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Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Loses Third but Advances

Thursday Mar 11 2021
by Resby Coutts / Photo: Curling Canada-Michael Burns

(Thursday Evening) Manitoba's Jason Gunnlaugson team will advance to the second round of play at the Calgary Brier but will do so riding a three game losing streak. Team Manitoba lost 5-4 Thursday evening to the Wild Card Howard team, skipped by Wayne Middaugh. Gunnlaugson had a shot for a four to break the game on the ninth end but his double kill attempt hit a bit thick and didn't get the action needed to remove a Middaugh stone in the four foot. 

Team Howard-Middaugh advances in first place in Pool A with a 7-1 record. Alberta's Brenda Bottcher, with a final game 7-5 win over British Columbia, advances in second place with a 6-2 record. Manitoba and Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs team both advance with 5-3 records. James Grattan (New Brunswick) had a chance to force a tiebreaker but lost his final game to Northwest Territories.

Along with Team Howard-Middaugh, Wild Card Team Kevin Koe advances from Pool B with a 7-1 record. Bottcher from Pool A and Brad Gushue, Matt Dunstone, and John Epping from Pool B all advance with 6-2 records. To advance to the final three playoff, at 5-3 Jacobs and Gunnlaugson will probably have to win all four of their games going forward.

002 000 002 0  4
Wild Card/Howard-McEwen
100 001 010 2  5

NEXT GAME: Friday, 1:30pm - Opponent TBD
(Thursday Morning) Second Loss in a Row for Manitoba/Gunnlaugson: Manitoba's Team Gunnlaugson suffered a second consecutive loss Thursday morning at the Brier, a 7-4 loss to BC's Steve Laycok team. Now with a record of 5-2, Team Gunnlaugson's final round robin game, against Wild Card Team Howard-Middaugh, is Thursday evening. Not exactly a must-win as the Manitoba team is assured of at least a tiebreaker. However, a win is necessary for a realistic chance of getting through the next round to the three-team championship round. Wayne Middaugh's last rock draw to the button to defeat Brad Jacobs' Northern Ontario gave the wild card entry a 6-1 record and an assured spot in the playoffs. Jacobs' 5-3 final record assures them of at least a tiebreaker. Alberta and Manitoba are both 5-2 with a game to play.

020 010 100 1  4
Britsh Columbia/Laycock
100 3-01 001 1  7

NEXT GAME: Thursday 7:30pm CST VS Wild Card/Howard
(Wednesday Afternoon) First Loss for Manitoba/Gunnlaugson: Manitoba's Jason Gunnlaugson team tasted defeat for the first time Wednesday afternoon , a 3-0 loss at the hands of Brad Jacobs and his Northern Ontario team. Gunnlaugson forced Jacobs to a single point in the fourth end but was never able to create the two point end which was his objective, instead giving up a pair of steals late in the game.

With a 5-1 record, Team Manitoba still shares first place in the pool and by winning their final two games (over BC and Wild Card Team Howard-Middaugh), they would still finish first as they advance to the next round. Team Ontario, with a win today over New Brunswick, also sits at 5-1 so first place in the pool could well come down to their final round robin game Wednesday evening.

000 000 000 x  0
Northern Ontario/Jacobs
000 100 011 x  3

NEXT GAME: Thursday 9:30am CST VS British Columbia/Laycock
(Tuesday Evening) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Unbeaten With 5-0 Record: Jason Gunnlaugson's Manitoba team continuers to roll along at the Calgary Brier,  winning an 8-4 eight-end game Tuesday evening against New Brunswick. With Matt Wozniak replacing Alex Forrest from last year's lineup, Gunnlaugson reminded reporters in the post-game Zoom media conference that this is effectively a new team. "This is the first event we have played with this line-up," Gunnlaugson said.

Wozniak said the team is happy with how they are playing but they are still working on communication. It is essential they make sure everyone knows their role on every shot.

New Brunswick now has two losses. With a Northern Ontario win over Alberta, both teams also now have two losses. An Ontario win over BC gives Ontario second place for the moment with a 4-1 record.

