Sault Ste. Marie’s Brad Jacobs will represent Canada in men’s curling at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Jacobs — with Winnipeg’s Ryan Fry at third, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden — completed a history-making undefeated run through the 2013 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings with a 7-4 win over Calgary’s John Morris in the men’s final at the MTS Centre Sunday afternoon.
It is the first time in the history of the Canadian Olympic curling trials that a team, men’s or women’s, has gone undefeated. The Jacobs squad — who are also the defending Brier champions — went 7-0 in the round-robin to advance directly to Sunday’s final.
"Unreal, man. I’m so excited to win this with these three guys," said Fry, a former Manitoba men’s and junior men’s champion. "We’ve got a team that comes along every once in a while and I’m just so happy to be a part of it...
"It’s just an honour to be able to play in front of my hometown and all my friends and family. And for us to be able to pull this out — we had a great week."
Interestingly, the Jacobs team was the last men’s team to qualify for this year’s Roar, picking up their spot only last month in a last-chance bonspiel in Kitchener.
The Jacobs foursome jumped all over a first-end flash by Morris second Tyrel Griffith, converting it into a deuce and a 2-0 lead. But the Morris team authored a deuce of their own in the fifth end and the game was tied 3-3 heading into the fifth-end break.
But that was as close as Morris would get, with Jacobs authoring another deuce in the sixth end and then, memorably, one more deuce in the ninth end on a nifty slash-double takeout that sealed the deal.
It was a disappointing finish for the Morris foursome, a first-year team from whom not much was expected this winter but who defied long odds — first to get to this event and then to advance all the way to the final.
"I don’t know if we were out of gas or what it was," said Morris, who felt his team came out flat. "We didn’t put enough heat on them to get points. It’s frustrating because I felt we had a better chance. We didn’t play like we could have. But I’m proud of the boys. I felt we had a great week. I don’t think many teams gave us a chance and we fought really hard right to the end."