After going to an extra end in their round robin meeting, it was only fitting that their second meeting went right down to the wire as well
Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs fell 4-3 to Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Nfld. Sunday night in the final of the 2021 Olympic Curling Trials as SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon.
The game came right down to the skip stones in the 10th end for Gushue to pick up the win.
After Gushue played a hit and roll to sit a pair, Jacobs faced a hit to score two and force an extra end, but his shot rolled out, giving Gushue the narrow win and the opportunity to represent Canada at the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing in February.
“We didn’t have our best tonight, definitely could have played a bit better as a team,” Jacobs said in an interview with Curling Canada. “It was hard to get anything going, even energy wise. Not our best and as a result not the outcome we wanted. Like I said yesterday, we needed to be near perfect today to win this game and we weren’t.”
Jacobs also credited Gushue and his team following the game, saying the win was “well-deserved.”
After blanking the opening end, Gushue got on the board first in the second end with a hit for a single, but Jacobs proceeded to tie the game at one in the third end thanks to a hit and roll.
In the fourth end, Gushue took a 2-1 lead on a draw and Jacobs proceeded to blank the following three ends before being forced to settle for a single in the eighth end.
In the ninth end, Gushue would make a hit to score a pair and set the stage for the dramatics in the final end.
Gushue said following the game that Team Jacobs was a team that posed a serious threat to their Olympic hopes in the event.
“I kept saying, patience, patience don’t be pushing it too much,” said Gushue. “We had a one-point lead, I felt he had to come to us. He was pretty patient, too. They were the one team that really scares us. We knew one shot was going to make the difference out there today. We had a couple of half shots but we didn’t have any zeros and that’s the key against those guys.”
The Jacobs rink, which includes third Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden, and lead Ryan Harnden, posted a 7-1 record in the round robin and beat Kevin Koe of Calgary 8-3 on Saturday to advance to Sunday’s final.
Gushue also finished with a 7-1 record and earned top spot following the round robin thanks to the earlier win over the Jacobs rink.
On the women’s side, Jennifer Jones got a single in the 10th end to force and extra and got a miss in the extra end by Tracy Fleury to pick up a 6-5 win.