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Record-tying comeback gives Team Wild Card key win at Tim Hortons Brier

BRANDON, Man. – Brendan Bottcher and Team Wild Card scored one in the 11th end to cap off a record-tying comeback with a 9-8 win over Mike McEwen of Manitoba in a roller-coaster game at the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by AGI, Sunday evening.

Bottcher and his teammates — third Darren Moulding, second Brad Thiessen and lead Karrick Martin — fell behind 5-0 after four ends, but shocked Team Manitoba (2-1, West St. Paul) by scoring three in the fifth and stealing three more in the sixth.

The comeback equalled the biggest comeback in Tim Hortons Brier history, and kept Team Wild Card in the thick of the hunt for berths in the Championship Pool. Northern Ontario is 3-0 in Pool A with Wild Card, Saskatchewan and Manitoba all at 2-1.

“I really didn’t feel like we were playing badly, I just feel we’ve been getting our share of the bad breaks,” Bottcher said of his team (2-1, Edmonton) giving up deuces to McEwen in the second and third ends. “You just have to trust that by the end of the week it’ll all equalize out. I said that a few times to the guys in the middle of that game and we got fortunate enough it equalized out in the second half.”

McEwen called the game a “disaster” for which he and vice-skip Reid Carruthers have to shoulder the blame.

“Reid and I have to be better than that, it was just poor execution,” he said. “We had to make easy ones and Reid and I missed two or three real easy ones, a couple of outright flashes and you shouldn’t be seeing that from the caliber of players like us.”

McEwen, Carruthers, second Derek Samagalski, lead Colin Hodgson, alternate Matt Wozniak and coach Rob Meakin, appeared to have righted the ship with two in the seventh. They gave up one in the eighth and gave Bottcher a steal in nine to have the hammer in 10, a move that almost paid off.

But McEwen’s last rock draw for two in the 10th ticked a guard, he had to settle for one and Bottcher used the hammer in the extra end to win.

Yukon’s Robert Smallwood, left, and Jon Solberg discuss shot options. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

“It was mental errors,” McEwen said, pointing to a decision in the fifth that opened the door for Bottcher’s three. “I went too hard at a double that I didn’t really have to make … I just didn’t throw it safe. I threw it like I had to make it.”

Brad Jacobs of Team Northern Ontario (3-0, Sault Ste. Marie) scored four in the seventh end to get by Martin Crête and Team Quebec (1-2, Saint-Romuald) 732.

Kirk Muyres and Team Saskatchewan (2-1, Saskatoon) stole seven points in three ends early and beat John Likely and Team Prince Edward Island (1-2, Charlottetown) 9-2 in eight ends.

Jon Solberg and Team Yukon (1-2, Whitehorse) beat Andrew Symonds and Team Newfoundland and Labrador (0-3, St. John’s) 8-4.

The 2019 Tim Hortons Brier continues with draws today at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times CST).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier are available at www.curling.ca/scoreboard/

TSN and RDS2 (streamed on ESPN3 in the United States) will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2019 Tim Hortons Brier, go to www.curling.ca/2019brier/tickets.

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019brier/?lang=fr