SAULT STE. MARIE – Brad Jacobs may not be as strong a favourite to win right to represent Northern Ontario at the Tim Hortons Brier as he was when he went to sleep on Friday night.
Jacobs snagged a spot in the championship final, but will have to find a way to take down Sandy MacEwan’s foursome if he wants to win his way into the national men’s curling championship.
It’s something he couldn’t get done on Saturday.
MacEwan, who knocked Thunder Bay’s Trevor Bonot out of contention earlier in the day with a 9-2 triumph, scored three in the ninth to defeat Jacobs 9-5 in the afternoon draw, tying his Sault Ste. Marie opponent at 4-1 at the conclusion of round-robin play.
The two rinks will play each other on Sunday for the title.
Thunder Bay’s Dylan Johnston (3-2) finished on a high note, downing Chris Gilbota 9-0, while Bonot, who also wound up at 3-2, edged Joshua Szajewski 8-6 in the final game for both teams.
Jacobs has represented Northern Ontario every year since 2010, with the exception of 2014, when he won Olympic gold for Canada in Sochi, Russia.
He’s seeking his 14th Brier spot.
Win or lose, Jacobs is almost certain to be at the Brier. Like the recent Scotties Tournament of Hearts, there will be three wild-card teams this year, chosen on the basis of the Canadian Team Ranking System. Jacobs is currently third behind Olympian Brad Gushue and Alberta’s Kevin Koe, who has already secured his province’s berth.
The Brier begins on March 4 in Lethbridge, Alta.