In semi-final action at the 2012 Capital One Canada Cup, Glenn Howard showed the kind of form that propelled him to last season’s Brier and World championships, powering over Mike McEwen 9-6 in nine ends.
McEwen came into the game fresh from a 9-7 win over Kevin Koe in Saturday morning’s tiebreaker action, but he quickly got into trouble when Howard took advantage of misses by B.J. Neufeld and McEwen to score three in the first end.
“The first three ends were terrible, down 6-1 to a team like that,” said a disappointed McEwen after the game. “We did have opportunities that if we’d converted, we might have been able to make him throw his last, but that’s not going to happen very often against Glenn or anybody of that caliber.”
After posting a 4-2 record in the round robin and winning the tiebreaker against Koe on Saturday morning, McEwen felt the semi-final loss was particularly disappointing.
“We started so well this morning, and then it was like we forgot how to curl. A lot of mistakes early on. We looked like night and day.”
In the seventh, McEwen made a perfect raise hit, using his own stone at the front of the button to remove a Howard counter at the back, and followed it up with an open hit for two, making the score 7-5 with three ends remaining. McEwen had something going in the eighth, almost slipping past a guard to tap back a Howard counter sitting on the button, but his rock just ticked the guard, leaving Howard an open draw for 2 more.
For Glenn Howard, the win capped off a recovery from two losses on the opening day of the competition, and a series of wins that propelled him to second place in the standings by the time the final draw ended.
“We wanted to go after them right from the start. Laing-er made a run-back stick, then we got a couple of misses out of B.J. He doesn’t miss two rocks in a row in an entire year,” said Howard. “Lo and behold we got a three, and then it’s a matter of hanging on. It’s tough to hang on with the Free Guard zone, but we did.”
Howard will meet Jeff Stoughton in Sunday’s final, taking place on Sunday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. (3:30 p.m. ET). For Stoughton, this is a chance to secure a berth in the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings taking place next December in Winnipeg. Howard has already qualified, but that doesn’t mean he’s taking the final lightly.
“It’s going to be another final against Jeff Stoughton, one of the best players on the planet. We’ve got to come out and play like we did today. If we do play like we did today, I like our chances,” said Howard, looking ahead to tomorrow’s game. “If not, we probably won’t win.”[flickr-gallery mode="tag" tags="2012cancupmsf" tag_mode="all"]