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Jacobs to face McEwen in Masters quarters

Team Jacobs finished the round robin with a perfect 4-0 record
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Brad Jacobs 2
Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie eyes up his shot on Friday, Feb. 10, 2017 at Fort William Curling Club during the 2017 Travelers Mens' Provincial Championship (Leith Dunick, tbnewswatch.com).

Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs and his team from the Community First Curling Centre locally will move on to the playoff round at the latest Grand Slam of Curling event with a perfect record.

Team Jacobs, which includes third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden, wrapped up round robin play at the Masters in Lloydminster, Sask. With a 4-0 record following a 4-2 win over Steve Laycock of Saskatoon, Sask,

Laycock would take the lead on a single in the third end with hammer after a pair of early blanks.

Jacobs would blank the fourth and fifth ends before taking the lead with three in the sixth end. The Jacobs rink would proceed to steal one in the seventh and hold Laycock to a single in the eighth en route to the win.

“We wanted to finish out the round-robin on a high and maintain our confidence going into the playoff round,” Team Jacobs second E.J. Harnden told TheGrandSlamOfCurling.com’s Jonathan Brazeau. “Just be able to focus on making shots, staying loose, staying focused and I think we did a pretty good job about that tonight.”

“You still want to keep your focus, but you don’t want to give it too much and drain yourself too much,” he added. “I think we did a really good job of balancing, staying a little bit on the looser side out there but also staying focused at the same time.”

The Jacobs rink will face Mike McEwen of Winnipeg, Man. in quarter-final action on Saturday evening after McEwen beat Norwegian Thomas Ulsrud in tie-breaker action on Friday night.

The other quarter-final matchups will see Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. (4-0) face Peter De Cruz of Switzerland (2-2); Kevin Koe of Calgary, Alta. (4-0) will face Jason Gunnlaugson of Winnipeg, Man. (2-2); and Niklas Edin of Sweden (3-1) will meet Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg, Man. (3-1).

Playoff action begins with quarter-final action on Saturday afternoon with the men’s final set for Sunday.

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.