Morning Star Staff/CCA
Olympic champion Brad Jacobs topped the men’s round-robin table at the $140,000 Home Hardware Canada Cup of Curling in Camrose, Alta. and he wasn’t even near the rink.
When Mike McEwen of Winnipeg toppled John Morris of Calgary 7-4, Kevin Koe of Calgary ambushed Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. 10-4 and Vernon’s Jim Cotter surprised Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont. 7-4 Friday, that left Howard, McEwen and Jacobs tied at 4-2.
Records against one another gave Jacobs a bye into today’s final. Howard and McEwen met in Saturday’s semifinal of the seven-team event.
Cotter – backed by Ryan Kuhn, Tyrel Griffith and Rick Sawatsky – swiped singles in the third and ninth ends and added a deuce in 10 versus Howard.
Cotter lost 5-4 to Gushue Friday afternoon to finish at 2-4. Morris, who curled for Cotter last year, ended up 1-5. Koe and Gushue were 3-3.
Howard avoided a five-way tie for first place when he edged Koe 4-3 with a long angle-raise takeout for two in the afternoon draw to sit in the driver’s seat heading into his last game.
Jacobs told the Canadian Curling Association that earning the bye was clutch.
“Absolutely it matters,” he said. “We want final before everything. Everybody is pretty tired at this point. You want to be guaranteed the final. If you make into the final, you get hammer, you’re already into the final and you only have to play one more game. It’s huge.
On the women’s side, Val Sweeting of Vegreville, Alta. rang up two wins Friday and a 4-2 record in the seven-team round-robin competition at Encana Arena.
Sweeting qualified for Saturday’s 1:30 p.m. women’s semifinal against Sherwood Park’s Heather Nedohin, who also finished 4-2.
The winner advances to Sunday’s 10 a.m. final against two-time Canadian champion Rachel Homan. The Ottawa rink spotted 2014 Olympic champion Jennifer Jones an early 4-0 lead and then roared back to romp to a shocking 9-4 victory in her final game Friday night to finish in first place with a 5-1 record.
Howard avoided a five-way tie for first place when he edged Calgary’s Kevin Koe 4-3 with a long angle-raise takeout for two in the afternoon draw to sit in the driver’s seat heading into his last game.
But it was Jacobs, who was idle Friday night, who gets to rest Saturday.