Team Northern Ontario, represented by Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs, continued to roll at the 2020 Tim Hortons Brier on Wednesday afternoon.
The Sault-based rink, which includes Jacobs along with third Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden, and alternate Lee Toner, wrapped up round robin action on Wednesday with a 10-2 win over Nunavut’s Jake Higgs.
The Jacobs rink ended the round robin with a 4-3 record after three consecutive wins and earned a spot in the Championship Pool, which begins on Thursday afternoon.
Against Higgs, Jacobs jumped out to an early lead with four in the opening end with the hammer and proceeding to steal one more to lead 5-0 through two ends.
Higgs got on the board with a single in the third end.
Jacobs increased the lead with a pair in the fourth end before stealing three in the fifth to lead 10-1.
Heading into the Championship Pool, the Jacobs rink is feeling good.
“It’s not where we wanted to be but coming into this field, we almost didn’t have any expectations because it’s so tough,” E.J. Harnden said in an interview with Curling Canada. “We have some momentum going now and we all feel pretty good about that. There have been lots of times where it’s been the other way where we built the momentum in the beginning and then we started to lose some steam as the week went on.”
Also speaking with Curling Canada, Kennedy added that the early adversity of starting the tournament 1-3 wasn’t a bad thing.
“That adversity was good, it was tough to get through to be honest,” Kennedy said. “We didn’t wan to be 1-3 but we were, and we managed it really well yesterday and today. You can feel us gathering momentum and getting comfortable and I don’t think we could have asked for more than that.”
The Jacobs rink will return to action on Thursday in the Championship Pool with a pair of games.
The team will face Mike McEwen (6-1), in the tournament as the Wild Card team after winning a game the day before the start of the round robin against Glenn Howard.
The Jacobs/McEwen match is set for 1 p.m.
Jacobs will wrap up action on Thursday by facing Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone in the evening draw beginning at 7 p.m.
Championship pool play will continue on Friday.
Team Jacobs will play a pair of games on Friday, facing Team Canada – skipped by Kevin Koe – at 1 p.m. and John Epping’s Ontario team in the evening draw at 7 p.m.
Following action on Friday, the top four teams will move on to the playoff round, which begins on Saturday with Page Playoff games at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Semifinal action is set for 12 p.m. on Sunday with the tournament final following at 7 p.m.