Brad Jacobs won’t soon forget Saturday, February 11, 2012. The Soo Curlers Association skip and his rink of E.J. Harnden, Ryan Harnden and Scott Seabrook had the kind of day curlers can only dream about in capturing the Dominion 2012 Northern Ontario Men’s Curling Championship.
Leading 6-3 playing the sixth end of the semi-final game against two-time Brier skip Tim Phillips, Jacobs engineered an elusive eight-ender on the way to a 14-3 victory. Phillips threw caution to the win in an attempt to get back in the game, but the Jacobs foursome had to curl with exacting precision in advance of their skip’s last rock, board weight, inturn takeout for the eight-count.
So, if you’re Brad Jacobs, how do you follow up a Saturday afternoon eight-ender? Just by winning your third straight trip to the Brier on Saturday night, that’s how! The championship final between the Jacobs rink and Mike Jakubo’s Copper Cliff team of Matt Seabrook, Sandy MacEwen and Lee Toner was a rematch of the Page 1 vs 2 game. In their first playoff matchup, Jakubo prevailed by a score of 8-6, but could not duplicate that success in the final, losing 9-2 in an abbreviated affair. Leading 4-1 after five ends, Jacobs forced a single in the sixth before scoring 2 in the next end and stealing 3 more in the eighth.
Jakubo sat atop the leaderboard with a record of 10-1 after round-robin play concluded at the Soo Curlers Association, which played host to the championship from February 5-12. Jacobs finished the preliminaries at 8-3, one game better than Phillips and Fort William’s Mike Assad. In the Page 3 vs 4 game played on Friday afternoon, Phillips and his Soo Curlers teammates never trailed in racking up a 10-7 win over Assad and his support staff of Al Hackner, Kory Carr and Jamie Childs.
Look for the twenty-six-year-old Jacobs and his young team to be in the hunt as the 2012 Tim Hortons Brier unfolds in Saskatoon from March 3-11. At last year’s London Brier, Jacobs led this same team to a record of 7-4, just missing out on a playoff berth. In 2010 at the Halifax Brier, Jacobs, the Harnden boys and Caleb Flaxey finished with a round robin record of 9-2 before losing two playoff games and settling for a third place finish.