Manitoba, Northern Ontario post Brier wins to advance to championship round

Manitoba’s Jason Gunnlaugson and Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs earned victories Wednesday afternoon to qualify for the championship round at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Gunnlaugson beat Nova Scotia’s Jamie Murphy 9-7 and Jacobs dumped Nunavut’s Jake Higgs 10-3 at the Leon’s Centre.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s Brad Gushue beat Quebec’s Alek Bedard 10-4 and Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher defeated Prince Edward Island’s Bryan Cochrane 9-6 in the other Draw 13 games.

Bottcher led the Pool B standings at 7-0 and Gushue was next at 6-1. Gunnlaugson was third at 5-2 and Jacobs made the cut at 4-3.

The preliminary round at the national men’s curling championship wraps up Wednesday night with four Pool A games.

Team Wild Card’s Mike McEwen and Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone entered the evening draw with 5-1 records, but the two other Pool A spots were still up for grabs.

Team Canada’s Kevin Koe was at 4-2. New Brunswick’s Jamie Grattan and Ontario’s John Epping were 3-3 and British Columbia’s Steve Laycock and Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories were 2-4.

If a tiebreaker is necessary, it will be played Thursday morning.

In the unlikely event of a four-way tie at 3-4, no tiebreakers would be played since the teams have sub-.500 records. In that case, the Northwest Territories would get the spot based on head-to-head records.

Earlier Wednesday, Newfoundland and Labrador beat P.E.I. 11-8, the Northwest Territories edged New Brunswick 8-6 and B.C. topped Yukon’s Thomas Scoffin 6-3.

The top four teams at the end of the championship round Friday night will advance to the Page playoffs.

The semifinal and final are set for Sunday.

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