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Barton on torrid pace at police nationals

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Despite winning both games yesterday to improve his record to 6-0 at the Canadian police curling showdown in St. John’s, Nfld., today will go a long way in determining if Clint Barton’s rink once again will be crowned national champions.

Barton’s rink eked out a 5-3 win over New Brunswick yesterday afternoon, then continued their hot streak last night with a convincing 7-5 victory over Saskatchewan to remain tied with Ontario as the only unbeaten teams.

The Saskatchewan game wasn’t as close as the score would indicate as Barton jumped out to a commanding 6-2 lead after six ends. After that, he decided to sit back and play more of a defensive game to protect against giving up a big end.

But Barton had trouble in his game against New Brunswick, struggling until the ninth end when they scored a pair to snap a 3-3 tie.

“The New Brunswick game was our worst game but the win still gave us a lift,” said Scott Gobeil, who plays third on the Barton rink. “We’ve been able to play aggressive in the early ends and grab the lead because we’ve been hitting everything and peeling well.”

“We’ve had trouble in some of the games but we’ve gotten the wins, and sometimes you have to expect [not to always] play well when you play 11 games,” added Barton, who last won the national police title in 1996 when it was held in Fort Frances.

“But we still have some big games ahead of us tomorrow that still concern us.”

Barton still has games left against Manitoba, Ontario, and B.C. A sweep would guarantee them first place and a bye into the final.

Meanwhile, the second-place team plays the third-place one in the semi-final, with that winner advancing to the winner-take-all final.

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