Wednesday Nov 29, 2023

Mike McEwen, Brendan Bottcher win qualifier video games to succeed in closing 4 at Brier

Mike McEwen, Brendan Bottcher win qualifier video games to succeed in closing 4 at Brier

Mike McEwen’s first lead of the sport got here on the excellent time.

The Ontario skip made a big-weight hit to attain a pair within the tenth finish for an exhilarating 9-8 victory over Alberta’s Kevin Koe in a crossover elimination recreation Friday afternoon on the Tim Hortons Brier in London, Ont.

“That was one for the ages,” McEwen stated. “I have not been in a recreation fairly like that in a while.”

The victory moved the house aspect into the four-team Web page playoffs on the weekend at Budweiser Gardens. Wild Card 1’s Brendan Bottcher additionally superior with an 8-5 win over Northern Ontario’s Tanner Horgan.

Bottcher managed the sport after scoring three within the third finish. His teammates all shot at the least 90 per cent and held a plucky Northern Ontario aspect to some singles after an early deuce.

“I believe we nonetheless have one other gear,” Bottcher stated. “To win one in all these you have to play rather well on the weekend. We’re trending in the precise course.”

The Ontario-Alberta recreation lasted about 5 minutes longer, permitting the partisan crowd to totally focus on the late efforts of McEwen and teammates Ryan Fry, Brent Laing and Joe Hart.

Ontario arrange the tip properly and McEwen made the Alberta stones spill to the delight of the 5,152 in attendance.

“Something Kevin did, we matched after which forwards and backwards, forwards and backwards, all the recreation,” McEwen stated. “That was a particular playoff recreation.

“There’s all the time nice playoff video games however that ranks up there as one of the vital entertaining that I’ve ever been part of.”

Koe, who shot 79 per cent, scored pairs within the fifth and seventh ends. A ninth-end miss led to a power and McEwen took benefit with hammer coming dwelling.

“We did not play properly,” Koe stated. “We allow them to cling round they usually made us pay.”

McEwen could not duplicate the hassle within the night, dropping a 9-3 choice to defending champion Brad Gushue in a seeding recreation. Unbeaten Manitoba skip Matt Dunstone beat Bottcher 5-3 within the different matchup.

Dunstone made a game-winner by throwing his stone by means of a small port for the hit to attain three.

“Oh man, this group has been ready for that second all 12 months,” Dunstone stated. “We have not actually had a second the place we had a shot to win a recreation like that. Clearly a giant second.”

Dunstone and Gushue earned byes to the seeding spherical after ending first of their respective nine-team swimming pools in round-robin play. They will sq. off within the Web page 1-2 recreation on Saturday evening whereas McEwen and Bottcher will meet within the Web page 3-4 matchup earlier within the day.

The Web page 1-2 winner goes on to the ultimate on Sunday evening whereas the loser falls into the semifinal in opposition to the Web page 3-4 winner. The three-4 loser can be eradicated.

Earlier, Horgan held Bottcher to a single within the first and took the lead with a deuce within the second finish.

However Wild Card 1 second Brett Gallant made a runback triple-takeout within the third and a Horgan stone flashed later in the long run. That arrange Bottcher for a three-ender that turned the sport in his favour.

Hodgson throws excellent recreation in closing look

Northern Ontario lead Colin Hodgson threw an ideal recreation in his closing Brier look. He can be retiring from the lads’s group recreation on the finish of the season.

The group gave him a giant ovation as he made his method down the sheet after the groups shook arms.

“It was undoubtedly probably the most particular second I’ve had,” Hodgson stated.

The Brier champion will characterize Canada on the April 1-9 world males’s curling championship in Ottawa.

Two male curling teammates hug on the ice.
Northern Ontario’s Darren Moulding hugs teammate Colin Hodgson after being eradicated by Wild Card 1’s Brendan Bottcher in playoff motion on Friday in London, Ont. (Frank Gunn/The Canadian Press)


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