Dreams of a second straight appearance in the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials final, and a spot in the 2018 Winter Olympics, ended in Ottawa Thursday afternoon for John Morris.
The Vernon rink of Morris, Jim Cotter, Catlin Schneider and Tyrel Griffith fell out of playoff contention with a 7-4 loss to Calgary’s Kevin Koe (7-0), who had clinched a Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings men’s playoff spot Wednesday night.
Morris is 1-5 with two games left.
Morris, who, along with Cotter and Griffith, lost the 2013 Roar final to eventual Olympic gold medalist Brad Jacobs, fell 10-6 Wednesday night to Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg, who scored three in the 10th end to put the game away.
Koe snapped a 4-4 tie by scoring two in the eighth end, then stole a single point in nine.
Reigning Brier and World champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen were tied for second entering play Thursday night at 4-2. Carruthers was 4-3.
Morris finishes the round-robin with two games Friday against John Epping of Toronto and Steve Laycock of Saskatoon.
* The Morris rink, as defending champion, has an automatic berth into the 2018 belairdirect B.C. men’s curling championships in Parksville Jan. 30 to Feb. 4.
Two rinks will qualify for provincials at an open qualifying event this weekend at the Vernon Curling Club.
Vernon’s Mark Longworth is one of six rinks competing and he’ll open up the draws Saturday at 9:30 a.m. against Wylie Eden of Penticton.
The A event qualifier goes Sunday morning at 9:30 and the B event qualifier is at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Draws Saturday are at 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.