2020 SaskTel Tankard Men's Provincial Championship: Event Preview

SaskTel Tankard Men’s Provincial Championship ~ Melville, SK

The Time Has Come Once Again!

Draw 1 will hit the ice Wednesday January 29th @ 2:30 p.m. inside the Horizon Credit Union Centre in Melville! The championship winner come Sunday will represent Saskatchewan at the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier, February 29 – March 8 in Kingston, Ontario!

Melville played host to a wonderful SaskTel Tankard back in 2015, and we cannot wait to get things rockin’ for the second half of the week! Good Luck & Good Curling Genetlemen!

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Tankard being marched in during Sunday’s final at the 2019 SaskTel Tankard in Whitewood, SK (Photo Courtesy Jen Hanlin/Whitewood).

Dustin Kalthoff (left) & Jason Jacobson (center) sweep their rock during the 2015 SaskTel Tankard Championship Game at the Horizon Credit Union Centre in Melville.

Teams Looking For Similar Success in Melville

Five years & counting since cheers from Tankard curling fans have come from the Horizon Credit Union Centre seats!

Melville played host to a wonderful event back in 2015, and we look forward to another beautiful showing by players, volunteers, staff & all fans in attendance. Buildings have provided good luck to some curlers in the past, as travelling to familiar settings is some things teams keep in mind. Team Jacobson’s last visit to Melville was when they hit the ice against Team Steve Laycock in the 2015 Tankard final. Both Jason & Dustin will play similar positions, with the Springer brothers joining them this time around as front end.

The Hartung family, although competing on different teams this time around, found some success in 2015. Jeff, Kody & Tyler with lead Claire DeCocke made a remarkable run as members fresh out juniors. Meeting up in the 1 vs. 2 Page Playoff Game with Team Steve Laycock, eventually bowing out to Jacobson in the semi-final. The Knapp brothers in both Kelly & Trent made the playoffs that year as well teamming up with skip Randy Bryden! They hope to bring some of that “Melville Magic” to their own team this year as they compete with the same lineup in Whitewood, Josh Heidt & Brock Montgomery.

SaskTel Tankard Men’s Provincial Teams

Team Matt Dunstone – Regina
Dunstone is coming in ranked the #1 Men’s team in the province. They got off to a rockin’ start winning the 2019 Grand Slam of Curling (GSOC) Masters, following it up with a final appearance at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, losing to John Epping. They currently sit at #16 on the World Curling Tour (WCT) Ranking System.

Team Kirk Muyres – Saskatoon
Team Muyres will head into Melville looking to successfully defend their title from one year ago in Whitewood! The boys have qualified in 6 out of 8 events, including a nice run at the GSOC Kioti Tractor Tier 2 Challenge, bowing out to Manitoba’s Tanner Horgan in the semi-final.

Team Kody Hartung – Langenburg
Hartung returns with the same foursome as one year ago, where they look to improve on their 3 vs. 4 page playoff appearance at last years provincial. With third Tyler Hartung missing a majority of the season, the team claimed their second straight win at the Saskatchewan Players Championship in Swift Current, defeating Estevan’s Brent Gedak.

Team Shaun Meachem – Saskatoon
Meachem is back at the reigns with the same front end as one year ago in Stewart & Latos. Shaun welcomes a familiar face in Brady Scharback at the third position, since competing together at during the 2016 SaskTel Tankard in Kindersley, losing the final to then Steve Laycock. An impressive year thus far for Meachem & team, being victorious twice on the Saskatchewan Curling Tour this season.

Team Brent Gedak – Estevan
Team Gedak are back again in the mix with the same lineup as last year. A successful year to date on the SCT, where they qualified in all events they competed in, winning the cash spiel in Moose Jaw. They also made one appearance on the World Curling Tour making the trip to Medicine Hat, where they clinched a spot via their Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) into the SaskTel Tankard.

Team Ryan Deis – Fox Valley
Team Deis made a fantastic run last year, forcing eventual champions Kirk Muyres into a draw for the win to advance to the final against Dunstone. With the same roster heading into this season, Deis & team qualified in three SCT events earning their berth into the Tankard via a third place finish at the Farmers Edge SCT Spiel in Wadena, defeating Ryan Armstrong.

