Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Jacobs continues unbeaten streak

Brier lessons pay off as Canada now 5-0

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VICTORIA -- Brad Jacobs is still perfect at the world men's curling championship.

Jacobs made short work of his first opponent Monday, posting a 7-2 victory over Switzerland's Sven Michel that lasted just eight ends in the afternoon draw.

In the evening, Jacobs beat Brady Clark of the United States 7-2 to improve to a 5-0 record.

It was the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., skip's 11th straight win dating to the Canadian men's curling championship in Edmonton, where he finished with a six-game winning streak.

Jacobs said lessons learned at the Brier are continuing to pay off at the worlds.

"We have been able to keep rolling along, even after the two-or-three-week break," said Jacobs. "I just think that what we had, what we found, in ourselves at the Brier, those last six games, really helped us get to this point and know how we have to be from now on -- not just here but (for) every event."

The 27-year-old is trying to become the youngest Canadian to win a world title since Edmonton's Kevin Martin prevailed at the age of 24 in 1991. Canada has won the past three world crowns.

"I'm happy that we're performing pretty much each and every game," said Jacobs. "We had that little slip-up against Finland (when the Finns scored four in one end.)

"That's fine. We came back, but we're still going out with the same intensity, the same focus and putting on great performances like we did at the Brier."

Jacobs, making his first appearance at worlds, did not have much difficulty with Michel (3-2), whose rink was locked in a second-place logjam with five other teams after Sunday's play.

"We had some really difficult shots, but they played really well, and we had no chance at the end," said Michel.

Jacobs said the Brier win, the first for Northern Ontario since Al Hackner triumphed in 1985 en route to a world title, has given his rink the confidence to take several high-risk shots that continued to make with the Swiss.

"If you're not playing with confidence, you're not trying the confidence that we're trying," said Jacobs.

The quick win enabled Jacobs and his crew to head to dinner early and get a longer rest between back-to-back games. Jacobs usually has a nap on games days, but had to go without one.

But Canadian third Ryan Fry was not in the mood to celebrate the rink's unbeaten record. He needed only one word to summarize that it means -- nothing.

"We're here to make the playoffs," said Fry. "So until we achieve that goal, it means very little.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 2, 2013 C8

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