As provincial and territorial qualifying events take place across the country, leading up to the 2011 Tim Hortons Brier, we’re keeping you up-to-date on all the latest developments. Here’s the news from Northern Ontario.Brad Jacobs took the first step toward a return trip to the Tim Hortons Brier by qualifying for the provincial finals out of Northern Ontario’s Region 4 with an unblemished 5-0 record over the weekend of January 14-16. Jacobs, who at 24 was the youngest skip at last year’s national championship in Halifax, led his team to a 9-2 mark and a place in the Brier playoffs with a line up of E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden and Caleb Flaxey.
This season, Scott Seabrook has taken over at the lead position in place of Flaxey for the Soo Curlers Association foursome and they haven’t missed a beat.
Five other regions also declared winners over the weekend. All earned the right to compete along with previous qualifiers skipped by Mike Pozihun and Bryan Burgess at the Dominion Men’s Provincial Finals scheduled for the Fort William Curling Club February 6-13.
Time will tell if Fort William’s favourite son Mike Assad – with veteran Al Hackner at third – will have a home club advantage after qualifying out of Region 2. Tim Nordin and his Stratton Curling Club team will represent Region 1, while Geraldton’s John Salo captured Region 3 honours. Copper Cliff’s Mike Jakubo will make the trip to the Fort William Curling Club out of Region 5, while Dave MacInnes of Englehart, battled his way through Region 6 play.
Four more Northern Ontario finalists will be declared over the weekend of January 28 -30 when East and West Qualifiers hosted by the Soo Curlers Association and the Atikokan Curling Club produce two teams apiece.