LIVERPOOL, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA - Tanner Horgan's rink from Kingston, Ont., rallied to defeat Jason Gunnlaugson of Morris, Man., 6-5 in an extra end on Thursday at Canada's Olympic curling pre-trials.
The win improves Horgan's record to a flawless 5-0 and clinched first in his pool at the event.
Gunnlaugson remains in the hunt for a playoff spot with a 4-1 record following the loss.
The best Gunnlaugson can hope for is to tie Horgan’s record, and the 23-year-old skip living in Sudbury, Ont., will hold any tiebreaker advantage over Gunnlaugson.
Horgan is now set up in the playoffs and will have an “extra life” with a chance to play for the A-qualifier and book his spot to Saskatoon for the 2021 Canadian Curling Trials, which will determine who represents Canada at the 2022 Beijing Olympics.
In other men’s action, Tyler Tardi (4-1; Langley, B.C.) put himself in control of a first-place finish in its pool after trouncing Colton Flasch (4-1; Saskatoon) 10-3.
Winnipeg's Braden Calvert (2-2;) bested Winnipeg's Sean Grassie (0-4) 9-7 after scoring four in the eighth end.
Edmonton's Karsten Sturmay (2-2) won the battle of Alberta against Calgary's Jeremy Harty (0-4) by a score of 7-4.
Pat Simmons (2-2; Winnipeg Beach, Man.) improved his record by defeating Vincent Roberge (0-4; Saint-Romauld, Que.) 9-6.
After the round robin, the top three teams from each pool advance to the playoffs beginning on Saturday.
The first- and second-place teams cross over and meet in the first round of the A-side playoff bracket. The winners of each game meet in the A-side final for the first opportunity to qualify for the Canadian Curling Trials.
The losers of the first-round A-side games drop into the B-side playoff bracket and will play the third-place teams. The winners of the two games meet, with the winner taking on the A-side final loser for the last Curling Trials berth.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 28, 2021.