By Shawn Coates (@shawncoates)
WINNIPEG — The Brad Jacobs team will represent Canada at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, after defeating the John Morris team 7-4 Sunday afternoon in the men’s final of the 2013 Roar of the Rings Olympic curling trials.
Jacobs had little trouble in disposing of Morris, scoring two in the first end, two in the sixth end and two more in the ninth end.
“This is the best we’ve ever curled,” Jacobs said minutes after the victory. “There’s not as many games as the Brier but this is the best we’ve curled for so many games in a row at a huge event. As we got rolling and got familiar with the ice, our confidence grew and grew.”
Morris scored two in the fifth end to even the contest at 3-3 but that would be the closest the B.C. side would get, as Jacobs responded with a deuce to cruise to victory.
“The turning point was the way we handled that deuce in five,” third Ryan Fry said. “We had a very good end set up and Brad was just a bit heavy on both shots. We were able to come back from that in six and that was the difference. We did not let that affect us in any way.”
Jacobs celebrated dramatically in his win over Kevin Martin Thursday night but was very subdued when he threw the shot that won Sunday’s game. The only emotion the team showed came after the deuce in the ninth.
“The double in nine deserved a celebration,” Jacobs said. “We got fired up over that. We were throwing that shot to win the game.”
Jacobs put the win in perspective, as he has done with all of his results during the week.
“We had a lot to prove and we still have a lot to prove,” he said. “This goes a long way in showing the Brier wasn’t a fluke. It wasn’t just a hot streak. We’re always practicing and playing a lot of games together as a team, we’re always getting better and it shows. We’re gelling so well as a team and the team dynamic is great.”
Most of the 8,604 fans in attendance at the MTS Centre were behind Jacobs, many sporting signs and yelling encouragement.
The crowd was elated when Team Jacobs was given its gold medals.
Along with the medals, Jacobs, Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden, alternate Caleb Flaxey and coach Tom Coulterman received Team Canada jackets at the event’s closing ceremonies.
Despite sporting the Team Canada gear, Jacobs hasn’t yet absorbed the fact he is going to represent his country in the Olympics.
“It’s crazy. It hasn’t sunk in yet, it really hasn’t,” he said. “I like the fact we’ve got a couple of months to prepare for this (the Olympics). We’re going to go back home, take some time off of curling – I’m going on my honeymoon at Christmas – but we’ve got a lot of time to prepare. We’re really looking forward to all the time between now and when we leave for Sochi.”