OTTAWA – Adam Casey of P.E.I. tapped back a Team Canada counter with his final stone to score two in the 10th end and upset unbeaten Pat Simmons of Calgary 6-4 Monday at the Tim Hortons Brier.
Casey and his Charlottetown/Summerside foursome went into the game winless in three games while the defending champion Simmons team was 3-0. But Casey, third David Mathers, second Anson Carmody, lead Robbie Doherty, alternate Ryan Giddens and coach Lincoln Peters avoided the pitfalls of previous games and matched Team Canada shot for shot to take the victory.
“It’s a big relief,” the youthful Casey said after the win. “The thing I said to the guys going into the week, no matter what happens there’s so many good teams here you’re going to see teams with losing records that aren’t used to having losing records and I just want us to be the most consistent with our approach, stay level-headed and maintain our intensity and focus.
“Obviously they’re a great team and been playing well. We got a few breaks out of Pat that he doesn’t usually give us … nice shot for the win.”
The teams traded deuces in the second and fourth ends, P.E.I. scored one in six and stole one in seven when Simmons flashed on a last-rock takeout, only to have Canada scored one in eight and steal one in nine to tie the game.
Simmons’ last rock freeze try left Casey just enough air to punch it out sideways and he did just that for the win.
“We just weren’t as sharp as we were in our first three,” said Canada third John Morris. “In this Brier if you give an inch, which we gave a few out there, they’re going to beat you no matter what team you’re playing.
“P.E.I., 10 years ago it would be an easier game … but that team is really strong.”
The Koe brothers went at it head-to-head, meanwhile, and once again it was older brother Kevin, skipping Alberta, who prevailed over Jamie and his winless Northwest Territories team from Yellowknife. But it took every trick in Kevin’s book to get the win this time, 8-7 in 11 ends.
Jamie has his best chance to finally beat Kevin in the Tim Hortons Brier in the 10th end. After Kevin had made an around-the-horn double off a corner guard to sit two, Jamie’s raise double came within an inch or two of scoring a deuce. But he settled for one that forced the extra end, where Kevin had an open draw to win.
“I don’t know if we would have got three, but two for sure,” he said of his shot in 10. “We just over-swept the rock a little too much. It was a well-thrown rock and we just butchered the line call, over-swept it a bit. Otherwise I think we had the two and the win.
“This is by far the closest we’ve come. Some other years I think we’ve been tied after six or seven. The playoff game we played we tied going into seven, but this is by far the closest. It’s a little disappointing the way it ended.”
“Every time it sucks one of us has to lose,” said Kevin, whose Calgary team improved to 3-1. “We’re up near the lead and he’s battling, with this relegation thing to boot.
“We get to the tougher part of our schedule starting tonight. Got there relatively unscathed at 3-1 but if you’re going to win this thing you have to beat the good teams. We put ourselves in position and we have to play good.”
In the other afternoon games, Jim Cotter of B.C. (Vernon-Kelowna) evened his record at 2-2 with a 9-5 win over Glenn Howard of Ontario (2-2; Etobicoke) while Brad Gushue of Newfoundland-Labrador (3-1; St. John’s) scored three in seventh to get past Steve Laycock of Saskatchewan (1-3; Saskatoon).
Not playing in the afternoon draw were Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario (3-0; Sault Ste. Marie), Mike McEwen of Manitoba (2-1; Winnipeg), Mike Kennedy of New Brunswick (1-2; Grand Falls) and Jean-Michel Ménard (1-2; Saint-Romuald). They will all play in the evening draw at 7:30 p.m. ET.
For ticket and other event information, https://www.curling.ca/2016brier/tickets/
This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at https://www.curling.ca/2016brier/?lang=fr
TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Tim Hortons Brier.