April 22nd, 2024

Saskatchewan’s McEwen, Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith stay in Brier playoff hunt

By The Canadian Press on March 5, 2024.

Northern Ontario skip Trevor Bonot smiles after defeating Ontario during the Brier, in Regina, on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

REGINA – Saskatchewan’s Mike McEwen and Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith continued to collect wins at the Canadian men’s curling championship Tuesday.

McEwen and Smith joined Northwest Territories Jamie Koe, who had the day off, at 4-1 atop Pool B.

Defending champion Brad Gushue was 4-2 after an 8-3 win over Nunavut in the afternoon draw. McEwen was an 11-6 winner over Alberta’s Aaron Sluchinski. Smith doubled Julien Tremblay to drop Quebec to 2-3 alongside Sluchinski.

Nova Scotia’s Matthew Manuel won a third straight game to get to 3-3. Manuel downed Alberta’s Kevin Koe 11-5 to drop the four-time Brier champion to 1-5.

Northern Ontario’s Trevor Bonot (4-1) controlled Pool A after a 10-6 win over Ontario’s Scott Howard (2-3) in the morning draw.

B.C.’s Catlin Schneider (3-2) handed Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers (3-1) his first loss in a 9-8 decision. Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone was also 3-1 with a 7-6 win over New Brunswick’s James Grattan (0-4).

Dunstone and Carruthers were in a three-way tie for second with Alberta’s Bottcher, who didn’t play in the morning.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Andrew Symonds (1-4) picked up his first win at the Brier with a 6-5 extra-end victory over Yukon’s Thomas Scoffin (1-3). The game was interrupted by a leak in the Brandt Centre over their ice sheet.

The top three teams in each pool of nine Thursday advance to Friday’s six-team playoff round, from which Saturday’s four Page playoff teams emerge.

Tiebreaker games have been eliminated from the format. Head-to-head results followed by cumulative scores in the draw-the-button that precedes each game is the tiebreaking formula.

Three losses are considered the playoff danger zone, although a team made it into the Canadian women’s championship playoffs with four losses.

Sunday’s winner will represent Canada at the world championship March 30 to April 7 in Schaffhausen, Switzerland and return to the 2025 Montana’s Brier in Kelowna, B.C., as defending champion.

The victor also gains an Olympic trials berth in 2025 pending a top-six result at the world championship.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2024.

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