Jacobs heavy with open draw to give Koe extra-end win at Roar of the Rings

OTTAWA — Team Brad Jacobs couldn’t hide its frustration after throwing a game away at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings on Sunday.

Jacobs whipped his broom down the ice to the hack. Ryan Harnden kicked a stone through the sheet bumper.

One wide, heavy throw was the difference as a rare Jacobs miss gave Kevin Koe a steal of two and a surprise 8-6 extra-end victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

“We should have closed the game out,” Jacobs said. “It falls on the skip.”

It was the first-ever loss at the Trials for the reigning Olympic champion, who fell to 1-1. Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., ran the table at the 2013 Roar before taking gold at the 2014 Sochi Games.

Jacobs and his team were in form prior to the late collapse, setting the early tone with a first-end steal and curling at an 87 per cent clip overall.

A brilliant soft-weight tap for two in the ninth end gave Jacobs a 6-4 lead. But Koe, from Calgary, answered with a deuce in the 10th and used his final shot in the 11th to force Jacobs to draw to the eight-foot ring.

“You’re trying to make him shoot really,” said Koe, who improved to 2-0. ”He never really missed all game so that was uncharacteristic for him but obviously a big break for us.”

Jacobs used his first throw of the extra end to test the weight and line. He came through with that one but couldn’t repeat the effort with the game on the line.

“That was the whole point of the (first) shot,” Jacobs said. ”That’s why it’s completely embarrassing to miss it, especially when you have the best sweepers in the game.

“To not bring them into it is amateur.”

Jacobs will have a day and a half to think about it as he doesn’t return to the ice until Monday night against Brad Gushue.

“It’s definitely going to fester, I think most of the day,” he said. “If anything for me, it’s motivating though.”

In other morning games, reigning Olympic women’s champion Jennifer Jones beat fellow Winnipeg skip Michelle Englot 8-5 and Julie Tippin of Woodstock, Ont., defeated Edmonton’s Val Sweeting 7-3.

Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher topped Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock 8-6.

In afternoon play, Gushue picked up his first victory with a 6-5 win over Bottcher. Gushue, the reigning world men’s champion from St. John’s, drew to the button with his final throw.

“We knew that path really well,” Gushue said. “I drew the button there two or three times during the game.”

The reigning world women’s champion, Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, also picked up her first win by holding off Tippin 8-7.

“It’s early, we’re still learning the lines,” Homan said. “We’re really happy to come off with a win there.”

Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., posted a 7-5 victory over Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen beat John Morris of Vernon, B.C., 3-1.

Koe improved to 3-0 with a 6-5 extra end win over Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers and Laycock beat Toronto’s John Epping 7-4 in evening play. Jones (3-0) stayed undefeated by downing Toronto’s Allison Flaxey 10-5 and Calgary’s Chelsea Carey (2-0) toppled Sweeting 7-4 to also stay perfect.

Round-robin play continues through Friday and the finals are set for Dec. 10.

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