A potentially disruptive change to Brad Jacobs’s foursome has not hurt the skip early at the Canada Cup.
Jacobs’ team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., won its first two games at the tournament on Wednesday, beating Calgary’s Kevin Koe 9-5 in the opener, then downing Brad Gushue 8-4 in a battle of former Olympic champions.
“Couldn’t ask for a better start,” said Jacobs, who scored two in the fifth and three in the seventh.
Jacobs is curling in Estevan without usual third Ryan Fry, who is taking time off for personal reasons. His decision came after his team was ejected from the Red Deer Curling Classic last month for what organizers called unsportsmanlike behaviour resulting from excessive drinking.
Veteran Marc Kennedy is filling in for Fry at the Canada Cup. He hasn’t looked out of place, curling 81 per cent in Jacobs’ win over Koe and 79 per cent against Gushue.
“Marc made a great freeze on his last one [in the seventh] and mine, even though it wasn’t a perfect shot, it was good enough that when Brad [Gushue] played his last, our two kind of just stuffed and stuck in there and we were laying two. We had an open draw for three, had to go out a little wider into a fresh spot, but thankfully I threw it a little heavy hoping it would come down and it did,” said Jacobs.
Toronto’s John Epping is also off to a 2-0 start after posting a 7-5 win over Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher and a 6-3 victory over Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers.
Gushue’s team out of sorts
Gushue is 1-1 after two draws, while Bottcher, Carruthers, Koe and Winnipeg’s Matthew Dunstone is at 0-1.
“We struggled with the set of rocks we had,” Gushue said. “We didn’t do as good a job as we normally do in getting four good sets. I think all of us had one rock that was a little different from the others.”
A third draw was scheduled for Wednesday evening.
In women’s action, Rachel Homan’s Ottawa rink is at 1-0 along with Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones and Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson.
Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., is at 0-1 and Edmonton’s Laura Crocker and Calgary’s Chelsea Carey are at 0-2.