Morning Star Staff/Curling Canada
Steve Laycock of Saskatchewan defeated Jim Cotter of B.C. 4-2 Friday morning to claim the final playoff spot at the Tim Hortons Brier, presented by SecurTek Monitoring Solutions.
The win by Laycock and his Saskatoon team of third Kirk Muyres, second Colton Flasch, lead Dallan Muyres, alternate Gerry Adam and coach Lyle Muyres, improved their record to 7-4, eliminated the chance for tiebreakers and dashed the hopes of Alberta, B.C., and Quebec, who would have been in the tiebreakers if B.C. had won at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
“They definitely pushed us all the way,” Laycock said of Cotter’s Vernon team of third Ryan Kuhn, second Tyrel Griffith, lead Rick Sawatsky, alternate Grant Olsen and coach Pat Ryan. “If I hadn’t played my A game we wouldn’t have had a hope. We played hard all week to get ourselves in that position and not have to worry about other sheets.”
“It’s just a shot here and a shot there,” said Cotter, while chilling with his teammates Friday afternoon at the downtown Calgary Westin. “We think we could have gone 8-3 or 7-4. It’s a slippery game. We had some untimely picks and misses, which we’re not using as excuses, but if some of those go your way, you win, and when they don’t, you lose. I’m proud of the guys.”
In the other final draw games, Kevin Koe of Alberta (Calgary) beat Jeremy Mallais of New Brunswick (Saint John) 8-3, Mark Kean of Ontario (Fenelon Falls) beat Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories (Yellowknife) 8-4 and Adam Casey of Prince Edward Island (Charlottetown) beat Reid Carruthers of Manitoba (Winnipeg) 5-2.
The final standings have Northern Ontario 10-1, Newfoundland-Labrador 9-2, Saskatchewan and Team Canada 7-4, Alberta and Quebec 6-5, B.C., Ontario and P.E.I. 5-6, Manitoba 4-7, New Brunswick 2-9 and Northwest Territories 0-11.