B. J. Neufeld

Brendan "B. J." Neufeld [2] (born February 28, 1986) is a Canadian curler from Winnipeg, Manitoba. Neufeld plays third for the Kevin Koe rink. He started curling around the age of ten and, like older brother Denni Neufeld, cites the achievements of his father as leading his interest into the game of curling.[3] His father is Chris Neufeld who was a three-time Manitoba curling champion and one time Labatt Brier champion in 1992 as part of the Vic Peters team.[3]

B. J. Neufeld
B. J. Neufeld at the 2018 Elite 10.
Born (1986-02-28) February 28, 1986
Team
Curling clubFort Rouge CC,
Winnipeg, MB[1]
SkipKevin Koe
ThirdB. J. Neufeld
SecondColton Flasch
LeadBen Hebert
AlternateTed Appelman
Career
Member Association Manitoba (2007-2018)
 Alberta (2018-present)
Brier appearances4 (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
World Championship
appearances
1 (2019)
Top CTRS ranking1st (2014-15, 2018-19)
Grand Slam victories7 (2010 Masters, 2011 Canadian Open (Jan.), 2011 Canadian Open (Dec.), 2014 National (Nov.), 2015 Elite 10, 2015 Masters, 2018 Elite 10 (Mar.))

Neufeld previously coached the Briane Meilleur rink.[4]

Career

Juniors

As a junior curler, Neufeld was a three-time provincial junior champion of Manitoba in 2004, 2005, and 2007. He finished as a national junior semi-finalist at the 2004 Canadian Junior Curling Championships.[3]

2007-2010

Neufeld joined the team of Mike McEwen and Matt Wozniak in 2007 with his brother Denni. In their first season together, they were a semi-finalist at the 2008 Safeway Championship, Manitoba's provincial championship. Their first Grand Slam event as a team was at the end season, at the 2008 Players' Championships. The team won two games, before being eliminated.

At the conclusion of the 2008-09 season the McEwen team was ranked 7th on the CCA rankings. They had made it to three Grand Slam playoffs, and finished 4th at the 2009 Safeway Championship.

During the 'Road to the Roar' 2009 Olympic Qualifier, the McEwen team just lost out to fellow Manitobans the Jason Gunnlaugson team in the semi-finals.[5] Neufeld thus missed out on the 2009 Canadian Olympic Curling Trials final despite being the favourite in that particular matchup vs Gunnlaugson.

Neufeld made it to his first provincial final in 2010, when he lost to Jeff Stoughton in the 2010 Manitoba provincial final. The game was being played in Steinbach, Manitoba and as the Neufeld brothers and their father have roots in Steinbach, they were treated very much as the home team and crowd favourites.[6]

2010-2015: Grand Slam success and perennial provincial runner-up

The McEwen rink started the 2010-11 season off well by defeating provincial rival Jeff Stoughton to win the World Cup of Curling and his first ever Grand Slam title in November, 2010.[7] In part of the teams runner-up result in the provincial finals of 2010 and in part because of his 4 victories and leading the overall money winnings in the World Curling Tour season as of November 2010, the McEwen team was named as a nominee for the provincial team of the year by the Manitoba Sportswriters and Sportscasters Association.[8]

The team continued their strong season that year by defeating provincial rival Stoughton in the semi-final of the 2011 Canadian Open. They would then go on to beat the Glenn Howard team in the extra end of the final, thus winning their second career Grand Slam and their second of that season.[9]

Neufeld's rink once again made it to the Manitoba provincial this time, being the top seed (also ranked 1st in Canada). However, once again lost to Stoughton in the final of the 2011 Safeway Championship, losing by one point in the final end.[10] The McEwen team then lost their third straight provincial final game at the 2012 Safeway Championship, this time losing to Rob Fowler, thus tying a provincial record for consecutive final losses previous set by Kerry Burtnyk from 97-99.[11] This dubious record was avoided in 2013, when the McEwen rink failed to reach the final, but again losing to the rival Stoughton rink in the 2013 Safeway Championship semi-final. Once again, at the 2014 Safeway Championship, the team lost the final to Stoughton.

Despite being ranked first in the world on both the World Curling Tour Order of Merit rankings and on the WCT money list, McEwen lost his fifth provincial final in six years in 2015, losing to Reid Carruthers.

3 Briers and team breakup

The McEwen rink would win their first provincial title in 2016, sending them to their first Brier. The team had already booked their place to the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier as their opponents, the Matt Dunstone rink had committed themselves to the 2016 World Junior Curling Championships which occurred at the same time as the Brier. When the Dunstone rink beat Reid Carruthers in the semi-final this meant that McEwen's team would go to the Brier, even if they had lost to Dunstone.[12]

In 2017 the McEwen rink would defend their Manitoba Championship Title by beating Reid Carruthers in the final. He would then better his 2016 Brier showing, going 9-2 in the round robin to enter the playoffs in 1st place and with hammer and choice of rocks (Brad Gushue would also be 9-2 but would lose 1st place due to losing his round robin meeting). They would fall 7-5 to Brad Gushue in the 1-2 game however. In the semi finals against reigning Brier and World Champion Kevin Koe, Manitoba was in control almost the whole way but up 5-3 with hammer in the 8th end Koe would make an incredible comeback with a steal in the 8th, a two in the 10th, and another steal in the extra end, dropping Manitoba to the bronze medal game. They would recover from this disappointment to win his first Brier medal, defeating Brad Jacobs in their rematch of the 2016 bronze medal game, 7-6 in an extra end.

