Mike McEwen’s dream of representing Canada in curling at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi is over.
Winnipeg’s McEwen was eliminated on the final round-robin draw this morning at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings at MTS Centre, falling 5-4 to Edmonton’s Kevin Koe (2-5) to finish the round-robin at 3-4.
"If we’d been able to sneak into a tiebreak, I think we’d have been pretty dangerous. It’s too bad," said McEwen.
If McEwen had defeated Koe, he would have forced a tiebreaker game this afternoon with Calgary’s John Morris for the third and final men’s playoff spot. Morris lost 7-6 to Edmonton’s Kevin Martin this morning to finish the round-robin at 4-3. Martin finished at 6-1 and will now face Morris again in the men’s semifinal Saturday afternoon.
The winner of Morris vs Martin will advance to Sunday’s final to face Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs, who finished the round-robin a perfect 7-0 with a 7-4 win over Toronto’s John Epping this morning. It’s the first time in the history of the Canadian Olympic curling trials that a team, men’s or women’s, has gone undefeated through the round-robin.
"Cool," said Jacobs. "But really, the only game that matters now is Sunday’s game."
Meanwhile, Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton finished his trials event on a winning note, dropping Glenn Howard 9-3 in a game that neither team took particularly seriously after both had been eliminated from playoff contention Thursday night. Stoughton finished 3-4, while Howard was 2-5.
The two teams munched on donuts during the game, Stoughton wore a goofy toque on the ice at one point, Stoughton fifth Garth Smith played the entire game and Howard put the last rock of the game on the button -- by sliding the entire length of the ice with the rock in his hand.
"We know what PEI and Nova Scotia feel like on a Wednesday at the Brier," Stoughton wisecracked.
On the women’s side, Winnipeg’s Chelsea Carey will play Coldwater’s Sherry Middaugh at 1:30 p.m. today in a tiebreaker game to determine the final women’s playoff spot.
The winner of Carey vs Middaugh will advance to tonight’s women’s semifinal against Ottawa’s Rachel Homan.
The winner of that game will in turn advance to face Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones in Saturday evening’s women’s final, where a berth to Sochi will be on the line for the winner.