Mike McEwen can breathe a little easier after picking up his first win of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by Monsanto, in front of a hometown crowd at the MTS Centre on Tuesday morning.
McEwen, B.J. Neufeld, Matt Wozniak, Denni Neufeld, alternate Brendan Melnyk and coach Chris Neufeld picked up a 7-5 win over John Morris by running him out of rocks in the final end. McEwen now sits at 1-2, while handing Morris (2-1) his first loss of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.
Heading into the 10th end, John Morris and his Vernon/Kelowna, B.C. team of Jim Cotter (throwing fourth), Tyrel Griffith, Rick Sawatsky, alternate Jason Gunnlaugson and coach Pat Ryan tried to set up corner guards and score at least two points.
“We’re still in this thing,” McEwen said. “Yeah, that was important. I think you get to that third loss and you might still have a chance, but you definitely don’t control your own destiny. Hopefully we can get one more today and we’ll get back to even ground.”
Morris opened the scoring with two points in the second end. But that wouldn’t be the only score of two in this game. McEwen and Morris exchanged deuces through the first half of the game. McEwen drew for two in the third, Cotter responded with a draw for two in the fourth and McEwen drew his deuce, tying the game at 5-5 heading into the fifth end break.
Morris blanked the sixth end and could only muster a single point in the seventh to take a 5-4 lead. In the eighth end Cotter, throwing fourth stones for Morris, jammed a hit and left McEwen sitting one, possibly two, depending on a measure. With his final shot McEwen drew to the four-foot and after the measure the team scored three and took control of the game with a 7-5 lead heading into the ninth.
“That’s probably the first time a skip’s missed against us in a key moment in a game,” McEwen said. “Before it was, you know the other two games, it was us doing that in a tight game.”
McEwen wasn’t the only Winnipeg team to pick up their first win. Jeff Stoughton (1-2) squeaked out a 4-3 victory over John Epping (1-2) of Toronto. Stoughton had to make a double takeout on his final shot in the 10th end for the win.
Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. rolled to a 3-0 record after defeating Penetanguishene, Ont.’s Glenn Howard (1-2) by a score of 6-5. Jacobs scored three points in the fourth end and stole a single in the eighth end to take the victory.
Meanwhile, Edmonton’s Kevin Martin kept pace with Jacobs and remains undefeated. On his last shot in the 10th end, Martin squeaked by a centre guard and made a double for a 6-5 win against Calgary’s Kevin Koe (0-3).
Draw 7 will feature the fourth game of the round robin for the women. In a game with two teams from Edmonton, Heather Nedohin (1-2) will try to hand Val Sweeting (3-0) her first loss of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. Sherry Middaugh (1-2) of Coldwater, Ont. takes on Ottawa’s Rachel Homan (1-2). After losing her first game last night, Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones (2-1) has a chance to bounce back against Renée Sonnenberg (1-2) of Grande Prairie, Alta. In the final game, Chelsea Carey (2-1) of Winnipeg will look for her third win in a row against Stefanie Lawton (1-2) of Saskatoon.
All draws for the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings will be televised live on TSN/RDS 2, the official broadcasting partner of the Season of Champions.
Live scoring, statistics and updated draw brackets are available at: www.curling.ca/scoreboard/
To purchase tickets to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, presented by Monsanto go to: www.curling.ca/2013roaroftherings-en/tickets/
The French version of this story will be available at www.curling.ca/2013roaroftherings-fr/ as soon as possible.