Olympic return looks dim for Jacobs
OTTAWA — The reigning Olympic men’s curling champions were perfect at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings the last time around.
The 2017 Trials have been far less kind to Brad Jacobs and his team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Chances of a repeat appearance at the Winter Games were all but dashed Thursday as Jacobs dropped a 9-5 decision to Reid Carruthers. The loss left Jacobs at 2-4 with only a slim chance of making it to a tiebreaker game.
“It’s a big surprise, it’s an incredible surprise,” said Team Jacobs coach Caleb Flaxey.
“We didn’t expect to be in this situation.”
Kevin Koe (7-0) booked a spot in the men’s final with a 7-4 victory over John Morris in the afternoon. Fellow Calgary skip Chelsea Carey (6-0) is guaranteed no worse than a tiebreaker appearance after a 9-8 win over Julie Tippin.
Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., improved her playoff chances with a 5-3 win over Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones. Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher remained in the mix after edging Toronto’s John Epping, 7-6 in an extra end.
Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen were tied for second place in the men’s standings at 4-2. Carruthers, from Winnipeg, was next at 4-3, followed by Bottcher at 3-3. Laycock, from Saskatoon, and Jacobs were at 2-4. Morris, from Vernon, B.C., and Epping were eliminated from playoff contention at 1-5.
Carey gave up a four-point second end to Tippin but chipped away at the deficit, eventually stealing three points in the 10th for the win. “Definitely lucky to pull that one out but we’ll take it,” Carey said.
A visibly frustrated Tippin, from Woodstock, Ont., did not stop to speak with reporters after the game.
Entering evening play, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan was alone in second place at 5-1. She was followed by Jones at 5-2 and McCarville at 4-2.
Edmonton’s Val Sweeting was also still in the mix at 3-3. The other women’s teams in the field will not play on the weekend.
Winnipeg’s Michelle Englot (2-4) posted an 8-7 win over Toronto’s Allison Flaxey (0-7) in morning play. Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., was 2-4 and Tippin, from Woodstock, Ont., dropped to 1-5.
Jacobs, meanwhile, ran the table four years ago in Winnipeg and went on to take gold at the Sochi Games. He played well in wins over Morris and Gushue in round-robin play at Canadian Tire Centre but will look back at a stunning miss against Koe as a turning point.