Teams Koe, Jones remain unbeaten at Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings

Kevin Koe did what he does best once again Tuesday, making his final stone the winning point; this time a fairly routine hit-and-stick for one and a difficult 6-5 win over Mike McEwen in a battle of the unbeaten men at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. The result kept Koe and his Calgary crew of third Marc Kennedy, second Brent Laing, lead Ben Hebert, alternate Scott Pfeifer and coach John Dunn atop the men’s standings at 5-0 and dropped McEwen’s Winnipeg foursome to 3-1. “What can you say, a lot of close games,” said Koe, a two-time world champion. “Nice to win another close one against one of the front-runners. Every win out there is so tough. It’s still mid-week, what is it, Tuesday? Long way to go yet.” One sheet over, defending Trials and reigning Olympic champion Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., (2-2) squandered a 4-0 first-end gift and lost 8-6 to Steve Laycock of Saskatoon (2-3). Val Sweeting of Edmonton (2-3) beat Michelle Englot (0-4) of Winnipeg 8-5 to keep alive her chances of getting to the weekend playoffs, where Canada’s four-player curling representatives for the 2018 Winter Olympics will be determined. Defending women’s Trials and reigning Olympic champion Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg survived a scare by stealing singles in the 10th and 11th ends to sneak past Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 8-7. That kept Jones unbeaten at 5-0 and dropped Scheidegger to 2-2. McEwen used the hammer to score one in the second and added another one in three when Koe was heavy on a try for a double and missed the Manitoba counter.

Team Jones celebrates its victory over Team Scheidegger. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

When McEwen narrowly missed two chances for doubles in the fourth, he left Koe a straightforward hit-and-stick for three and a 3-2 edge. After blanking the fifth, McEwen needed every ounce of sweeping energy from second Matt Wozniak and lead Denni Neufeld to drag his draw through a port and into position to count one and prevent a possible steal of three by Koe. Koe picked up a single in the seventh and took a big edge in eight when it looked like McEwen was set up to score a possible three. But Koe ended that threat with a superb tight double that left himself shot rock and McEwen came up just an inch or two short with his final stone to let the Calgary team steal one for a 5-3 lead. “If I put the first one in the right spot we’re looking at putting at least a two on the (score) line, maybe three if he doesn’t make a good one,” McEwen said of his shot that was just exposed enough to give Koe a tough shot at the double. “We’re in a good position to take the lead and we didn’t manage the stone quite right. Gave him an out and he made a great shot. That was the moment we needed to go our way.” The 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings continues with today’s evening draw at 7 p.m. EST. Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings are available at TSN/TSN2 and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule For ticket information for the 2017 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings, CLICK HERE. This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at