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Jacobs out of playoff contention at Olympic trials (update)

The opportunity to compete in a second Winter Olympics has come to an end for Team Jacobs
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2017-12-04 Team Jacobs RI
Photo courtesy Roy Iachetta Sr.

The final day of round robin action at the 2017 Roar of the Rings in Ottawa is Friday and Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs will enter the day looking to finish strong.

A 1-1 record on Thursday eliminated the Community First Curling Centre rink from playoff contention.

Jacobs opened the day with a 9-5 loss to Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers in the morning draw, a loss that left the team with four losses and in need of a lot of help to earn one of three playoff spots at the Olympic trials.

The loss didn’t officially eliminate the team at the time, but no four-loss team has ever made it to the playoffs in the history of the event.

Following the loss to Carruthers, via Curling Canada, Jacobs told reporters “we just didn’t execute today.”

“The ice was great. There’s no excuses. We just came out here knowing our fate was in our own hands and we didn’t perform,” Jacobs added. “I’m disappointed. Even though I’m laughing I am disappointed because I know we’re so much better than we were this week.”

A draw for four by Carruthers in the fourth end after Jacobs came up short on an attempted freeze was the difference.

Jacobs would rebound on Thursday night with a 6-3 win over Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen.

The Jacobs rink jumped out to a 4-1 lead through four ends thanks to a pair of deuces. Jacobs scored a pair in each of the second and fourth ends en route to the win.

Sporting a 3-4 record, the Jacobs rink, which includes third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden and alternate Peter Steski, returns to action against Toronto’s John Epping on Friday afternoon.

The round robin wraps up at the Canadian Tire Centre on Friday night with playoff action set to begin Saturday on both the men’s and women’s sides.

The playoff picture on the men’s side will see three teams battling for the final playoff spot.

Calgary’s Kevin Koe clinched a playoff spot on Thursday after he improved to 7-0 with a win over John Morris of Vernon, BC. Thanks to a win in the evening draw against Steve Laycock of Saskatoon, Brad Gushue clinched a spot in Saturday’s semifinal. His opponent will be determined following action on Friday.

McEwen (4-3), Carruthers (4-3), and Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton (3-3) remain in contention for the final playoff spot. McEwen and Bottcher meet in Friday’s morning draw while Bottcher will face Carruthers in the evening draw. Should two teams remain tied for the final spot, a tie-breaker would be played Saturday morning to determine the second semi-finalist.

On the women’s side, four teams remain in the playoff hunt, including Chelsea Carey of Calgary (6-0), Rachel Homan of Ottawa (6-1), Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg (5-2) and Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay (4-2).

The top three teams in the standings advance to the playoffs with the first-place team moving directly into the final and the remaining two teams meeting in semifinal action.

The women’s final is set for Sunday at 2 p.m. with the men’s final at 7 p.m.

The tournament winners will represent Canada at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea.