B.C. got back into the win column Wednesday morning at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian Men’s Curling Championships in Kingston, Ont.
Jim Cotter of Vernon, throwing final stones for skip Steve Laycock of Saskatoon, and with front end Andrew Nerpin of Kelowna at second and lead Rick Sawatsky of Vernon, doubled winless Thomas Scoffin of the Yukon 6-3 to snap a four-game losing streak.
The win improves the B.C. champs’ record to 2-4 with one match remaining Wednesday evening against defending champion Kevin Koe’s Team Canada rink from Calgary. Koe is 4-2.
Cotter/Laycock snapped a tight 3-3 game against Scoffin with a deuce in the ninth end with hammer, then clinched the win with a steal of one in the final end.
James Grattan of New Brunswick dropped to 3-3 Wednesday morning with an 8-6 loss to Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories (2-4).
Team Wild Card (Mike McEwen, Winnipeg) and Matt Dunstone of Saskatchewan are both 5-1 atop Pool A and have clinched two of the four berths available into Round 2, a four-team round-robin against the top-four teams from Pool B (records carry over). The top four after the second round advance to the playoffs.
John Epping of Ontario is 3-3 heading into his final match against Jamie Koe. Epping began the Brier with three straight wins. Grattan plays McEwen.
Should Cotter, Grattan, Jamie Koe and Epping all end up at 3-4, which is possible., a new rule in Canadian Curling this year states tiebreaker games will only be played if the tied teams have records of .500 or better. If below .500, the World Curling Federation tiebreaker rules apply. First tiebreaker is head-to-head results between the tied teams. So, with four teams at 3-4, head to head, Koe and Gratton would be 2-1 within the group, Cotter and Epping at 1-2. And then it would go to head to head between Koe and Grattan, Koe won that and would get the fourth spot in the championship pool.
Alberta (6-0) and Newfoundland/Labrador (5-1) have clinched Round 2 berths out of Pool B. Manitoba (4-2) is next while Northern Ontario and Nova Scotia sit at 3-3. Each rink has one round-robin game left.
*Canada also returned to its winning ways Wednesday afternoon at the World Wheelchair Curling Championships in Wetzikan, Switzerland with a 9-4 win over Sweden.
Canada, with Spallumcheen’s Ina Forrest throwing third rocks, fell behind 4-0 before scoring a single point in the fifth end with hammer, then stole five in the sixth end and three more in the seventh to generate handshakes.
Canada had lost 5-4 to the Czech Republic in an extra end Wednesday morning.
The preliminary round in the 12-country event finishes Thursday with Canada playing Estonia and China. The Chinese are undefeated at 8-0, while Canada is tied for second with Sweden at 7-2.
*Vernon’s Kathy Pedersen fell 9-8 to Royal City’s (New Westminster) Janet Klebe in the opening round of the B.C. Master Women’s Championship in Lake Cowichan Tuesday.
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