New Brunswick/Grattan
010 020 01x x  4
102 202 00x x  8

NEXT GAME: Wednesday 2:30pm VS Northern Ontario/Jacobs
(Tuesday Morning) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Unbeaten With 4-0 Record: Manitoba's Jason Gunnlaugson improved their record to 4-0 with a Tuesday morning win over Northwest Territories. The Manitoba team, representing the Morris Curling Club, has yet to face three teams chasing them in the standings. First up is New Brunswick's James Grattan, currently 4-1. The winner will have the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two if they both advance with 1 loss records. However, Team Gunnlaugson must also play Jacobs (currently 3-2) and Howard (currently 3-1), both of still hopeful of advancing. The Manitobans will also have to be wary of BC's Steve Laycock team who, at 1-3, are not yet eliminated from advancing.

Northwest Territories/Skauge
101 001 001 0  4
020 110 020 1  7

NEXT GAME: Tuesday 7:30pm CST VS New Brunswick/Grattan
(Monday Afternoon) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Unbeaten After Three Games: Jason Gunnlaugson's Team Manitoba is the only undefeated team  in Pool A after they won their third game of the Brier Monday afternoon, an 8-5 victory over the Mike McEwen Wild Card team. Not looking too far ahead, the Team Manitoba skip said after the game it is pretty early to get excited about "undefeated" but he said "it definitely has been a good start for a long week."

Wins over both Alberta's Brenda Bottcher and McEwen are a particularly positive note. Wins over two teams ranked slightly better are always important.

Asked to look ahead, Gunnlaugson would only say "we are capable of beating all the teams out here. If I can pull my weight we can win a lot of games. After today's only game, the Pool A standings board shows the unbeaten Gunnlaugson team a win ahead of Alberta (Bottcher) and New Brunswick (Grattan) at 3-1. 

010 020 041 X  8
Wild Card/McEwen
102 000 200 X  5

NEXT GAME: Tuesday 9:30am CST VS 
Northwest Territories/Skauge 
(Saturday Evening) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Wins Two on Their First Brier Day: Jason Gunnlaugson and his Team Manitoba won a pair of games on their opening day of the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary. Following an early draw win over Alberta, the team representing the Morris Curling Club returned to the ice for an evening game against Yukon. An early lead for Yukon, 3-2 after four ends, evaporated with a Manitoba four on the  fifth and three more on the seventh end . The eight end final score was 9-5. Team Manitoba has a bye day Sunday and plays Mike McEwen and his Wild Card Manitoba team.

002 101 01x x  5
020 040 30x x  9

NEXT GAME: Monday 2:30pm CST VS Wild Card/McEwen
(Saturday Morning) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Opens with Brier Win Over Alberta: The two Manitoba teams opened their Tim Hortons Brier with a split of games as they begin play, both in a very tough Pool A in Calgary. Jason Gunnlaugson made a last rock draw to score a pair for a 5-4 win over Brendan Bottcher's Alberta team after Bottcher had missed his last rock to give Team Manitoba the draw opportunity.

"Pretty fortunate for us - uncharacteristic to get a last rock miss from one of the best players in the world," Gunnlaugson said after the game.

As are all the players, he is delighted to be playing this week and the win is a great start for what he hopes will be a big week. "I think we are pretty confident. THis is what we like to do and we are so excited that we get to do it," he said.

000 002 002 0  4
000 010 110 2  5

NEXT GAME: Saturday 7:30pm CST VS Yukon/Mikkelsen
(Friday) Manitoba/Gunnlaugson Brier Schedule: Playing in Pool A, Team Manitoba's Brier starts Saturday morning with a first game against Alberta's Brenda Bottcher at 9:30am CST. They have two games Saturday then they have Sunday off. They play one Monday, two Tuesday, one Wednesday and they finish the round robin first stage with a pair of games on Thursday. Their match-up with Mike McEwen's Wild Card team occurs Monday afternoon at 2:30pm CST.

Saturday 2:30pm CST VS Alberta/Bottcher
Saturday 7:30pm CST VS Yukon/Mikkelsen
Monday 2:30pm CST VS Wild Card/McEwen
Tuesday 9:30am CST VS Northwest Territories/Skauge 
Tuesday 7:30pm CST VS New Brunswick/Grattan
Wednesday 2:30pm VS Northern Ontario/Jacobs
Thursday 9:30am CST VS British Columbia/Laycock
Thursday 7:30pm CST VS Wild Card/Howard

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