Jeff, Kerry and Mike?

KIRK PENTON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:37 AM ET

MORRIS -- Mike McEwen successfully completed the game-winning takeout in the extra end and let out a quiet but emphatic "Heck yeah!" -- give or take a couple of letters.

The 9-8 victory over West Kildonan's Brendan Taylor in the semifinal of the Manitoba Curling Tour Championship earned the Assiniboine Memorial foursome a berth in next month's provincial men's playdowns in Selkirk.

It also propelled McEwen to last night's final, which he won for the second year in a row, this time beating Brandon's Terry McNamee 7-4.

McNamee qualified for the Safeway Championship more than a month ago.

McEwen, supported by B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld, earned $7,000 for the victory, which made him the first back-to-back winner of the MCT's year-ending event.

McEwen also qualified last month for the Canada Cup for the second straight year, which makes his squad arguably the hottest in Manitoba right now. And that group includes Kerry Burtnyk and Jeff Stoughton.

'MADE STEPS'

"Maybe in the last month and a half we've probably been the more consistent team out of the three," McEwen said prior to his win over McNamee. "... We've made steps from last year to now. I think we're even a more solid team than we were last year."

As for potentially being the top seed at the Safeway Championship, McEwen wasn't so sure.

"It wouldn't be crazy if we're three or two or whatever," said McEwen, whose girlfriend is Dawn Askin, the lead for Jennifer Jones. "You could almost put any of our three teams, at least how we're playing, in any order.

"If you look at it experience-wise, obviously you're going to put Jeff or Kerry ahead, but yeah, you could argue almost any order, because we're all pretty close in what we've done this year."

The semifinal win over Taylor was the toughest of the weekend for McEwen, who fell behind 5-1 after three ends. A quick deuce and then a steal of two in the fifth got him right back in it, however.

"It's tough ice," he said. "It was a little tricky and straight and heavy. We knew we were going to have a couple chances to get back in the game. We were pretty fortunate that we got back in it as quick as we did."

McNamee earned $4,000, while the semifinalists, Taylor and Assiniboine Memorial's David Bohn, pocketed $2,000.

Morden's Chelsea Carey got on a hot streak yesterday and emerged victorious in the eight-team women's event, thumping Fort Rouge's Janet Harvey 7-1 in the final and picking up $4,000.


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