Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Stoughton's squad shoots 91 per cent, loses 9-4

  • Print

EDMONTON — Manitoba shot 91 per cent as a team at the Canadian men’s curling championship Thursday night — and lost.

Those two facts don’t usually go together at a Canadian curling event but they did Thursday as Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton and his team curled one of their best games all week and still had their five-game winning streak snapped by a Northern Ontario team that was even better.

"They came out right from lead to skip and were phenomenal," Stoughton said of a Northern Ontario squad that shot 92 per cent in a 9-4 win. "We’re not bowing our heads after that, that’s for sure. They played a phenomenal game."

Northern Ontario had limped into Thursday night’s game against Manitoba, having lost three of its previous four games, while Stoughton was riding a five-game winning streak that went all the way back to his only previous loss this week — to Ontario on Sunday evening.

Northern Ontario skip Brad Jacobs was asked how he accounted for such a dramatic turnaround in his team’s level of play.

"We all drank a huge Red Bull before the game," Jacobs replied.

When reporters laughed at what they thought was a joke by Jacobs, he made it clear he wasn’t kidding about the energy drinks.

"Honestly, honestly," he said. "It perked us right up. I’m not even lying."

Thursday night’s loss to Northern Ontario came after a 6-5 Manitoba win over New Brunswick earlier Thursday and actually meant very little to Manitoba’s playoff positioning heading into Friday’s final round-robin draws.

With a 7-2 record, Manitoba still controls its own playoff destiny, needing only a pair of wins against soft opponents — a 3-6 N.W.T. team this morning and a 1-8 B.C. team tonight — to lock up a spot in Saturday’s Page playoff 1 vs. 2 game, where the winner advances straight to Sunday’s final while the loser gets a second chance in the semifinal.

"It’s good that we don’t have to look around or watch anybody else," Stoughton said. "We just have to come and beat the Territories and then beat B.C. We’ll take it."

Still, Stoughton conceded earlier Thursday that his team still isn’t as sharp as it could be.

"There’s one or two shots here and there that you’d like back," he said.

And the ice is definitely getting straighter with any type of weight. So we’re just getting used to very minimal ice on hits. It takes a little while to get used to so little broom when you’re throwing on arena ice."

Stoughton came into Friday's play in a tie for second place with Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue. They’re followed in the standings by Northern Ontario and Quebec, which are tied for the fourth and final playoff spot at 6-3.

Ontario’s Glenn Howard, meanwhile, is now home and cooled at 9-0, with first place locked up no matter what he does in his final two round-robin games.

"The bottom line is I think we’re No. 1 no matter what," said Howard.

"That’s the first goal and we made it... That’s awesome. Are you kidding me — with two games to go? That’s fantastic."

And then there’s Alberta’s Kevin Martin, who got wins over P.E.I. and Saskatchewan on Thursday to improve to 5-4 after a dreadful 1-4 start. The wins kept Martin’s slim playoff hopes alive, but he will need to win both his games today against very tough opponents in Newfoundland and Ontario and then get some help from other teams in the field if he’s going to force a tie-breaker game for the fourth and final playoff spot.

Martin seemed resigned to his predicament. "Everything’s going fine. We just have to keep winning and we’ll see what happens," said Martin.

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


I Dream of Diesel at Rachel Brown Theatre scene preview

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • MIKE APORIUS/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS STANDUP - pretty sunflower in field off HWY 206 near Bird's Hill Park Thursday August 09/2007
  • RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS June 23, 2011 Local - A Monarch butterfly is perched on a flower  in the newly opened Butterfly Garden in Assiniboine Park Thursday morning.

View More Gallery Photos


Will Connor McDavid make the Edmonton Oilers a playoff team?

View Results

Ads by Google