Sports

Manitoba wins Brier bronze

By Terry Jones, Edmonton Sun

Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton celebrates his team's bronze-medal finish with third Jon Mead after defeating Quebec at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men's curling championships in Kamloops, B.C. on March 9, 2014. (BEN NELMS/Reuters)

Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton celebrates his team's bronze-medal finish with third Jon Mead after defeating Quebec at the 2014 Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men's curling championships in Kamloops, B.C. on March 9, 2014. (BEN NELMS/Reuters)

KAMLOOPS, B.C. - 

Even with the extra $10,000 prize money involved, the Brier bronze-medal game still isn't one anybody wants to play.

And this year, for sure, it wasn't one anybody wanted to watch.

Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton went home with the $30,000 cheque with a ridiculously easy win in the Sunday morning bronze-medal game which few are much interested in watching or playing.

Jean-Michel Menard of Quebec took fourth-place money of $20,000.

The game wasn't as close as the 9-5 final score indicated.

Stoughton scored two in the first end, stole two in the second on a missed Menard runback, stole another in the third and two more on the fourth.

It was 7-0 after two trips up and back on the sheet.

Menard raised his arms in the air in mock celebration after he drew for one on the fifth.

Alternate Pierre Charette came in to skip for Quebec in the sixth end.

In the eighth, Quebec stole two against the Buffalo Boys who had worked alternate Garth Smith into the game at lead.

Both skips involved, as has been the case with those who have played in the previous three bronze medal games, believe the CCA should go back to awarding third place to the loser of the Saturday night semifinal like they did prior to 2011.

"Playing two back-to-back games on Saturday and then having only five hours sleep because of the time change left us not really mentally focused and that cost us early," said Menard, who lost the semifinal to Alberta's Kevin Koe the night before.

"I was, personally, totally mentally exhausted.

"We ran out of gas. Quite frankly I think we left the rest of our blood when we played Alberta.

"I'll try to be nice, but this game shouldn't exist. It's useless," added Menard.

Stoughton backed that sentiment.

"They came out a little flat and it's probably expected after the disappointment of their game Saturday night," Stoughton said.

"That happens when two teams are out there who really don't care about the game.

"It's a disappointing game to play because you are not going to win the Brier. It's a game that both Quebec and Manitoba didn't want to play. It's not a game that anyone wants to play."


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