A little more than halfway and Vernon’s Jim Cotter has already equaled his win count from last year’s Tim Hortons Brier.
The Team B.C. skip, supported by third Kevin Folk, second Ty Griffith and lead Rick Sawtsky, had a four-game win streak snapped Tuesday afternoon in Saskatoon after an 8-6 loss to Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad Gushue.
The Newfoundland rink, now 2-5, raced out to a 5-2 lead at the break after counting deuces in three and five, and extended the lead to four points after eight ends.
Cotter, now 4-3, replied with a single in the ninth end, but came up short with a single steal in the 10th.
The Vernon-Kelowna rink opened round-robin play Saturday with a 9-5 loss to Alberta’s Kevin Koe (6-1), followed by a 5-3 loss to Nova Scotia’s Jamie Murphy (3-3) Sunday morning.
The B.C. champs then got on a roll, starting with a 6-5 extra-end win over Saskatchewan’s Scott Manners (2-4) Sunday afternoon.
Down 4-3 after seven ends, Cotter burgled singles in eight and nine before Manners forced an extra end with a single in 10. Cotter calmly drew to the back four-foot for the win.
Facing Manitoba’s Rob Fowler (4-2) Monday afternoon, Cotter rallied from a 3-0 deficit to pull out a 9-5 victory.
Fowler had a chance at a four-ender in four, but was unable to nudge Cotter’s shot stone far enough with his final delivery, and instead gave up a single. The Manitoba skip was then light on his draw attempt in six, giving up a steal of three.
Cotter sealed the win with a triple in nine.
In the Monday afternoon draw, Cotter counted a deuce in 10 to leapfrog Quebec’s Robert Desjardins 5-4.
Trailing 3-2 at the break, Desjardins (1-5) played a patient game, blanking six and seven before recording back-to-back singles in eight and nine.
Cotter used another late push Tuesday morning to brush back Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs 7-3.
Leading 4-2 after seven ends, the Vernon skip gave up a single in eight, but forced handshakes with a triple in nine.
Northern Ontario dipped to 3-4.
The B.C. boys battle Ontario’s Glenn Howard (5-1) in today’s opening draw (6:30 a.m. PT) before going up against P.E.I.’s Mike Gaudet (1-5) at 4:30 p.m.
The round-robin concludes Thursday, with Cotter battling New Brunswick’s Terry Odishaw (2-4) at 11:30 a.m., and Yukon/Northwest Territories’ Jamie Koe (5-1) at 4:30 p.m.