The team to beat was left unbeaten Friday afternoon during draw 8 of the Home Hardware Canada Cup in Affinity Place.
The undefeated Team Jacobs took to the ice against Team Epping (2-2). Epping jumped out to a two point lead early in the game, however, Jacobs quickly stole two in the third end to take a 3-2 edge. Points went back and forth until the eighth, where Epping found a pair to grab a slight 6-5 advantage. But, Jacobs had the last laugh with the hammer, perfectly placing a shot to steal a 7-6 victory and advance straight to the final.
He attributes the success to patience, precision, and communication.
"We really came in here with no expectations, especially since we have Mark (Kennedy, third) filling in," stated Brad Jacobs afterwards, "We just wanted to come out here and have as much fun as possible, and make a ton of shots, and that's what we're doing."
The aforesaid virtue of patience certainly became evident when it came to the final, fateful shot of the game.
"That was a grind, for both teams. I think we were just trading mistakes, trading missed opportunities back and forth. We were fortunate enough to have the hammer going into the last end...we decided to put another one in on Mark's last, just to give us a chance to have as many yellows in the ring as possible, you never know what can happen. Fortunately, where John's (Epping) last one ended up, gave us a chance at that...there was really no other shot, no other decision, it was there for the win. I didn't throw it as well as I wanted to, it kicked out a little wide, had to pitch it in a hair, but Mark made a great line call. Just an all-round great team shot," he said.
Brad Gushue and quartet were seeking to put together two wins in a row, after alternating a win and a loss through their first four games. Versing Carruthers, the latter gained the first point but Gushue took over the lead with a pair in the second end, and adding another single point in the third. Blanking the seventh end, Carruthers gained a point to make it a 6-4 game in the eighth, but Gushue gained two more in the ninth and Carruthers conceded 8-4.
Jacobs retains his stranglehold on first place at 5-0, while Koe grabs second with a 4-1 record. Bottcher and Gushue tie at 3-2 while Epping sits at 2-3. Dunstone takes up second last at 1-4, with Carruthers just below him at 0-6.
Chelsea Carey was seeking to make it three wins in a row, taking on Rachel Homan. Neither gained a point in the first end, and Carey scored one to take a small lead. Homan found two in the third end and another in the fourth to take a 3-1 lead. A major five point end in the seventh for Homan sealed the deal on a 9-2 loss for Carey.
Jennifer Jones was also looking for her third straight victory, as she played Scheidegger. Trading points through the first two ends, Jones snagged two in the third to take a 3-1 advantage, before Scheidegger found one to knot the score at four in the sixth end. Two more in the eighth gave her a 6-5 lead with two ends left to play, before Jones grabbed four in the ninth end for a 9-6 victory.
After losing their first game of the tournament, Einarson went on a roll. Defending the top spot in the standings, they took on a struggling Team Walker. After exchanging single points through two ends and blanking the third, Walker stole two in the fourth to go up 3-1. Then, the winds of change began to blow. Walker scored two in the fourth and another in the sixth to go up 4-2. However, Einarson regained the lead with four points in the seventh end and another pair over the ninth and tenth to seal an 8-5 final score.
"That one was a little sloppy, but to be expected. We've had three in a row twice, and not much break. We're battling, and just trying to be patient and take our chances," expressed Einarson's fourth, Val Sweeting, "Kerri's really figuring out the ice, and she's making that big shot when we need it...the girls are playing really well."
Einarson and Jennifer Jones sit tied for first at 5-1 each, while Homan sits just below at 4-2. Scheidegger is 3-3, while Flaxey, Robertson and Walker take up the rest of the standings at 1-4.
Draw number nine gets under way at 7:00 PM Friday evening, as Epping plays Dunstone, Koe goes against Gushue, Walker plays Carey, Flaxey takes on Robertson, and Jacobs plays Bottcher.