There’s no way Yellowknife’s Jamie Koe can match his best-ever Brier start at this edition of the Tim Hortons event. When he tagged Saskatchewan’s Scott Manners with a four-ender Monday morning in the eighth end which proved the crusher in a 9-5 victory, it gave the Territories skip a 3-and-1 record which isn’t too shabby.
“Yeah,” the younger Koe skip said afterward. “But we were 4-and-0 in 2007 and that didn’t result in our best record. We wound up 5-and-6.”
Koe was 6-and-5 in his Brier debut the year previous.
Elsewhere, tournament favourite Glenn Howard of Ontario was dragged to an extra end by Quebec’s Robert Desjardins before executing a precise soft tap in the four-foot with Ontario’s last rock and his foe lying two for the 9-8 victory.
Howard also was 3-and-1, along with idle Nova Scotia and Manitoba.
Saskatchewan led the Polars 4-2 at the half but Manners missed a key shot in the eighth to catapult Koe and Co., to a four-ender.
“We struggled the first five ends pretty bad,” said Koe. “We told ourselves we were still in it and I don’t think we missed another shot after that. When he had the miss on the eighth it was the turning point.(Continued Below…)
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“We have to figure out that slow start and come back strong in the next one.”
Koe claims to be older and smarter these days.
“The year we went 4-and-0 we got caught up with all the fans and the media and stuff and it’s pretty easy to get sidetracked from curling when you go over to the Patch and whatnot,” he said. “We still like to have our fun but we’re a little tamer and a little wiser, I think.”
Manners (2-2) was perplexed about the turnaround.
“That eighth end we’d just thrown that in-turn off the line so, I thought, throw it again, and I got a totally different result,” he said.
“I know it’s not the ice and it’s not the rocks so it’s me, so I had to be a hair softer.
“It was a bit of a stinker because I thought we really controlled the first five.”
Howard overhauled a deficit early to take control against Quebec with three in the sixth. But Desjardins battled right back with two singles to tie it after eight. (Continued below…)
Howard deuced in the ninth but missed in the 10th allowing Quebec to tie it with another pair.
In the extra, the skips traded clutch out-turn shots slipping past a centre guard for taps in the four-foot.
Desjardins was tight with his last and didn’t get a covering roll, leaving a corner of the four-foot vulnerable to Howard’s last bump-shot.
“I didn’t get what I wanted with the last one, otherwise we had a fighting chance,” said Desjardins.
Howard admitted to “a struggle”.
“It’s a little different out there,” he said. “It’s not vintage Hans (icemaker Wuthrich), how’s that?
“It’s just the type of ice that you have to get it there. It’s sometimes-it-does and sometimes-it-doesn’t. And we’re not quite as effective and the other teams are making more shots.
“We’ll pick it up. We’re not playing as well as we need to play. We need to pick it up a notch.”
In Draw Seven play at 1:30 p.m. CT, New Brunswick plays Northern Ontario, front-running Alberta faces the tail-enders from P.E.I., winless Newfoundland plays Nova Scotia and British Columbia plays Manitoba.