Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gushue, Koe and McEwen Join Jacobs in Playoff Mix at Tim Hortons Brier

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Gushue, Koe and McEwen Join Jacobs in Playoff Mix at Tim Hortons Brier

Article excerpt

Playoff games set at Tim Hortons Brier

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OTTAWA - Alberta's Kevin Koe and Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador joined Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs in the playoff mix at the Tim Hortons Brier on Thursday.

Manitoba's Mike McEwen waited until the evening to claim the fourth and final spot to guarantee that there would be a new champion this year.

"I'm not shocked that it's these four teams in the playoffs," Gushue said. "But I think we're all pretty darn even."

The playoff picture became clearer at the national men's curling championship after the morning draw. Several teams -- including Team Canada's Pat Simmons -- were left clinging to the faint chance of an appearance in a tiebreaker game.

Gushue edged B.C.'s Jim Cotter 8-7 to lock up his spot while Koe dumped Simmons 8-3.

Jacobs and McEwen had the morning off and when they played in the afternoon, unbeaten Northern Ontario picked up an 8-5 win to secure a berth in the Page Playoff 1-2 game.

Gushue will provide the opposition for Jacobs on Friday night after he outscored Prince Edward Island's Adam Casey 11-7. The winner of the 1-2 game advances straight to Sunday's gold-medal game.

"There's no time to let up," Jacobs said. "We've got to continue to play well and keep this momentum going."

Jacobs doubled New Brunswick's Mike Kennedy 10-5 in the evening to remain unbeaten at 10-0 and Gushue was second at 9-1. Jacobs and Gushue will meet in the round-robin finale Friday morning before their playoff matchup.

Koe improved to 8-3 by topping Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock 7-5 while McEwen (7-3) booked his playoff ticket with an 8-5 win over Quebec's Jean-Michel Menard (4-6).

"We fought really hard to get to this point," McEwen said. "It's not perfect but goal No. 1 is complete -- we're playing on the weekend."

The Team Canada players were crushed after the morning loss.

"You look at those top four teams that are going to be in the playoffs and we didn't beat any of them," said Canada lead Nolan Thiessen. …

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