Unbeaten ranks remain at three

The undefeated ranks at the Capital One Canada Cup of Curling remained intact at three on Thursday morning. Teams skipped by Kevin Martin of Edmonton and Jeff Stoughton of Winnipeg each recorded their third straight victories in the seven-team men’s round robin draw while Winnipeg’s Chelsea Carey boosted her record to 3-and-0, tops in the women’s division. Martin and his Olympic gold medallists (John Morris, Marc Kennedy, Ben Hebert) doubled up on winless Brad Jacobs of Sault Se. Marie 8-4 at the Cranbrook RecPlex while Stoughton’s reigning Canadian champs (Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers, Steve Gould) took the measure of Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock (1-2) by a 9-6 count. Martin hit for singles in the first two ends, gave up a pair during the next two, then dropped a four-bomb on proceedings.

Jeff Stoughton Canada Cup

Stoughton also fashioned a four-ender, in the third end to assume command of his game by a 5-1 measure. On the women’s side, Carey and her team of Kristy McDonald, Kristen Foster and Lindsay Titheridge, struck for three-enders in the first and fourth ends, led 8-3 after six panels and roared off to a 9-3 waxing of current Canadian champion Amber Holland (1-2) of Kronau, Sask. “We picked up some momentum in the first two games and that’s what you need in this kind of an event,” said the 27-yerar-old Carey. “This is obviously the least stressful way to get through games like these.” In another women’s affair, Calgary’s Shannon Kleibrink, a two-time Canada Cup champ, executed a last-rock takeout in an extra end with 19 seconds on her clock to shade Alberta rival Heather Nedohin (1-2) of Edmonton 9-8. And defending champion Stefanie Lawton of Saskatoon hoisted her team out of a winless hole with a cold last-rock draw to the four-foot in a 7-6 win over four-time Canadian champion Jennifer Jones (1-2) of Winnipeg. “It was a well-played game, a good team game and we were all shooting well,” said Lawton. As for her last rock out-turn that her sweepers dragged to a counting position at the finish? “We do it all the time. I just wanted to make sure I gave it to my sweepers — they work their butts off to get it there and it becomes a great team shot.” Lawton added: “We’re back to ourselves again and playing the way we should be playing. Yesterday was a rough day for us but we managed to come back today and make some great shots.” Kleibrink, who has unveiled crucial shots in all her assignments to date, had “no thinking time” for her last one. She was in the hack the moment Nedohin delivered her last draw which remained in the open. “Had her shot not gone in so deep and left me the hit, it might have been a tougher shot, possibly a bump or a tap of some kind,” said the 43-year-old Kleibrink. “This win was crucial. You don’t want to sustain two losses this early. If we get on a bit of roll here in the middle it will be much easier at the end. But I think two losses will be close at the end — this is a pretty tight field.” In 2 p.m. MT action, Carey and Lawton collide while Nedohin bounces back against Rachel Homan (1-1) of Ottawa. Glenn Howard (1-1) of Coldwater, Ont., plays Mike McEwen (0-2) of Winnipeg and Jacobs faces Kevin Koe (1-1) of Calgary.