Here comes Team Horgan! 

Northern Ontario’s Darren Moulding, left, and Tanner Horgan improved their playoff hopes with a big win on Wednesday morning. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Team Northern Ontario closing in on playoff spot at Tim Hortons Brier

All the chatter prior to the start of the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, in London, Ont., centred around names like Brad Gushue, Kevin Koe, Brendan Bottcher and Mike McEwen.

But what about Tanner Horgan?


If he wasn’t in the conversation before, the last-rock thrower of Team Northern Ontario should be now, considering his and his team’s excellent performance this week at Budweiser Gardens. His team from the Northern Credit Union Curling Club in Sudbury upped its record to 5-1 Wednesday morning with a dominant 9-3 win over Team Saskatchewan (2-4, Regina) skipped by Kelly Knapp.

The Northern Ontario crew (skip and third-rock thrower Darren Moulding, brother Jacob Horgan at second, lead Colin Hodgson and coach by Mike Harris) has been amply rewarded for its play in the round robin, and now has visions of a playoff spot dancing in their heads.

The win moved Team Horgan solidly into third position in Pool A behind leaders Team Alberta (6-0, Calgary) and Team Manitoba (6-0, Winnipeg). Alberta has clinched a playoff spot, while Team Manitoba (based on opponents remaining on its docket) has a tiebreaker spot assured at worst.

Manitoba skip Matt Dunstone calls to his sweepers during action on Wednesday morning. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Matt Dunstone skipped Team Manitoba to a 13-3 win over skip Nathan Young’s Team Newfoundland and Labrador (1-6, St. John’s).

The top three teams in each pool advance to the playoffs.

“Obviously we have a big one tonight,” said Dunstone, who faces Team Alberta in a battle of unbeaten teams in the evening draw. “Honestly, the next two are big ones. We’re playing the top two teams in the pool. I’d like to get that first-place spot locked up.”

Team Dunstone closes out its round robin against Team Horgan on Thursday.

“We’re playing very well, feeling pretty good,” added Dunstone. “Had a really good sense what the ice was going to do today.”

A team from Northern Ontario hasn’t won the Tim Hortons Brier since 2013 when Team Brad Jacobs turned the trick. 

I should come as no great surprise that Horgan is standing out. He made headlines in 2021 by defeating Glenn Howard to clinch a spot in the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Saskatoon. He’s also added veteran Moulding to skip this season.

Moulding played in last year’s Tim Hortons Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., for James Grattan of Team New Brunswick.

“Darren has an incredible wealth of knowledge,” said Horgan. “Being an ice maker, he’s taught me a lot about reading ice this year. He’s been able to get the edge on other teams.” 

Quebec skip Félix Asselin watches his shot during Wednesday’s extra-end win over British Columbia. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Horgan said his experience playing fifth for Jacobs in the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier was valuable, and so was playing in the Tim Hortons Trials.

“The Trials is the most intense curling event there is,” he said. “Coming into this one I knew what to expect. It’s allowed me to be very comfortable here.”

Two key games hit the ice in Pool B as teams continued to sort themselves out in the bumper-to-bumper, rush hour drive to the playoffs. Taking big steps in that direction were Team Wild Card #1 skipped by Bottcher, and skip Félix Asselin’s Team Quebec. Team Bottcher (6-1, Calgary) was assured a tiebreaker spot after defeating Team Yukon (2-4, Whitehorse), skipped by Thomas Scoffin, 10-6.

Team Quebec (4-2, Glenmore/Belvédère/Etchemin/Valleyfield) stayed in the hunt with a 7-6 extra-end win over skip Jacques Gauthier’s Team British Columbia (2-4, Victoria). Asselin’s final draw to the eight-foot for the win had just enough oomph to score.

The final goes Sunday, March 12.

The Tim Hortons Brier champion will wear the Maple Leaf at the 2023 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship, April 1-9 in Ottawa.

The 2023 Tim Hortons Brier continues with draws Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times ET).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier are available at

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2023 Tim Hortons Brier, go to

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at