February 6, 2013
Men's curling provincials climax this weekend
By GEORGE KARRYS, Special to QMI Agency

Team Howard's Craig Savill (left) and Wayne Middaugh sweep in a loss to Team Joe Frans on Wednesday at The Dominion Ontario Tankard. All the athletes wore pink jerseys for charity. (ANIL MUNGAL/THE CURLING NEWS)

One week after the women held court, Canada’s male curling stars and wannabes alike are in the thick of provincial championship battles.

The winners get the purple heart, the provincial jacket, a degree of funding, rapturous media and spectator attention and the coveted trip (all expenses paid, plus per diem) to Edmonton’s Rexall Centre in March for the nine-day 2013 Brier.

The runners-up get what they’ve always received, dating back to the turn of two centuries ago: The small trophy, the handshake and the taste of bitter defeat.

The arenas started rocking Wednesday in five provinces, including Neepawa in Manitoba. That race should come down to one of three big names: Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, and Brandon’s Rob Fowler. Stoughton is the biggest gun, the two-time world champion, and is enjoying a banner season. Team McEwen are the guys who’ve done it all except make the Brier, with too many losses in the Bison final. To many, Fowler is the (still) s



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