Lessons for life on the hockey rink
Ted Nolan’s journey to head coach of Polish national team
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 were far less kind to Brad Jacobs and his team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.
Chances of a repeat appearance at the Winter Games were dashed Thursday at Canadian Tire Centre. Jacobs essentially sealed his fate when he dropped a 9-5 decision to Reid Carruthers in the morning. Formal elimination from playoff contention came in the evening when Brad Gushue beat Steve Laycock, 8-5.
“It’s a big surprise, it’s an incredible surprise,” said Team Jacobs coach Caleb Flaxey.
Calgary’s Kevin Koe (7-0) booked a spot in the men’s final with a 7-4 win over John Morris in the afternoon. Calgary’s Chelsea Carey (6-0) is guaranteed no worse than a tiebreaker appearance after a 9-8 win over Julie Tippin.
The top three rinks in the nineteam fields make the playoffs.
Gushue, from St. John’s, N.L., moved into second place at 5-2. Jacobs (3-4) beat Mike McEwen, 6-3, in the nightcap to send the Winnipeg skip into a third-place tie with Carruthers at 4-3.
Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher (3-3) was also in the mix after edging Toronto’s John Epping, 7-6 in an extra end. Laycock, from Saskatoon, fell to 2-5 and is out along with Morris (1-5), from Vernon, B.C., and Epping (1-6).
Ottawa’s Rachel Homan beat Edmonton’s Val Sweeting 7-5 in the evening. Homan was alone in second place at 6-1 and Sweeting was knocked out of the playoff mix at 3-4. Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., improved her playoff chances with a 5-3 win over Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg. Jones was in third place at 5-2 and McCarville was fourth at 4-2.
Skip Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, left, discusses a shot with Ryan Fry at curling’s Olympic Trials on Thursday.