Jim Cotter came close to winning his first Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event championship.
Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen ended up capturing his sixth.
McEwen defeated Vernon’s Cotter 5-3 in the final of The Masters at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre Sunday in Truro, NS.
The final was broadcast live on CBC-TV sports.
It was Cotter’s first trip to a GSOC final since finishing runner-up at the 2012 Masters.
Cotter, third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith, and lead Rick Sawatsky won the Tour Challenge Tier 2 event in September in Paradise, NL to earn a berth at the Masters.
“We’re very happy with the way we played on the weekend,” said Cotter. “The guys played great. Anytime you get to play in a big-time final, it’s only going to make you better.”
Cotter opened the final with hammer and drew to the button with his last rock in the first while facing a pair of counters in the four-foot circle to take a 1-0 lead.
McEwen made his final throw in two through a port to hit and stick for one, then stole one in the third to take a 2-1 lead after Cotter missed his runback attempt to blank.
Cotter held shot stone prior to his last throw and needed a piece of the button for two but it rolled heavy and he took just one to tie it.
McEwen blanked the fifth and scored a deuce in six to go ahead.
Cotter was forced to score in seven facing two counters and hit and stuck for one.
McEwen sealed the victory in the eighth and final end, calmly drawing to the four-foot against two Cotter stones.
“Obviously we wanted to win, and you want to win those games, but that’s the way it goes,” said Cotter, saying the turning point was the sixth end.
“We gave up a deuce there. Anytime you give up a pair to a team like McEwen, one of the best teams in the world, it’s not great. But, we made him throw his last one (rock) for the win.”
Cotter’s crew qualified for the playoffs with a 3-1 record and stunned Olympic gold medallist Brad Jacobs, of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 8-1 in the quarterfinals. The team earned another big win to reach the final defeating Sasaktoon’s Steve Laycock 8-3.
The second-place result earned Cotter and company $15,500, and a spot in next month’s Meridian Canadian Open, Dec. 8-13, in Yorkton, Sask.
McEwen also finished 3-1 with their lone loss coming against Tour Challenge Tier 1 champion Kevin Koe of Calgary.
McEwen beat Reid Carruthers 7-3 in an all-Winnipeg rink quarterfinal match and avenged the loss to Koe with an intense 5-4 victory in the semis.
Rachel Homan of Ottawa won her third women’s Master’s title in four years, beating Edmonton’s Val Sweeting 6-4 in the final.