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Stoughton, Lawton to Finals; Tie breaker for Koe, McEwen

Jeff Stoughton and Stefanie Lawton are through to Sunday’s finals of the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup of Curling thanks to their 5-1 records at the top of the leaderboard. The rest of the men’s field will be determined on Saturday morning when Kevin Koe plays Mike McEwen in the men’s tie-breaker, with the winner meeting Glenn Howard in the semi-final. On the women’s side, Heather Nedohin and Team Jones (Kaitlyn Lawes) will meet in the other semi-final.

(Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

In the battle for first place in the men’s draw, Mike McEwen and Jeff Stoughton faced off for the right to go directly into Sunday’s final. Coming into the game with identical 4-1 records, Stoughton was quick off the mark, scoring 2 in the first end and holding McEwen to 1 in the third. Keeping the pressure on, Stoughton stole 2 in the fifth to take a 5-1 lead. But McEwen chipped away, taking 2 in nine to trail 6-5 coming home. Stoughton made no mistake with his final draw, earning himself a spot in Sunday’s final.

In other men’s games, Kevin Koe took a quick 3-1 lead over Kevin Martin, scoring a deuce in the second end and stealing a single in the third. Needing one more win to improve his 3-2 record and be in playoff contention, Koe kept the pressure on for a 6-3 victory after 8 ends and a place in the tie-breakers.

Glenn Howard scored 2 in the first end of a 7-3 victory over Brad Gushue. Still winless in the final draw, Gushue stayed in the game with a delicate tap-back to score 2 in five, and trailed by a score of 3-2 at the break. Howard and his team, all playing above 90% for the first five ends, gave Gushue few chances to generate any offence.

“After day one we were struggling, we didn’t play well at all, two horrible games, our backs were against the wall and we knew we had to pretty much run the table to even have a sniff, and we did,” said Howard. “I’m giving credit to my guys. We all just talked about it….we kept it positive and played four really solid curling games.”

For Brad Gushue, it was a disappointing week.

“It was by far our worst week of the year,” he said, pulling no punches. “We’ve got to try and get better and work on a bunch of things. We didn’t play well at all.”

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nD2QsgpAL8c

In women’s play, despite some strong shot-making, Chelsea Carey wasn’t able to handle Kaitlyn Lawes, skipping Team Jones, finishing the round robin with a 2-4 record and no chance to make the playoffs. Lawes took the game 7-5 to earn a spot in the semi-final.

With her 1-4 record, Cathy Overton-Clapham had no playoff hopes, but she still put the pressure on 2012 Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Heather Nedohin, who needed a win to stay in contention. Nedohin was leading in the ninth end, when her draw attempt fell short, leaving an opening for Overton-Clapham to hit for 3 – and an 8-6 lead heading into the tenth end. A draw for 2 tied the game for Nedohin, and she stole 2 in the extra end for the 10-8 victory.

Saturday’s tie-breaker between Kevin Koe and Mike McEwen takes place at 8:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. ET), with the women’s semi-final, Nedohin vs Jones taking place at 12:30 p.m. (1:30 p.m. ET), and the men’s semi-final (Howard vs Koe or McEwen) taking place at 6:30 p.m. (7:30 p.m. ET).

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