Pat Simmons appears to be on the kind of roll he used to ride at Saskatchewan provincial championships.
The Moose Jaw chiropractor, who plays out of Davidson, SK., skipped his team to within one game of qualifying for the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials at Edmonton with a stunning 12-7 thumping of defending Olympic gold medallist Brad Gushue on Wednesday night in the CN Centre.
Simmons now faces another familiar foe, Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg, in Thursday’s A qualifying final at 6:30 p.m. in the Road to the Roar, presented by Monsanto, live on TSN.
The loser drops to a B qualifying semi-final against the winner of a quarter-final tussle between Bob Ursel of Kelowna and Wayne Middaugh of Toronto.
Stoughton earlier advanced with a 4-2 conquest of Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen.
Simmons was slammed with a four-ender in the second end by Gushue but rebounded to pound the Newfoundland outfit with pair of four-spots, in the fifth and eighth ends. The four in the fifth turned the game around. Gushue led 5-3 after four.
“Patience is something we’ve been working on and it’s one of the big improvements in our team,” said Simmons afterward.
“We’ve won a lot of games this year by going about our business, communicating and chipping away at the opposition. In this one, we had a few good breaks and they had a few unfortunate ones including a couple of picks that hurt.
“Obviously, we’ll take those when we can get them. Especially against a team like that. We’ve had lots of problems with them in the past.”
Simmons said facing Stoughton “will be a first this year”.
In late action on the women’s side, Sherry Middaugh of Coldwater, ON, eliminated Michelle Englot of Regina 10-4 in C1 qualifying action while Heather Rankin of Calgary sidelined Eve Belisle of Montreal, 7-3.
Rankin and Middaugh will face off Friday at 1 p.m. in a C1 semi-final.
Kelly Scott of Kelowna and Crystal Webster of Calgary advanced earlier to the women’s A qualifier slated for 12:30 pm. today, live on TSN.
Today’s initial 8:30 a.m. draw will feature B qualifying women’s quarter-finals involving: Rachel Homan of Ottawa vs. Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay; Sherry Anderson of Saskatoon vs. Amber Holland of Kronau; Cathy King of Edmonton vs. Marie-France Larouche of St-Romuald, QC. In addition, Mike McEwen of Winnipeg faces Jean-Michel Menard of St-Romuald in a men’s qualifying quarter-final.