With the Tim Hortons Curling Trials quickly approaching, TSN.ca will profile one men’s team and one women’s team each day before the first rocks fly on Nov. 20 at the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.


Team Mike McEwen

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Team Mike McEwen at 2021 Tim Hortons Brier (Curling Canada/Michael Burns).

The Lineup

Skip: Mike McEwen (Age 41)
Third: Reid Carruthers (36)
Second: Derek Samagalski (37)
Lead: Colin Hodgson (31)
Coach: Rob Meakin (56)

Curling Club: West St. Paul Curling Club in Manitoba

 

2021-22 Season

Events: 6
Record: 22-14
CTRS Ranking: 9

Highlights: Team McEwen's best result on Tour came at the Penticton Curling Classic in mid-October where they fell to Sweden's Niklas Edin in the semifinals. They went 5-1 at the Direct Entry event in the nation's capital, but have a total record of 4-6 at a pair of Grand Slam events, missing the playoffs both times. 

 

How They Got Here

Qualified for the Tim Hortons Curling Trials via Curling Canada’s Trials Direct Entry event in September in Ottawa.

 

Trials Schedule

Nov. 20 – Matt Dunstone
Nov. 21 – Off Day
Nov. 22 – Jason Gunnlaugson
Nov. 23 – Brendan Bottcher
Nov. 24 – Tanner Horgan, Kevin Koe
Nov. 25 – John Epping
Nov. 26 – Brad Jacobs, Brad Gushue

 

Expert Analysis from TSN's Russ Howard

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Team McEwen will win the Trials if…

"Team McEwen needs to raise their level of play during round robin play just slightly to make playoffs. Then it’s anybody’s game as McEwen proved four years ago, playing out of his mind to beat Brad Gushue in the Trials semifinal."

 

Trials Experience

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McEwen at 2017 Roar of the Rings. 

Mike McEwen and Reid Carruthers have both competed at two Olympics Trials, but this will be the first time they compete on the same team.

In 2013, McEwen skipped his long-tenured Manitoba-based team to a 3-4 record while Carruthers played second for Jeff Stoughton, also finishing outside of the playoffs with an identical 3-4 showing.

Fast forward to 2017 and McEwen was back with the same lineup while Carruthers was captaining a newly assembled foursome which included Colin Hodgson at lead and Derek Samagalski at second.

Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings: Men's Semifinal - Gushue 4, McEwen 6

Team McEwen stole a pair in the eighth end and didn't look back from there as they knocked off the Brier Champions and earned a spot in Sunday's final against Team Koe.

McEwen finished a game better than Carruthers with a 5-3 record, good enough to sneak into the playoff and a set up a date with Brad Gushue in the semifinals. The skip shot the lights out in that game, earning the 6-4 win.

"That was as good as I’ve seen Mike in probably ever. He made everything we asked him to make and none of it was easy,” second Matt Wozniak told TSN.ca after the game. “It was all under heavy pressure. I’m so impressed with him and the way he handled that moment. It was incredible to watch."

The final against Kevin Koe came down to the final shot as Koe drew to the four-foot, sending his squad to the Olympics and McEwen’s to heartbreak.

 

Last Four Years

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Team McEwen wins wild-card game at 2020 Tim Hortons Brier. 

After battling each other to get out of the stacked curling province that is Manitoba in the previous quadrennial, McEwen and Carruthers decided it was time to join forces in 2018-19.

The early part of their first season together was a work in progress as the foursome experimented with different lineup combinations to find the right fit. They went 0-6 at the Canada Cup and then missed the Tim Hortons Brier playoffs, taking place in McEwen’s hometown of Brandon, Man., by two games later in the season.

Must See: McEwen's incredible shot scores one

With Saskatchewan leading by one in the eighth end, Mike McEwen with hammer for Manitoba makes a wonderful angle-raise to score one.

The following campaign saw some better results on Tour and another appearance at nationals after defeating Glenn Howard in the wild-card game. They would go on to finish 7-4 through championship pool play before dropping a playoff tiebreaker to John Epping. It also cemented their lineup going forward with McEwen acting as the shot caller and last rock thrower.

Team McEwen went 4-4 inside the bubble at the Brier last year and were unable to make the championship pool.