It was an abrupt end to the second Grand Slam of Curling event of the season for Brad Jacobs and his team from the Community First Curling Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.
After posting a perfect 4-0 record in the round robin, the Jacobs rink, which includes third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden, dropped a 6-3 decision to Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, Man. in quarter-final action at the Masters on Saturday in Lloydminster, Sask.
With the hammer, McEwen made a tough shot with his final rock in the eighth end to remove a Jacobs stone from the house and score three to pick up the victory and move on.
McEwen, who needed to win a tie-breaker over Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud to get into the quarter-final, opened the game with a steal of one in the first end and led 3-1 through five ends before Jacobs got back on even terms with a single in six and a steal of one in seven.
McEwen moved on to face Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the semifinal on Saturday night where he would drop a 4-2 decision.
The other semifinal on Saturday saw Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. beat Kevin Koe of Calgary, Alta. 7-1 to advance to Sunday’s men’s final against Edin.
On the women’s side, Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg, Man. advanced to Sunday’s final thanks to a 10-4 win over Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg. Jones will face Kerri Einarson of Winnipeg, Man., who advanced to the final thanks to a 6-3 win over Scotland’s Eve Muirhead.
The Masters is the second event, and first major, on the Grand Slam schedule. The tournament features 15 men’s and 15 women’s teams. The teams include the top 13 teams based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit while one spot in each is held for a sponsor’s exemption and the final spot goes to the Tour Challenge Tier II winners. The Tour Challenge is the opening event on the Grand Slam schedule.
Teams are split into three five-team divisions for the round robin with the top eight teams moving on to the playoff round. Tiebreaker’s are included for any ties for the final playoff positions.
The Masters champions earn invites to the Champions Cup, the final event of the season, which includes tournament winners from all of the major events of the season.