Alberta’s Kevin Koe, Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone and New Brunswick’s Scott Jones won their respective provincial men’s curling finals Sunday to book berths in the Canadian championship.
Koe edged Brendan Bottcher 6-5 and Dunstone beat Reid Carruthers 8-7, but the losers of those finals will still compete in next month’s Tim Hortons Brier as wild cards.
Bottcher missed a runback with his final shot to leave four-time national champion Koe a draw for two points and the win in Edmonton.
Trailing by two coming home with hammer, Dunstone scored three for the win and didn’t need to throw his final stone in Neepawa.
Jones stole a point in the fourth end and another three in the fifth en route to an 8-7 win over Jason Roach in Moncton.
The Brier’s wild-card entries come from the top three non-qualified teams in the Canadian Team Rankings System (CTRS) at the conclusion of provincial and territorial championships.
Edmonton’s Karsten Sturmay held down the third wild-card spot Sunday ahead of Toronto’s John Epping almost five points back.
Kelly Knapp (Saskatchewan), Jamie Koe (Northwest Territories), Matthew Manuel (Nova Scotia), Jacques Gauthier (B.C.), Thomas Scoffin (Yukon), Jake Higgs (Nunavut), Tanner Horgan (Northern Ontario), Mike McEwen (Ontario), Felix Asselin (Quebec), Nathan Young (Newfoundland and Labrador), Tyler Smith (P.E.I.) and defending champion Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., round out the Brier field March 3-12 in London, Ont.
The Brier champion will represent Canada in the world men’s championship April 1-9 in Ottawa.
Carruthers’ fourth stone of the 10th end in Manitoba’s final was removed because Connor Njegovan touched it with his broom while sweeping.
That allowed Dunstone to put a third counter above the tee line.
Carruthers, who curled with a three-man team throughout the provincial championship, missed a tricky takeout with his final rock of the 10th to leave Dunstone counting three.
“Hats off to my boys for setting up the end,” Dunstone said on Curl Manitoba’s livestream after the final.
“I’m not put in that position without them making six in a row in front of me.
“To stick with it, it was looking a little dicey, especially after the ninth, but really proud of the way we battled in that 10th.”