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Epic start for Epping in Moose Jaw

Ontario’s John Epping came out swinging against last year’s champion in Draw One of the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling which began this morning with eight teams in action.

John Epping (Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

Martin had his hands full right from the start, blanking the first end and taking only a single in the second on the way to a 7-6 loss.

“We had a real good chance for 3 in the next end,” said Martin referring to Epping’s 4-ender in the fourth end. “That’s really the one that hurts. Not so much the 4 – Scott made two beauties. But to come back with 3 would have really taken away their momentum.”

Tied 6-6 going into the tenth, Epping and his team of Scott Bailey, Scott Howard and David Mathers needed a piece of the button and nailed it for the win.

In the other men’s game, Glenn Howard chased Jeff Stoughton, exchanging points with hammer until the ninth. With Stoughton leading 7-5 heading into the final end, Howard had a chance to tie and came up short, giving up a steal of 2 for a 9-5 Stoughton victory.

“The bottom line is Jeff’s team made a few more shots that we did,” said Howard after the game. “We’ve got to play better.”

In women’s play, Team Jones – with Kaitlyn Lawes taking the reins while skip Jennifer Jones is on maternity leave – came out strong against Crystal Webster, leading 7-2 heading into the fifth end break.  Lawes played an aggressive game with lots of rocks in play, but Webster battled back. Trailing 7-4 after five ends, Webster stole 1 in seven and scored 2 in the ninth to climb back within reach. Lawes put the game away with a single in 10 and the 9-7 victory.

Draw 1 Photos

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In other women’s play, Stefanie Lawton forced Sherry Middaugh to take a single in the first, then went on to score 2 and steal the next two ends for a 7-1 score after four.  Lawton, third Sherry Anderson, second Sherry Singler and lead Marliese Kasner kept the pressure on and led 8-3 after six ends, eventually earning a 10-4 victory.

“We had a lot going on around the centre,” said Lawton about keeping the pressure on Middaugh during the last few ends. “Sherry had to make some big shots against a couple. We managed to get them, and Sherry didn’t quite, so I think that was the difference.”

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Draw 2 will see Webster, Epping, Lawton and Middaugh back on the ice, along with Chelsea Carey, Heather Nedohin, and Cathy Overton-Clapham on the women’s side, and Brad Gushue, Mike McEwen and Kevin Koe on the men’s.