Team Jason Jacobson – Saskatoon
A combination of former teammates joined forces this season, with former backend players in Jason & Dustin look to make a similar run as back in 2015 making the Tankard final losing to Steve Laycock. While it is the Springer brothers of Foam Lake back playing front end together. Along with qualifying in 6 out of 7 events this year, Jacobson & team capped it off with a SCT win at the Regina Highland earning their direct berth to this years Tankard.

Team Steve Howard – Regina
Steve is back in Saskatchewan skipping a bit of a different team in front of him. He & longtime teammate Scott Deck welcomed former junior teammates Dan & Mat. The team travelled to 7 events on the SCT & WCT this season, with their best finish coming recently at the Saskatchewan Players Championship, losing to Hartung in the semi-final.

Team Sam Wills – Regina
Fresh out of juniors, Sam Wills & his team will be the youngest foursome out on the ice in Melville! Sam has skipped on the big stage before, finishing fourth on the national stage at the University Championships. It will be the former university teammates in Grady & Brody who will round out the team in front of Sam! Team Wills was the top team on the SCT this season, earning a direct berth to Melville!

Team Ben Gamble – Regina
After a year off from skipping, Gamble & longtime teammate Mohns welcome first time Tankard competitors Krupski & McCusker. The boys had a fantastic run down in Estevan at the SCT spiel, going undefeated and earning their direct berth to Melville. They will welcome Olympic Gold Medalist & Sportsnet analyst Joan McCusker as coach for the week.

Team Jeff Hartung ~ Langenburg
Jeff & Jason are no strangers to the SaskTel Tankard scene, both combining a ton of experience as teammates & opponents. They bring along the same front end as last year, where they competed in front of Jason’s hometown crowd in Whitewood! A fairly quiet year for this team on tour, competing in a couple SCT’s. But they made it count when it mattered most, earning the first spot out of the southern qualifiers.

Team Josh Heidt ~ Kerrobert
Josh & team return with the same lineup this season as in Whitewood. Caught by the injury bug this year, the first event they competed in as a full team was the Players Championship a few weeks ago. They will look to make a similar run as last year making the A-Event final! The team earned their Tankard berth by claiming the final spot out of the southern playdowns. They welcome back coach & former Tankard champion Brian McCusker.

Team Cole Tenetuik ~ North Battleford
Cole will make his debut at the Tankard in the skips position, where Chad (lead), Brennan (third) & Cole played in front of Lloyd Fell at last years provincial championship. The team added Matthew Taylor fresh out of juniors at the second position. Cole was part of the 2015 Canadian Junior Silver Medalist team with Jake Hersikorn! The boys grabbed their spot into Melville by qualifying in the first spot out of Northern playdowns.

Team Brady Kendel ~ Saskatoon
Bit of a new look for Brady in front of him this year, welcoming longtime friends & former teammates the Hersikorn brothers. A lot of experience & success for these four young men, as Brady, Jacob & lead Brandon earned a silver medal finish at the 2015 Canadian Junior Championships. Brady made a great run two years ago as first time skip, reaching the C-Final with a brand new team!

Team Brad Heidt ~ Kerrobert
The “seasoned veterans” as you may call them are back at it again! Team Brad Heidt have made noise in both the Men’s, Senior Men’s & Masters Men’s divisions the past few seasons. Last year, Brad & Dan were your Canadian Masters Bronze Medalists in Saskatoon representing Saskatchewan. It has been two years since these four men have made it to the Tankard, but they are back at it with the same lineup looking to make another run.

Team Lloyd Fell – Unity
Lloyd skipped his own squad last season, which included members of Team Tenetuik. Ranked 16th heading into last year, the team made a fabulous run reaching the C- semifinal! Lloyd returns with a brand new team in front of him this time around, as they earned the final berth to this years provincial, defeating two other members of the Heidt family, and last year Tankard competitors Drew & Mitch Heidt.

Good Luck & Good Curling Gentlemen!