Team Canada defeated Scotland in Wednesday evening action to cap another successful day at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship and assure itself a spot in the Page 1-2 game.
The day started well with an eighth straight win, this time 10-6 over Sweden. “That was a fun game,” said Howard. “The Swedes came out to play to win, and we came out to play to win – lots of rocks in play.”
The afternoon victory took Canada one step closer to the playoffs, but Howard wasn’t backing off. “That’s eight wins,” he said before taking the ice to meet Brewster in the evening draw. “That’s where we want to be. We’re in the play-offs but we want to win every game we play, so we’re going to go hard and hopefully get into that one-two game. We’re going to play Scotland like it’s a do-or-die game.”
Tom Brewster and his team of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and Michael Goodfellow were sitting in second place with a 6-2 record before the evening draw.
Aside from a deuce in two by the Scots, it was a game of singles, including two one-point steals by Canada in the first and fourth ends. In the seventh, with Canada lying three, Brewster attempted a tap on a stone on the button – and didn’t push it far enough. Another steal put Canada up 5-3 heading into the eighth, but a roll-out on Howard’s last rock left Brewster a draw for two, and a tie game.
After blanking nine, Howard took hammer into the tenth end, tied 5-5. Scotland got a rock onto the four foot behind a Canadian rock, but Howard made the three-foot run-back for two points and the 7-5 victory – Team Canada’s ninth straight, and an excuse for the supporters in the crowd to break into a spontaneous “O Canada” to show their excitement.
That excitement is shared by Howard and team. “We’re very excited to clinch the number one seed for the playoffs,” said Team Canada Coach Rick Lang. “We still want to finish strong in the last two games and keep the confidence high where it is right now.”
“That’s goal number two achieved,” Howard said after the Scotland game. “Number one – make the play-offs. And number two – make the one-two game.”
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