Stoughton off to unbeaten start
KAMLOOPS, B.C.—Two winless rinks gave favourites all they could handle last night, but Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton and B.C.’s John Morris pulled wins out of the hat with final rocks at the Canadian men’s curling championship.
“Nothing like being one down coming home and having an open hit for a bundle,” Stoughton said after his 9-5 win over James Grattan of New Brunswick at the Tim Hortons Brier.
“That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” he added.
“You’re just a quarter-inch off here and there, and we got it finally in the 10th.”
Stoughton improved to 4-0 at the top of the standings.
Morris, meanwhile, similarly had trouble with winless Jamie Murphy of Nova Scotia and was down a point coming home in 10.
But third Jim Cotter’s final rock scored three to give them an 8-6 win and improve their record to 3-1 just behind Stoughton in second place.
Cotter throws fourth stones.
They started by giving up their second four-ender of the day in the second end.
“That’s the first time in a bonspiel we’ve given up one four-ender, let alone two in a day,” noted Morris.
They surrendered four in the first end against Jean-Michel Menard from Quebec in the afternoon draw and ended up losing 7-4 in nine ends.
“It was a character-builder because we hung tough and really had to grind it out,” Morris said of the night game.
“Jimmy made some great shots in that game that really boosted our confidence.”
Alberta’s Kevin Koe now sits at 2-1 after handing Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad Gushue his second loss of the day—9-4 in eight ends.
In the morning draw yesterday, Koe dumped New Brunswick 10-1.
He scored three in the first end to set up the win over Gushue.
“Any time you can get up three on a good team, you should win every time,” noted Koe, who was glad to get on a roll.
“You can get on a roll late, there’s no reason why you can’t, but you don’t want to get your back up against the wall,” he stressed.
Gushue had issues with the ice Saturday but blamed only himself yesterday.
“The ice was good today; there was no reason to miss shots,” he remarked. “It’s not a hard game if you hit the broom and throw the right way.
“We can’t seem to do either one.”
P.E.I.’s Eddie MacKenzie also improved to 2-1 with a 10-7 win over Northern Ontario’s Jeff Currie, who fell to 1-3.
No one has been shooting the lights out but the curlers said that’s to be expected at this point.
“It’s early,” said Koe. “It usually takes a while to get used to the ice and even for the ice-makers.
“You can tell it’s getting better and there’s a lot more curl in it compared to yesterday [Saturday].”