Triple threat!

Team Manitoba skip Dave Boehmer (front) jumps in to help sweep alongside second Sean Bracken (middle) as lead George Hacking (back) watches closely at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships (Photo, Curling Canada/Wayne Emde)

With only three players, Manitoba’s Dave Boehmer earns 9-3 win over the Yukon at 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships

Despite being a four-person sport, impressive performances with three player teams are not new in curling. 

In fact, as recently as 2022 at Lethbridge, Alta., Brad Gushue skipped his Wild Card #1 team to a Brier championship while his right-hand man Mark Nichols was down with a bout of COVID. 

Fast forward to now at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships from the Vernon Curling Club in British Columbia, Team Manitoba skip Dave Boehmer is enduring a similar challenge. 

Boehmer finds himself down a player in the all-important vice-skip role, as Dale Lott is out with a pinched nerve in his neck.  

“Just at the hotel before we were getting ready to take the shuttle over, I got a text that said Dale was real bad,” said Boehmer. “He’s not going to make it for the game.” 

Team Manitoba lead George Hacking shakes hands with Yukon second Doug Hamilton after a 9-3 win at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships (Photo, Curling Canada/Wayne Emde)

And though the four-time Manitoba senior men’s champion Boehmer might not be Brad Gushue, he and his three-man unit of second Sean Bracken and lead George Hacking of the Petersfield Curling Club took care of business on Tuesday afternoon, downing the Yukon’s Terry Miller (1-3; Whitehorse) 9-3 and improving to a 3-1 record thusly.  

It’s an important win that rights the ship for Team Manitoba, who dropped its previous match 6-4 against Québec’s François Roberge (3-1; Saint-Romuald) 

“That’s a must win,” said Boehmer. “I’m sure if we’re on the bubble in the end and we’ll look back on what could have been with the Québec game and all that. But for now, we’ll have to deal with it.” 

Adversity is nothing new to the skip, and some speculate that Boehmer even thrives under challenging circumstances. Boehmer earned his berth to this Canadian senior championship by stealing the sixth, seventh, and eighth ends of the Manitoba senior men’s final versus La Salle’s Randy Neufeld; a game in which Boehmer trailed 5-1 at the fourth end break.  

Furthermore, going all the way back to 2004, Boehmer earned the nickname “Night Train” thanks to a red-eye train ride that saw him commute from Prince Albert, Sask., after being eliminated from a Grand Slam quarterfinal, all the way back to Winnipeg to compete in the legendary MCA spiel. At that time, the MCA was a qualifier for the Manitoba men’s provincial championship and Boehmer, who had yet to qualify for men’s provincials, conceded his first six games of the MCA to attend the slam. Knowing it was his final chance at a provincial berth, Boehmer rushed back to Winnipeg and won 17 straight matches over four days to secure an MCA spiel playoff berth and, by proxy, a berth in the Manitoba men’s provincial championship. 

“I guess so,” said Boehmer when asked about thriving under pressure. “I’ve been playing this game all my life. There’s no nerves anymore. This is why I play the game. You go out there and try your best.” 

Thankfully, Manitoba alternate Scott Szydlik is en route to Vernon and will round out the Team Manitoba roster.

Legendary tales and roster changes aside, Boehmer’s focus is on winning the 2023 Everest Candian Senior Men’s Championship and his expectations reflect that. It’s exactly what you’d expect from someone who is largely considered the best men’s player in Canada to never qualify for the Brier. 

“I’ve been here three times and haven’t really made a noise,” said Boehmer. “I wanted this one bad. I was telling the guys ‘Hey, relax, let’s get to bed early and take this seriously’, so the expectations are big.” 

In Men’s pool A play, Nova Scotia’s Paul Flemming (3-0; Halifax) heads the group with Québec and Manitoba following in tow. 

Pool B sees Saskatchewan’s Bruce Korte (5-0; Saskatoon) on top while Prince Edward Island’s Philip Gorveatt (2-1; Montague) and British Columbia’s Wes Craig (2-1; Duncan) round out the top three in order. 

In women’s play, Alberta’s Atina Ford-Johnston (4-1; Calgary) is the Pool A provisional leader with Saskatchewan’s Nancy Martin (3-0; Martensville) and British Columbia’s Diane Gushulak (3-1; Duncan) still in the hunt. 

Pool B sees Ontario’s Susan Froud (3-1; Alliston) leading the pack with Québec’s Chantal Osborne (3-1; Thurso) and Nova Scotia’s Andrea Saulnier (3-1; Kentville) completing the top three picture. 

Action from the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Curling Championships continues Tuesday at 6 p.m. (all times Pacific). 

Live scoring updates for the 2023 Everest Canadian Seniors are available by CLICKING HERE. For event information, including team lineups and draw times, CLICK HERE.   

Live-streaming coverage of selected games at the 2023 Everest Canadian Senior Championships will be available on Curling Canada’s streaming platform, Curling Canada + as well as on TSN+.