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Virtue battles to stay in Prairie Classic

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PORTAGE LA PRAIRIE, Manitoba — How fast things change on the sheet: on Saturday night, Brock Virtue and his rink were one win away from a playoff berth in the Prairie Classic, and dodging jokes of "giant killer" after pushing past Team Brad Jacobs and Team Glenn Howard en route to a three-win start.

After Sunday morning, the Saskatchewan skip was getting ready to battle to stay in the competition, after dropping two in a row. Virtue lost a Saturday night draw against Manitoba’s two-time Prairie Classic champions, Team Mike McEwen, to pull a Section B game against Toronto’s Team Mike Kean on Sunday morning. Although Virtue came back from a deficit to tie the game in the eighth end, the squad couldn't steal the hammer from Kean in the extra time to take the game.

Now, Virtue will face Stonewall skip Jared Kolomaya on Sunday afternoon to stay in contention.

Elsewhere around the Prairie Classic’s 10 a.m. draw on Sunday, Manitoba veteran Jeff Stoughton survived an elimination challenge from China’s Team Rui Liu. Stoughton dropped down to the danger zone after losing to Brier champion Brad Jacobs on Saturday night. He will now face Winnipeg’s Team Richard Daneault on Sunday evening.

Eliminated from competition after the 10 a.m. draw were Team Liu, Winnipeg’s Team Steen Sigurdson, who lost their Section C match against reigning world champion Niklas Edin, Brandon’s Team Rob Fowler and Winnipeg’s Team Jack McDonald.

Meanwhile, already with playoff berths after wins on Saturday night are Team Kevin Koe, last year’s Prairie Classic champions, and the McEwen rink.

The Prairie Classic continues with four elimination games at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Two more elimination games are slated for 5 p.m., as well as the two Section B finals. The third day of competition wraps up with four more elimination battles at 8:30 p.m.

The seven championship playoff games are slated for Monday at Portage Curling Club.

History

Updated on Sunday, October 20, 2013 at 1:49 PM CDT: photo added

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