afternoon from Penticton, B.C.
It was the first event of the pandemic delayed 2020-21 season for McEwen and his Winnipeg rink of third Reid Carruthers, second Derek Samagalski and lead Colin Hodgson.
The event featured many big names including Kevin Koe, John Epping, Brad Jacobs, Tyler Tardi and Brendan Bottcher.
Team McEwen dropped their opening game against Team Steve Laycock before reeling off seven straight wins, including besting Team Laycock in quarterfinal, beating Team Koe in the semifinals and finally topping Team Howard in the championship tilt.
Howard got into Monday's final after stealing a single in the last end against Brendan Bottcher's Edmonton rink. Bottcher's draw for the win came up short resulting in a dramatic measure in which Howard prevailed, 5-4. Howard also defeated Sean Geall in the quarters.
Other notable results included three-time Canadian junior champ Tardi making the playoffs thanks to a tiebreaking win over Jacobs. Tardi was ousted in the quarters by Koe.
Epping also made it to the playoffs, but fell to Bottcher in the quarters.
Saskatchewan's Matt Dunstone and Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador picked up their second wins of the season this weekend.
Dunstone's rink of third Braeden Moskowy, second Kirk Muyres and lead Dustin Kidby posted a perfect 5-0 at the SCT North - Prince Albert bonspiel, capping it off with an impressive 8-2 win over Kody Hartung in the final.
Team Dunstone captured the Vaderstad Saskatchewan Super Series last month.
Also in Saskatchewan, Colton Flasch and his new Saskatoon rink also won for a second time in this pandemic delayed season, beating Michael Carss, 5-3, in the final of the SCT Central - Nutana event. Team Flasch went 6-0 overall.
At the SCT South - Lumsden bonspiel Steven Howard defeated Sam Wills in the final 6-2.
Out East at the Stu Sells 1824 Halifax Classic, Team Gushue defeated Matthew Manuel's Halifax squad in the final, 6-2.
Lead Ryan McNeil Lamswood replaced Geoff Walker for the tournament, joining regulars Gushue, third Mark Nichols and second Brett Gallant.
It was the second straight win for Team Gushue after the foursome from St. John's Nfld., won the Dave Jones Spiel earlier this month. Gushue hasn't lost since capturing his third Brier Tankard in four years last March in Kingston, Ont.
On Thursday, the Okotoks Ladies Classic was called off after just one draw following new restrictions in Alberta to help with the fight against COVID-19.
Overseas, Scotland's Bruce Mouat captured the National Curling Academy November Classic with an 8-3 win over Ross Whyte in the final.
Eve Muirhead, also from Scotland, defeated Gina Aitken in the women's final, 6-2.