By Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press
OTTAWA – The chances of Brad Jacobs defending his title at the Winter Olympics are slim at best after another loss at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.
Jacobs, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., dropped a 9-5 decision to Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers on Thursday morning at the Olympic Trials.
“I am disappointed because I know we are so much better than we were this week,” Jacobs said. “I guess it just wasn’t meant to be for us this time.”
The Sochi Games champion fell to 2-4 with his third straight loss while Carruthers improved to 4-3. The top three teams in the nine-team field will reach the playoffs.
Carruthers scored four in the fourth end and added a deuce in the seventh. He shot 90 per cent while Jacobs struggled at just 65 per cent.
“We came out here knowing that our fate was in our own hands and didn’t perform,” Jacobs said.
The Carruthers team shot 86 per cent overall to 81 per cent for the Jacobs rink.
Calgary’s Kevin Koe started the day in first place at 6-0. Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., and Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen were next at 4-2.
Carruthers was alone in fourth at 4-3. Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher was next at 2-3 and Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock was tied with Jacobs at 2-4.
Jacobs still has a very small chance of qualifying for a tiebreaker. He was scheduled to play McEwen on Thursday night at Canadian Tire Centre.
“We’re not out of our misery yet, eh? I guess we’ll have to keep trying,” Jacobs said.
Calgary’s Chelsea Carey leads the women’s standings at 5-0. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones and Ottawa’s Rachel Homan were 5-1 after 15 draws.
Winnipeg’s Michelle Englot defeated Toronto’s Allison Flaxey 8-7 in an extra end in the other morning game. Englot improved to 2-4 while Flaxey fell to 0-7.
Round-robin play continues through Friday night. If tiebreakers are necessary, they will be played Saturday morning.
The semifinals are set for Saturday and the finals will be played Sunday. The winners will represent Canada at the Pyeongchang Games in February.