Happy holidays await McEwen, Askin

JOE PAVIA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:08 AM ET

OTTAWA - Dawn Askin is getting something nice for Christmas.

“We’ve done well. You’ve seen the numbers,” said boyfriend Mike McEwen. “Yes, a nice little gift for Christmas.”

Ottawa native Askin is getting something real nice because McEwen’s rink is one to beat this season.

The Winnipeg foursome lead the World Curling Tour with $73,750. They have won four tour events as well as their first Grand Slam, the Grey Power World Cup, during which they defeated Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard and Jeff Stoughton.

“That’s the biggest thing we won,” said skip McEwen. “It’s pretty special. We don’t take it lightly. It gives us a lot of confidence.

“We kind of found another gear (this season). We are working a little bit with the national program. We are trying some new things sweeping-wise and technical–mechanical-wise.”

McEwen, B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak and Denni Neufeld also work hard.

“We try to throw just about every day,” said McEwen. “We throw a lot together and individually. It’s about fifty-fifty.”

The Neufeld pedigree helps. The rink is coached by B.J. and Denni’s father, Chris, who won the Brier as the second for Vic Peters in 1992.

The Brier looms large for all of them.

“The Brier is what all four of us grew up dreaming of,” said McEwen.

As perhaps the best team in Manitoba, their dream might come true.

The mostly twenty-something team (McEwen is the oldest at 30) has a team logo, its own website, mcewancurling.com, and blogs and tweets.

Crackberry.com co-founder Kevin Michaluk is their fifth.

“More than curling, he is running our website and is very tech-savvy,” said McEwen.“We’re trying to engage a little bit more with the curling community.”

McEwen will be in Ottawa for Christmas, so we might find out what Dawn’s nice, little gift is.

This week, McEwen’s rink is competing in the Swiss Chalet National in Vernon, B.C. CBC has Saturday afternoon coverage of the quarter-finals at 3. The evening semi-final is on CBC Bold at 7. The Sunday afternoon is on the full network at 1.

OCA RESULTS

Dominion Tankard and Scotties zone winners were: 1A — Shane Latimer and Rachel Homan, B — Ron Hrycak and Debra Karbashewski; 2A — Bryan Cochrane and Tracy Samaan, B — Howard Rajala and Lauren Mann; 3A — Steve Allen and Jaimee Gardner, B — Chris Gardner and Christine McCrady; 4A — Greg Balsdon and Lisa Farnell, B — Dave Collyer and Dianne Wylie. The regions begin Jan. 8 in Cornwall ... In Gore Mutual school zones, the winners were: 1A — Paige Wilson and Jonathan Thompson, B — Natalie Groulx and Devan Barr; 4A — Katherine Nicholas and Riley Calwell, B — Whitney Donahue and Shawn Ray.

BITERS

UK Sport has doubled the funding to British Curling (Scotland included) to $3.6 million leading up to the 2014 Sochi Games … Manitoba Curling Association rocks that have been used in every Brier and worlds in Canada since 1998 will no longer be needed after this season. The Canadian Curling Association has purchased the Vancouver Olympic rocks.


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