July 21st, 2024

Carruthers, Bottcher inch closer to Brier playoffs, Dunstone chasing

By The Canadian Press on March 6, 2024.

Saskatchewan skip Mike McEwen gestures as he watches his shot while playing Northwest Territories during the Brier, in Regina, on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

REGINA – Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers and Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher joined Northern Ontario’s Trevor Bonot atop their pool at the Canadian men’s curling championship with their fifth wins of the tournament Wednesday afternoon.

Bonot, who had the day off, Carruthers and Bottcher were all 5-1 to lead Pool A.

Bottcher scored a quick 15-3 victory over winless New Brunswick’s James Grattan, while Carruthers was 6-3 winner over Andrew Symonds of Newfoundland and Labrador (1-5).

Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone (4-2) chased the leaders with an 8-7 win in an extra end over Ontario’s Scott Howard (3-4). B.C.’s Caitlin Schneider (4-3) defeated Yukon 11-2 to drop Thomas Scoffin to 1-5.

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.

Saskatchewan’s Mike McEwen took control of Pool B in the morning draw with a 10-2 win over Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories.

McEwen (5-1) halted a three-game winning streak for Koe (4-2).

Two-time defending champion Brad Gushue (5-2) kept pace with McEwen with an 11-3 rout of Prince Edward Island’s Tyler Smith (4-2).

Nunavut’s Shane Latimer (1-5) picked up his first win with a 7-5 victory over Nova Scotia’s Matthew Manuel (3-4). Alberta’s Aaron Sluchinski (3-3) scored a deuce in an extra end in a 10-8 win over Quebec’s Julien Tremblay (2-4).

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 6, 2024.

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