Ontario teams cruising along at Brier
Curling rocks are seen before the sixth draw of the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier at Rexall Place in Edmonton, Alta., on Monday, March 4, 2013. Ice technicians and volunteer ice makers prepared four sheets for the start of play for the day and organized rocks. Ian Kucerak/Edmonton Sun/QMI Agency
There must be something in that Ontario water.
You can understand Glenn Howard finishing his day at the Tim Hortons Brier with a 4-0 record.
After all, he is the defending Brier and world champion whose team’s consistency and efficiency is legendary.
Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie is another matter.
Sure, he has the No. 6 ranked team in Canada, but so far this week, he’s right there in a playoff position.
Jacobs started the day by thumping Kevin Martin 8-1 in Monday afternoon’s draw..
“What can I say?” said Jacobs, who posted the first 100% game of the week. “We came out ready to play and our stats proved that. Our team curled phenomenal. Every opportunity that was given to us, we took advantage of. ”
At the midway point of the round-robin, Jacobs may be playing the best he has all year.
“I’m not going to lie,” said Jacobs. “We wanted to knock him down to 1-3 and keep our streak going. We were able to do that and we’ve put ourselves in a good spot.
“It was pretty shocking. I didn’t expect the game to go the way it did. Every opening we had, we took advantage of.”
Some of Jacob’s magic ended as he finished the day at 4-1 after losing an extra-end 9-8 decision to Brad Gushue of Newfoundland in the evening Battle of the Brads.
At 5-0, Gushue emerged at the head of the class for the third straight day, one win better than Howard.
“Hoo boy,” said Gushue, who hung on after jumping out to a 3-0 lead. “We were just clawing tooth and nail to stay in it. Fortunately, we had the last rock and fortunately it curled that last little inch.
“It was a nervy game and in the last five it felt like we had no momentum. It’s better than being 4-1 or 3-2.”
Howard was absolutely dominant, stealing six points in his 10-2 win over Paul Flemming of Nova Scotia.
“The bottom line is we didn’t miss much,” said Howard. “I really love the way our team is playing right now. We’re cruising along well and playing well and that’s the bottom line.”
Howard’s team seems to have caught on to the curveballs thrown his way and looks like he’ll be in good position come the weekend.
“We’re getting this little mojo going,” said Howard. “It’s all about confidence. The four of us are playing confidently right now.”
Howard seemed unsurprised that Jacobs hung in so long.
“Brad’s a great team,” said Howard. “I’m not surprised to see them up there — not at all.”
He’s not writing off Martin yet.
“Kevin is so good. They’re one of the best teams to have ever played the game. For them to be 1-3 is kind of a shocker.”