The second event on the Grand Slam of Curling schedule opened on a positive note for Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs and his team from the Community First Curling Centre on Wednesday.
The Jacobs rink, which includes third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, and lead Ryan Harnden, opened the Masters in Lloydminster, Sask. Wednesday with a pair of victories, including an 8-4 win over Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers in Wednesday’s evening draw.
Leading 4-2 through four ends, the Jacobs rink would pick up a steal of two before trading deuces in the sixth and seventh ends en route to the victory to move to 2-0.
Earlier in the day, the Jacobs rink picked up a 5-3 win over Pat Simmons of Winnipeg, Man. in the afternoon draw.
After falling behind 1-0 through two ends, Jacobs would blank the third end before scoring a pair in the fourth to take the lead. After Simmons would retake the lead in the sixth end with a pair of his own, Jacobs would take the lead for good with a pair in seven and seal the win with a steal of one in eight to pick up the victory.
“I think this was a really good way to start the event for us,” E.J. Harnden told TheGrandSlamOfCurling.com’s Jonathan Brazeau following the opener. “We played well. Both teams made some really good shots. Both team gave each other a few opportunities out there and fortunately for us we were kind of able to capitalize there at the end and pick up the win in a really good first game that I think will hopefully put us in a good position going forward.”
The Jacobs rink returns to action for one game on Thursday, facing Switzerland’s Peter De Cruz in the afternoon draw. Jacobs then wraps up round robin action on Friday evening against Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock.
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,