While competing at the 2018 Viterra Championship, McEwen came down with chickenpox and was unable to play after the first game. Neufeld skipped the team, until a surprise appearance by McEwen in the final where they would lose to Carruthers.[13] Despite the setback, his rink still had a chance to qualify for the 2018 Tim Hortons Brier through the wildcard game, which he won over Jason Gunnlaugson. The team had a difficult Brier and alongside Carruthers was unable to qualify for the playoffs.[14] Following the disappointment at the Brier the McEwen team announced they would be breaking up at the end of the 2017-18 season.[15] Just days after the announcement the McEwen team won the 2018 Elite 10 Grand Slam of Curling event, winning the top $28,000 prize money, and was the first team to go through the entire event undefeated.[16] The Grand Slam victory was the team's seventh overall.

Joining Koe (2018-present)

Neufeld joined the Edmonton based team of Kevin Koe, Colton Flasch and Ben Hebert the following season. His new team began the 2018-19 curling season by winning the first leg of the Curling World Cup, defeating Norway's Steffen Walstad in the final. In provincial playdowns, the Koe rink lost two of their first three games at the 2019 Boston Pizza Cup, before winning five straight games to claim the Alberta championship. The team represented Alberta at the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, and went undefeated in the entire tournament en route to winning his first Brier title. They went on to represent Canada at the 2019 World Men's Curling Championship, finishing the round robin with a 9-3 record. They battled through the playoffs to play Team Sweden's Niklas Edin rink in the final, losing 7-2. In Grand Slam play, the team failed to win any slams, but did make it to three finals. Despite the lack of any event wins, their strong play was good enough to award them with the Pinty's Cup for the season's best Slam team.[17] The team ended the season in the Grand Final of the Curling World Cup, where they beat the host Chinese team (Zou Qiang). At the end of the season, Team Koe ranked first on the World Curling Tour Order of Merit and Money List. This also meant they led the CTRS standings, finishing the season with 512.335 points.

Personal life

Neufeld is employed as a PGA of Canada head golf professional at the Larters at St. Andrews Golf & Country Club.[18] He is married to Sarah Neufeld and they have two daughters.[19]

Grand Slam record

Key
C Champion
F Lost in Final
SF Lost in Semifinal
QF Lost in Quarterfinals
R16 Lost in the round of 16
Q Did not advance to playoffs
T2 Played in Tier 2 event
DNP Did not participate in event
N/A Not a Grand Slam event that season
Event 2005–06 2006–07 2007–08 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16 2016–17 2017–18 2018–19
Elite 10 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A C QF DNP C QF
Masters Q DNP DNP Q DNP C QF QF Q F C QF SF F
Tour Challenge N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A SF QF DNP QF
The National DNP DNP DNP QF QF QF Q F QF C Q Q SF SF
Canadian Open DNP DNP DNP SF QF C C SF Q QF Q QF QF QF
Players' DNP DNP Q SF Q QF SF F SF F SF F SF F
Champions Cup N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A SF QF QF F

References

  1. https://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#!/competitions/4332/teams/20009/team_athletes/20009-third-2028
  2. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 2013-01-19.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "B.J. Neufeld". World Curling Tour. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2010-12-18.
  4. http://www.curling.ca/2017roadtotheroar/teams/
  5. "Gunnlaugson Surprises at Road to the Roar". CCA. November 14, 2009. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  6. Gary Lawless (February 13, 2010). "McEwen advances to first Safeway Championship final". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  7. Doug Harrison (November 7, 2019). "McEwen wins 1st Grand Slam of Curling". CBC News. CBC Sports. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  8. "Man. athletes, teams up for honours". CBC News. December 8, 2010. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  9. "McEwen wins Canadian Open curling event". CBC. January 30, 2011. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  10. Paul Wiecek (February 14, 2011). "Hoping to party like it's 1999". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  11. Paul Wiecek (February 13, 2012). "A new and worthy champion". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  12. Paul Wiecek (February 14, 2016). "Manitoba skip McEwen headed to the Brier". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  13. Jason Bell (February 4, 2018). "Carruthers defeats McEwen in championship final". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  14. Jason Bell (March 9, 2018). "McEwen, Carruthers come up short, miss Brier playoffs". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  15. "Disbanding of Mike McEwen's team among sweeping changes in Canadian curling after Olympics". CBC News. March 14, 2018. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  16. Jason Bell (March 18, 2018). "Mike McEwen clinches Elite 10 bonspiel title". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  17. "Koe reaches Players' Championship Final Clinch Pinty's Cup". Sportsnet. Retrieved August 26, 2019.
  18. 2018 Home Hardware Canada Cup Media Guide: B.J. Neufeld
  19. https://www.curling.ca/files/2019/11/2019-Home-Hardware-Canada-Cup-Media-Guide-online.pdf
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