Hometown favourite helps Manitoba to 2-0 record at Tim Hortons Brier

REGINA — Reid Carruthers is accustomed to walking off the ice and walking into a phalanx of media microphones following big-event curling games; it goes with the territory of being a skip.

Reid Carruthers, left, and Braeden Moskowy are off to a 2-0 start at the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

But’s a little different at the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by Mosaic. Even though Carruthers has skipped Manitoba to a 2-0 start at the Brandt Centre, and even though he won a Ford World Men’s championship gold medal in this building in 2011 playing second for Jeff Stoughton, it’s Carruthers’ broad-shouldered vice-skip, Regina-born-and-raised Braeden Moskowy, who is getting all the attention on opening weekend at the Brandt Centre.

“That’s good; it takes the heat off me,” said Carruthers with a smile. “Normally I have to do all these interviews, so we can let the star of the show get his limelight for the week here in Regina.”

The Carruthers team — including Moskowy, and rounded out by second Derek Samagalski, lead Colin Hodgson and coach Dan Carey — improved to 2-0 on Sunday morning, grinding out a 7-5 extra-end win over Saskatchewan’s Steve Laycock (0-2; Saskatoon).

Moskowy, the 2011 Canadian junior men’s champ (with Saskatchewan second Kirk Muyres as his vice-skip), still lives in Regina (he’s the team’s one allowed non-Manitoba resident), so he knew he’d be in the spotlight once Team Carruthers won the Manitoba title.

“It’s an odd feeling; there are a lot more demands being put on me, getting pulled in different directions, whether it’s media stuff, tickets — it’s something that probably skips are more accustomed to doing,” he said. “But I wouldn’t trade it for the world, that’s for sure.”

Ontario’s John Epping calls instructions to his sweepers, with New Brunswick skip James Grattan looking on. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

His dad, Kelly, represented Saskatchewan at the 2002 Brier in Calgary, and took part in Saturday’s Opening Ceremony as a past Saskatchewan champ.

And while those Saskatchewan curling roots run deep, Braeden says his dad isn’t opposed to putting on some Manitoba colours to support his son.

“He’s fully on-board,” said Moskowy with a chuckle. “I don’t think it’s a big ask; not as big of an ask as trying to get someone to trade in their Rider jersey for a Bomber jersey.”

In other Sunday morning games, Ontario’s John Epping (1-1; Toronto) staved off a furious comeback that saw New Brunswick’s James Grattan (1-1; Oromocto) steal points in the eighth, ninth and 10th ends, finally pulling out a 9-7 triumph.

Also, P.E.I.’s Eddie MacKenzie (1-1; Charlottetown) took two in the 10th end for a 7-6 win over Quebec’s Mike Fournier (1-1; Dollard-des-Ormeaux), and Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs (2-0; Sault Ste. Marie) was a 6-3 winner over Nunavut’s Dave St. Louis (0-2; Iqaluit).

The 2018 Tim Hortons Brier continues with draws Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times CT).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier, go to www.curling.ca/2018brier/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2018brier/?lang=fr