Jonasson falls short in mixed provincial curling semifinals

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Wes Jonasson of Arborg and his Thistle Curling Club squad came up two wins shy of earning the right to represent Manitoba at the 2020 national mixed championship.

Jonasson, third Ashley Surminski of Selkirk, Sheldon Oshanyk and Laurie Macdonell earned their way into the playoffs at the 17-team, modified triple knockout event in Springfield by virtue of an extra-end steal for a 5-4 victory over Ryan Wiebe of the St. Vital Curling Club in a C-side qualifier on March 30.

In the quarter-finals on March 31, Jonasson and company scored three in the third end and stole two more in the eighth to cement an 8-5 win over the reigning provincial and national champions led by skip Colin Kurz, and include second Brendan Bilawka of East St. Paul and lead Sara Oliver of Marquette.

Kurz and company reached the playoffs by virtue of a 5-1 record, capped off by a 3-2 win over Justin Richter, Kerri Einarson, Kyle Einarson and Jennifer Clark-Rouire of the Gimli Curling Club on March 30.

However, Jonasson surrendered a steal of three in the seventh end to eventual champion Braden Calvert from Assiniboine Memorial in a 6-2 semifinal loss on March 31.

Rachel Burtnyk of East St. Paul also reached the playoffs with her Assiniboine Memorial foursome skipped by Daniel Grant, but they fell 5-4 to Travis Bale in the quarter-finals.

Brett Walter and his team from the Elmwood Curling Club, which includes lead Mackenzie Elias of East St. Paul, was eliminated by Grant following a 9-4 loss in a C-side semifinal on March 30, while Graham Loewen of St. Vital, who features Zack Bilawka of East St. Paul at second, also dropped a C-side semifinal, 8-3 to Wiebe.

Craig Strand, Marlene Lang, Steven Lang and Carlene Strang of the West St. Paul Curling Club lost all three of their games at mixed provincials by one point.

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