December 17, 2017

Winnipeg
-11° C, A few clouds

Full Forecast

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

Ice not nice for McEwen vs. Koe

OTTAWA — Kevin Koe insisted the ice wasn’t that bad.

Mike McEwen insisted Koe is a liar.

Either way, the result was the same — a battle for first place between the last two remaining undefeated teams in the men’s field at the Roar of the Rings on Tuesday afternoon ended with just one man still standing.

It wasn’t Winnipeg’s McEwen, who gave up a costly three-ender early and spent the rest of the game chasing Koe.

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 472 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

Hope you enjoyed your trial.

Add a payment method

To read the remaining 472 words of this article.

Pay only 27¢ for articles you wish to read.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld</p><p>Skip Kevin Koe, from Calgary, Alta reacts to his shot entering the house during third end action against Team McEwen at the Olympic curling trials Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Ottawa. </p>

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Skip Kevin Koe, from Calgary, Alta reacts to his shot entering the house during third end action against Team McEwen at the Olympic curling trials Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Ottawa.

OTTAWA — Kevin Koe insisted the ice wasn’t that bad.

Mike McEwen insisted Koe is a liar.

Either way, the result was the same — a battle for first place between the last two remaining undefeated teams in the men’s field at the Roar of the Rings on Tuesday afternoon ended with just one man still standing.

It wasn’t Winnipeg’s McEwen, who gave up a costly three-ender early and spent the rest of the game chasing Koe.

In the end, that three-ender proved to be the margin of difference in a 6-5 last-rock victory for Koe. The win improved the Calgary skip’s record to 5-0, while McEwen fell to 3-1.

So, about those ice conditions, which got very frosty thanks to an unseasonably warm and rainy day outside the Canadian Tire Centre.

"The ice looked worse than it was. The speeds weren’t a lot different," Koe said. "It didn’t make that much of a difference."

Over to you, Mike. "That’s a bald-faced lie," said McEwen, a smile on his face. "It for sure caused some shots to jump. Anyone who says different, that you didn’t have to manage the ice accordingly, is delusional.

"I’m serious. It’s still good. It’s still good ice, don’t get me wrong. But same thing — you have to hopefully map it out better than the other guy."

Good or bad ice, Koe has been the very best in the men’s field so far this week.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld</p><p>Skip Mike McEwen, from Winnipeg watches his rock as second Matt Wozniak(left) and lead Denni Neufeld sweep during Olympic curling trials action against Team Koe, Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Ottawa. </p>

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Skip Mike McEwen, from Winnipeg watches his rock as second Matt Wozniak(left) and lead Denni Neufeld sweep during Olympic curling trials action against Team Koe, Tuesday December 5, 2017 in Ottawa.

A three-time Brier champion and two-time world champion, Koe does nothing spectacular but everything well and appears, along with his team, to have gotten very comfortable.

And McEwen? The test now will be how his team responds to the first adversity it has faced.

It will be two tests, actually — McEwen faces Saskatoon’s Steven Laycock (2-3) this morning and then Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue (3-2) in the evening in a critical day for his Winnipeg squad.

"I’m not too worried," McEwen said. "I thought we still played well (against Koe). We probably could have managed a couple stones a little better."

Which was the same thing Reid Carruthers was saying to himself Tuesday night, following a 9-5 loss to Gushue that dropped Carruthers’ record to 2-3.

The game turned on a Gushue three-ender in the second end, and then a walk-off four-ender in the ninth that prompted handshakes.

The loss to Gushue came in the second game of the day for Carruthers, who beat John Epping 7-5 in the morning draw.

With three losses, Carruthers will in all likelihood need to win his final three games to keep his playoff hopes alive. He plays John Morris (1-3) in his only game today, and then finishes up with games on Thursday against Brad Jacobs (2-2) and Friday against Brendan Bottcher (1-3).

Meanwhile, the nightmare that’s been this week for defending Manitoba women’s champion Michelle Englot continued with her fourth straight loss, 8-5 to Edmonton’s Valerie Sweeting.

Englot said she has no illusions about what four losses means to her team’s Olympic dreams.

"Four losses is too many," Englot said. "It’s disappointing.

"The worst part is we wanted to come here and play well, and we didn’t do that. That’s the disappointing thing. We were just on the wrong side of things on too many shots."

paul.wiecek@freepress.mb.caTwitter: @PaulWiecek

Read more by Paul Wiecek.

Advertisement

Advertise With Us

History

Updated on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at 9:26 PM CST: adds photo

December 6, 2017 at 8:13 AM: Edited

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital 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 The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The 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 January 2015.