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Morris calling shots as third

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L.—Three-time champion John Morris is the only skip in the Tim Hortons Brier main draw who throws third but still calls the game.

It's a set-up that has worked well for Morris and B.C. fourth Jim Cotter since they reunited last spring.

“There's people in this world that you work really well with and there's people that you don't,” Morris noted.

“That's not a knock on anyone," he stressed. ”It's just sometimes you work really well with people.

“Jim and I are just two peas out of the same pod," Morris said. ”Just two sort of old-school guys and really good friends on and off the ice.

“He's a pleasure to play with so I've always enjoyed my time with him.”

The B.C. team started slowly at this year's national men's curling championship but has rebounded with five wins in its last seven games.

Their latest victory was a 9-1 rout of Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories yesterday morning.

Morris then pushed local favourite Brad Gushue to an extra end in the afternoon draw before dropping a 5-4 decision.

B.C. remains in the playoff mix at 5-4 after 13 draws at Mile One Centre.

The top four teams at the end of round-robin play tomorrow morning will advance to the Page playoffs.

“We're feeling strong,” Morris said after yesterday morning's win.

“We feel like we're making a pile of shots out there.”

Manitoba's Mike McEwen led the standings at 7-1 going into play today after beating Nova Scotia's Jamie Murphy 9-3 last night.

McEwen also came through with a draw for two and a 6-5 win over Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs earlier in the day.

After a pounding sweep, McEwen and his teammates jumped in the air as their rock moved a whisker inside the Jacobs' stone.

“We've probably been pretty emotional winning games,” McEwen noted.

“But that's certainly our upper limit I think.”

In the action last night, Quebec's Jean-Michel Menard (5-3) had his winning streak end at five games after a 7-3 loss to Gushue.

Canada's Kevin Koe beat Jamie Koe 8-6 while Ontario's Glenn Howard downed New Brunswick's Mike Kennedy 8-6.

Gushue and Kevin Koe had 6-2 records going into today while Jacobs was at 6-3.

Kevin Koe also posted an 8-7 win over Saskatchewan's Adam Casey, who split his games to sit even with Morris at 5-4.

Howard (3-5) defeated Alberta's Brendan Bottcher 6-3 in the other afternoon game.

Bottcher fell to 3-6 while Murphy is 2-6.

Kennedy and Jamie Koe were last with 1-7 records.

The playoffs begin tomorrow night.

The Brier winner will represent Canada at the men's world curling championship next month in Edmonton.

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