Brad Jacobs off to strong start without regular third at Canada Cup

ESTEVAN, Sask. — Brad Jacobs’s rink seems to be doing just fine without regular third Ryan Fry.

The team from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., which added Marc Kennedy after Fry started an indefinite leave last month following an incident involving excessive drinking with another squad, improved to 4-0 at the Canada Cup with a 7-4 win over Winnipeg’s Matthew Dunstone (0-3) in Thursday’s afternoon draw.

Earlier Thursday Jacobs beat Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers 5-4 on last rock, making a wide out-turn tap of a Carruthers stone partially buried in the four-foot.

Carruthers fell to 0-3.

The wins by Jacobs guarantees his team at minimum a playoff tiebreaker game.

Kennedy feels the team’s chemistry is strong in his first event with Jacobs.

“You get into that inner circle and you see what makes guys tick, what gets them up, why they play, their love for the sport, their values, their morals, their ethics,” said Kennedy.

“I’ve been beyond impressed with what I’ve seen, and a lot in common with them, to be honest — more so than I ever thought. I think we’ve meshed together pretty well.”

Thursday didn’t go as well for John Epping, who fell to 2-2 with a pair of losses.

The skip and his Toronto rink followed a 7-2 loss to Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., with a tough 8-6 decision to Kevin Koe of Calgary (2-1) in the afternoon.

“Yeah, not great, two losses,” Epping said. “Every game is like a new day for us and we’ll come out sharp tomorrow. Our magic number is four, get to four wins. If not, get to three and hope for a tiebreaker.”

Also Thursday afternoon, Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton (2-1) posted a 9-8 win over Gushue (2-2) in a rematch of last season’s Tim Hortons Brier final.

On the women’s side Chelsea Carey of Calgary (2-2) beat Alli Flaxey of Winnipeg (1-2) 7-5, while Laura Walker of Edmonton (1-3) scored four in the 10th end to beat Darcy Robertson of Winnipeg (1-2) 8-5.

Play continued with a third draw later Thursday.

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