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Team Saskatchewan hopes to bring province first Brier title since 1980 on home ice

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At 6:00 Friday night the Montana’s Brier will officially get underway when teams take to the ice for Draw 1 at the Brandt Centre in Regina.

On Friday morning warmups began and Team Saskatchewan lead by skip Mike McEwen was one of the first groups to test out the ice surface.

“This is my ninth [Brier]. I actually feel pretty rejuvenated right now. If I think about this Brier, I’m more excited than I have been in probably the last five years,” McEwen said.

This is McEwen’s first Brier competing with Team Saskatchewan but the Manitoba product is excited for the new task.

“Given that I’ve only been with them six or seven months, our team dynamic, given how we hold up in pressure situations, will be far beyond teams early in that lifespan. We’ll be able to operate like a team that’s been together for years. I truly believe that,” McEwen stated.

He added it was not a hard decision to come join Colton Flasch’s team and make a run at the Brier.

“I think in my situation because I did the whole Ontario experiment it was an easy decision when I got the call from Flasch. They were the best team that needed a skip because Flasch wanted to step down to third. There was no hesitation for me in the situation,” McEwen explained.

Flasch meanwhile who hails from Saskatoon is ecstatic about the opportunity to compete in his home province.

“It’s pretty sweet. It’s my first hometown Brier. This is number seven I think. It’s nice to be the home team. It would be awesome [to win],” Flasch said.

Saskatchewan’s last Brier title came in 1980. The last time the Brier was in Regina in 2018, Team Saskatchewan placed third.

“Obviously being in Saskatchewan makes it a little different but I think we put enough pressure on ourselves so I don’t think that’s an issue. For us it’s just get into the playoffs then you never know what’s going to happen,” Flasch shared. “I mean the Brier is one of the hardest events to win in curling but I think we actually do have a legit team that can win this year.”

Saskatchewan will take on P.E.I in their opening draw Friday night.

“I would love to see us coming out of the gate looking like we played on the ice for a number of games and I think if we can do that we’ll have a really good chance opening weekend,” McEwen said.

“In the first couple of ends I might [be nervous]. But right now, I’m feeling pretty confident and relaxed. I’m sure once we get on the ice tonight and it’s real all of a sudden, there will be some nerves,” Flasch said with a laugh.

A list of the Brier draws and times can be found here.

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