It was brother vs. brother at the Credit Union Centre on Wednesday morning but the result didn’t live up to the hype. Alberta’s Kevin Koe survived a couple of tough opening ends against Jamie Koe’s Territories team before the difference in the squads began to seep through and the Brier co-leaders scored three, then two, then three, and scampered away with an 11-3 verdict in a matter of seven ends.
“I’m glad it’s over,” said the Alberta skip who won the Tim Hortons Brier and world championships two years ago.
“I’m really glad he (Jamie) is here and doing well. But I don’t get much enjoyment out of beating them. I hope they win the rest of their games.
“It’s unfortunate one of us had to lose but we really needed that win after losing our last game.
“It’s a long week and it’s tough to stay focused all week. But I’m sure they (Territories) will bounced back against Manitoba this afternoon.”
The win helped Alberta maintain a share of the lead with a 7-and-1 record.
Ontario’s Glenn Howard, the 2007 Brier champ, kept pace with an 8-4 win over British Columbia’s Jim Cotter that wasn’t decided until Cotter missed a last draw in the 10th end with Ontario counting three.
“Obviously,” said Howard, “I thought Jim would make that shot and we’d be going yet another extra end.”
It would have been the fifth overtime assignment in eight jousts for Ontario.
Cotter refused to allow Ontario to get away on the scoreboard, tying things up three times before blanking the ninth and trailing by one.
Howard’s last come-around draw slipped behind the teeline leaving Cotter a path to follow. But his rock over-curled and rubbed at the top of the rings.
The losses dropped the Territories to 5-3 and B.C. to 4-4.
Elsewhere, Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs (4-4) exploded on the heels of his Tuesday win over Alberta and pummelled Quebec’s Robert Desjardins 9-2 while Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue (3-5) continued what he hopes will be a long road back to survival with a 10-6 conquest of Saskatchewan’s fading Scott Manners (2-6).
“We needed that game and I’m really proud of the guys for coming out and playing the way we did this morning,” said Jacobs, who won his last three games at the Brier a year ago after accumulating a 4-4 record on the Wednesday.
“Hey, we’re still in it!” exclaimed Jacobs. “And we just have to keep doing our thing one game at a time.
“It would be good to hang in and then run a bit of a streak at the finish.
“Obviously, if we’re fortunate to make the playoffs we’d have a streak going. It would be good for us. We’d have confidence built by the end of the week. And momentum.” (Continued below…)
Gushue’s in an even stickier situation.
“Well, we have to run the table,” he said.
“There are three games left and we have to keep it up. I think we can do it. We don’t want to go away with a losing record. We’re a better team than that. Worst case, we want to be 6-and-5 and maybe have a chance at a tiebreaker.”
Gushue said his team needs further improvement.
“I’m happy with the result but not with the way I played. I don’t think we played particularly sharp but we gave ourselves some opportunities for some good ends and took advantage a couple of times. We need to be sharper to control our own fate. Right now we’re counting on the other teams not playing up to their capabilities, either.”
In other afternoon tests at 1:30 p.m. CT, Ontario plays P.E.I., currently riding a two-game winning streak, Nova Scotia (4-4) plays Quebec (2-6) and Saskatchewan goes against New Brunswick (2-5).