CALGARY — Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton awoke at the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier Tuesday morning with a tidy 4-1 record and the event leaders — Alberta’s Kevin Martin and Ontario’s Glenn Howard — clearly in his sights.
Stoughton went to bed Tuesday night battered, bruised, beaten twice and clinging to his playoff life.
What a difference a day made for the Manitoba foursome, who got outplayed and outmuscled by the Howard brothers on what can only be described as Black Tuesday.
If all of this goes sour this week for Stoughton, he will look back on Tuesday — the day he lost 5-4 to New Brunswick’s Russ Howard on the afternoon draw and then 8-5 to Ontario’s Glenn Howard at night — as the day it all went south for him.
"Oy, oy, oy, it wasn’t pretty...," Stoughton said.
Glenn Howard empathized with Stoughton’s plight — but only a little bit. "A taste of the brothers," said Howard, "Tough day for Manitoba and a good day for New Brunswick and Ontario."
With a record of 4-3, the situation for the Manitobans is simple heading into their final four round-robin games — they need to win at least three of those games to have any realistic chance at the playoffs.
"I think we need to win seven," Stoughton said, "and eight would be nice."