It was a battle of a pair of top curling teams and Kevin Koe and his rink from Calgary would come out on top.
The Koe rink beat Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs 6-4 in round robin action at the National on Thursday night at the Essar Centre.
In what was a back-and-forth game, Koe scored a pair in the seventh end to take the lead and a steal in the eight sealed the victory at the six-day Grand Slam of Curling event.
“It was a good battle,” Jacobs said. “You would expect two quality teams to play a game like that. It could have gone either way.”
Koe called the game “entertaining.”
“There were lots of rocks in play and some big shots,” Koe said. “It’s a nice one to win.”
Jacobs called missing the final shot of the sixth end a difference in the game. With an opportunity to score two and a 5-3 lead, the Jacobs rink would wind up with just a single. Koe would take the lead for good with a pair in the seventh.
“The only shot we would want back in that game was the shot for two in six, I took a little too much ice and ran up the sheet,” Jacobs said. “We get a deuce there and it’s pretty huge instead of one.”
A tough shot in the eighth end for Jacobs led to a steal of one and the victory for Koe, who finishes the round robin with a 3-1 record.
“It was a tough shot, but it was there,” Jacobs said. “It’s a good league. You miss by a centimeter and you can lose a game sometimes.
“In the situation where a team is one up without, there’s usually lots of rocks in play and it wasn’t looking great but Mark made a great freeze and the angles were pretty good for us,” Koe said. “The shot was definitely there, but it definitely wasn’t easy.”
With a 1-2 record, the Jacobs rink will wrap up round robin action at the Grand Slam of Curling event on Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. against William Lyburn of Winnipeg.
In other tournament action on Thursday, the morning draw saw Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont. beat Binia Feltscher of Flims, Switzerland 6-3 in seven ends, Alina Paetz of Zurich, Switzerland beat Kelsey Rocque of Edmonton 7-4 in seven ends, Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta. beat Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ont. 7-4 in seven ends, Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont. beat Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont. 7-5 in seven ends, and Val Sweeting of Edmonton beat Bingyu Wang of China 8-4.
The second draw of the day at noon saw Korean Chang-Min Kim beat China’s Rui Liu 9-1 in six ends, Bruce Mouat of Edinburgh, Scotland beat John Morris of Vernon, BC 8-2 in five ends, Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg beat John Epping of Toronto 9-6, and Jason Gunnlaugson of Winnipeg beat Koe 8-6 in an extra end.
The 4 p.m. draw saw Fleury beat Michelle Englot of Winnipeg 7-4 in seven ends, Rachel Homan of Ottawa beat Kerri Einarson of Winnipeg 8-1 in six ends, Sweeting beat Chelsea Carey of Calgary 8-0 in six ends, Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg beat Tippin 6-3, and Scheidegger beat Rocque 7-6.
Other scores in Thursday’s evening draw included Mouat beating Mike McEwen of Winnipeg 7-2 in six ends, Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. beat Greg Balsdon of Kingston, Ont. 7-6, Pat Simmons of Winnipeg beat Liu 7-5 in an extra end, and Lyburn beat Greg Drummond of Scotland, 8-7.