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Martin, Jacobs lock down playoff berths at Roar of the Rings

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Skip Mike McEwen calls to his sweepers during draw 10 against Glenn Howard at the 2013 Roar Of The Rings championship in Winnipeg, Wednesday.

JOHN WOODS / THE CANADIAN PRESS Enlarge Image

Skip Mike McEwen calls to his sweepers during draw 10 against Glenn Howard at the 2013 Roar Of The Rings championship in Winnipeg, Wednesday.

Edmonton’s Kevin Martin and Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs clinched playoff berths, while Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton and Mike McEwen stayed alive in the playoff race on the Wednesday afternoon draw of the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at MTS Centre.

Martin defeated Toronto’s John Epping 9-5 to improve to 5-0, while Jacobs defeated Calgary’s John Morris 8-6 to also improve to 5-0. Epping fell to 1-4, while Morris moved to 3-2.

With the victories, Martin and Jacobs have now locked down two of the three weekend playoff berths at MTS Centre, where Canada’s Olympic representatives in curling for Sochi will be determined.

But the third and final men’s playoff spot is still very much to be determined. Stoughton kept his playoff hopes alive with a 10-6 win over Edmonton’s Koe that improved Stoughton’s record to 2-3. Koe fell to 0-5.

McEwen, meanwhile, dropped to 2-3 with a 6-5 loss to Coldwater’s Glenn Howard, who in turn improved to 2-3.

Put it all together and Morris will head into Thursday alone in third at 3-2, followed closely behind by Howard, Stoughton and McEwen at 2-3. Stoughton and McEwen play each other Thursday night on the next to last men’s round-robin draw, while Martin and Jacobs also play Thursday night in a game that will determine who finishes first overall and gets the bye to the final.

The women return to the ice at MTS Centre Wednesday night. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones is alone in first at 4-1 heading into a game against defending Canadian women’s champion Rachel Homan, who is 3-2.

A win by Jones over Homan coupled with a victory by Winnipeg’s Chelsea Carey over Edmonton’s Val Sweeting Wednesday night would clinch first place overall for Jones and earn her team a bye straight to Saturday evening’s women’s final.

Carey, Sweeting and Homan head into Wednesday evening’s draw tied for second place at 3-2.

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