Winnipegger Mike McEwen aims to secure Saskatchewan's 1st Brier win in over 40 years
A Manitoba curling proverb is "the buffalo feels heavy."
Expectations are high for curlers from that province on the national and international stage.
But what about representing another avid curling province that hasn't won a Brier in over 40 years?
Mike McEwen has played in seven Canadian men's curling championships for Manitoba. He's about to experience wearing Saskatchewan colours in Regina at the 2024 Montana's Brier.
The last Saskatchewan team to win a Brier was Rick Folk's in 1980.
McEwen, third Colton Flasch and front-end brothers Kevin and Daniel Marsh will attempt to end Saskatchewan's drought, and do it on home ice March 1-10 at the Brandt Centre.
The Saskatchewan champions face Prince Edward Island's Tyler Smith to kick off the tournament on March 1.
"Versus adding pressure and anxiety and things like that, I think it actually adds more excitement," McEwen said. "I'm still chasing that childhood dream of winning my first, so having that kind of story line in the background gets me even more excited."
The 43-year-old who grew up in Brandon, Man. but lives in Winnipeg, skipped a Manitoba team at the Brier every year from 2016 and 2022 — four times as provincial champion and three times as a wild-card entry.
His best record in that span was 10-4 to finish third in 2017. McEwen also lost to Kevin Koe in the Olympic trials men's final that year.
McEwen skipped Ontario, which was comprised of Ryan Fry, Brent Laing and Joey Hart in last year's Brier in London, Ont. They reached the playoffs and lost to Brendan Bottcher in the Page game between the third and fourth seeds.
McEwen has won three straight championships in three different provinces (Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan), which makes him the first man to skip