In the heart of Dorchester, an air of silent anticipation hung amidst the flurry of sweeping brooms and gliding stones as Glenn Howard, with a battle-hardened grin, stepped onto the ice—a familiar territory where legends are forged and champions crowned. Driven by an unquenchable thirst for victory, Howard’s words echoed in the frosty arena, “Every time I lace them up—and I don’t care who we’re playing against—I always think we can win. I plan on winning.”

It was a Sunday etched in the annals of curling history as Howard, the local titan of the sport, led his Penetanguishene Curling Club rink to a triumphant win in the Ontario Tankard final. The face-off against Jayden King’s London rink was nothing short of a nerve-wracking chess match on ice. The climax unfurled in an extra end, the score hanging in a precarious balance, until Howard seized glory with an 8-7 victory.

The journey to the top was paved with sheer perfection—a flawless record in the round-robin tournament set Howard’s team on a collision course with destiny. No rink emerged unscathed against Howard’s strategic prowess, as John Epping’s experienced lot fell with a commanding 7-1 in the Page playoffs, a testament to Howard’s crew setting sail directly to the final.

On the parallel lanes of fate, Carly Howard—Glenn’s daughter and a rising star in her own right—was within a whisper of glory at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. Her team, hailing from the esteemed High Park Club, displayed a mix of finesse and ferocity, overcoming Danielle Inglis’s rink in the 1-2 Page playoff. Yet, in the final clash for supremacy, the wheel of fortune turned, leaving Howard to reflect on an 8-7 conclusion that favored Inglis.

The ranks of Howard’s comrades, standing shoulder to shoulder, were emblazoned with the names of third Scott Howard, second David Mathers, and lead Tim March. An ensemble deftly reshuffled when a knee injury sidelined Glenn, prompting Scott to ascend from vice to skip, while the veteran curled tactician embraced the role of coach—a maneuver as strategic as it was necessary.

A pivotal team decision to persevere with a three-man formation redefined traditional curling combat lines. “It seemed to work for us in the past. We all feel comfortable and that’s how we’re going to play it out,” Scott candidly shared with the press as the tournament’s intensity swelled.

History speaks to the rare but potent outcomes of such a tactic; a precedent was set when Brad Gushue captured the Brier with one man down. And so the Howards marched on, propelled by a legacy of iron will and the indomitable Howard fire.

The elder Howard’s celebrated career shines with the luster of four Brier and world titles. Now, with an eye fixed on a fifth Brier crown, the seasoned competitor sets his gaze on the Brandt Centre in Regina, where the drama of the men’s national championship will unfold.

For Howard, this is more than a game—it’s a quest, a passion that burns hotter than the fiercest prairie winters. “Am I as good as I used to be? No. But I’ve still got that fire and that goes a long way,” he declares with the wisdom of a warrior poet.

Echoes of past triumphs weave through the narrative of his career—two Brier victories at home in Ontario, the first in Hamilton’s 2007 battle, and the second beside his brother Russ in Ottawa, 1993. To Howard, the roar of the home crowd is “like an extra point on the scoreboard.” For in those hair-raising cheers lies the quintessence of curling—a synergy of skill, strategy, and the relentless pursuit of perfection.

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John Crew
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