Brad Jacobs is guaranteed of at least a tiebreaker game at the 2018 Canada Cup in Estevan, Sask.
The Sault Ste. Marie-based team, which includes third Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden, and lead Ryan Harnden, is perfect through two days at the five-day event.
The Jacobs rink improved to 4-0 at the event on Thursday thanks to a pair of wins, including a 7-4 win over Matt Dunstone of Regina, Sask. Thursday afternoon.
Trailing 4-3 through six ends, Jacobs scored a pair in the seventh end before stealing two more in the ninth end to seal the win.
“Mission accomplished in terms of the first two days,” E.J. Harnden said in a Curling.ca interview. “We’ve been playing well and getting some breaks.”
In Thursday’s morning draw, Jacobs scored a 5-4 win over Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers thanks to an outturn tap while facing three Carruthers rocks in the final end to pick up his third win of the event.
Speaking to Curling.ca’s Al Cameron, Jacobs called his final shot “really great; just an exciting team shot.
“(Kennedy) really did his job; he got E.J. and Ryan on it at the right time; he couldn’t have called it any better, and he was a big reason why we made it.”
Kennedy told Cameron that he’s gained an appreciation for what makes the Jacobs rink successful.
“You get into that inner circle and you see what makes guys tick, what gets them up, why they play, their love for the sport, their values, their morals, their ethics,” said Kennedy. “I’ve been beyond impressed with what I’ve seen, and a lot in common with them, to be honest – more so than I ever thought. I think we’ve meshed together pretty well.”
Kennedy is taking the place of Ryan Fry, who normally serves as the third for the Jacobs team.
Fry has taken a leave from the team for personal reasons.
The Jacobs rink opened the tournament with a pair of wins on Wednesday.
Jacobs beat Calgary’s Kevin Koe 9-5 in the morning draw before beating Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. 8-4 in nine ends in the afternoon draw.
Against Koe, and tied at four through six ends, Jacobs scored a pair in the seventh end to take the lead and after Koe picked up a single in the eighth end, Jacobs sealed the win with three in the ninth end.
Leading 4-3 through six ends, Jacobs scored three in the seventh end to extend his lead before the two teams traded singles in the final two ends.
“Couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Jacobs told Curling.ca’s John Korobanik following the win over Gushue.
“Marc made a great freeze on his last one (in the seventh) and mine, even though it wasn’t a perfect shot, it was good enough that when Brad played his last, our two kind of just stuffed and stuck in there and we were laying two. We had an open draw for three, had to go out a little wider into a fresh spot, but thankfully I threw it a little heavy hoping it would come down and it did.”
Next up for the Jacobs rink is a pair of games on Friday beginning with a meeting in the afternoon draw against Toronto’s John Epping before wrapping up round robin action in the evening draw against Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher.
The Canada Cup features a three-day round robin with the top team in both the men’s and women’s divisions advancing directly into Sunday’s final.
The second- and third-place teams, after any tiebreakers, play in a semifinal to determine the other finalist.