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Jacobs captures Boost National to earn 6th GSOC title

CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., claimed the Boost National men’s title with a 3-1 victory over Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin in Sunday’s final at CBS Arena.

It’s the sixth career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title for Jacobs and second straight this season after taking last month’s KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge.

The team of Jacobs, third Marc Kennedy, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden cashed in $35,000 from the $300,000 combined purse plus 12 Pinty’s Cup points.

Jacobs said this win felt really special and well-deserved coming off of a missed playoff run at the Canada Cup.

“We really did a good job of regrouping after the Canada Cup, talking about the mistakes that we made and making corrections between then and now,” Jacobs said. “I’m really proud of the guys. How well they played, how well they hung in there all week, their mental toughness, their patience and just full credit to Ryan, E.J. and Marc. They made my job look easy at skip. I was just doing everything I could to keep up with them and not let them down, to be honest, because they were playing so great in front of me. Full credit to the guys and we’re ecstatic with this win.”

Kennedy, who joined Team Jacobs this season, now had 14 GSOC titles to his name and couldn’t remember how many times he had captured the National.

“Any time you can win Slams nowadays with how good the teams are, it’s pretty special,” Kennedy said. “It feels great.”

“What a great week for the guys and we just played great,” he added. “We can go into Christmas with a clear mind and happy with the way we played. What a great 2019.”

Jacobs anticipates some recovery time over the next month following an intense first half of the season.

“It’s a really tough start to the season, September through December, for all of the teams,” Jacobs said. “It’s a grind, you’re travelling a lot, playing a lot, practising and training and all of that stuff. Looking forward to this break where we can rest up, relax, regroup, focus on a few things and keep developing newer, better habits all of the time.”

Although Edin opened with the hammer, the European champion never held the lead blanking the first few ends and giving up a steal in the fourth. Jacobs drew to the button to sit three and Edin came up just short of outcounting it.

“We got a break in the fourth end to steal one and flip the hammer and that was kind of the turning point in the game,” Kennedy said. “We got to throw a lot of runbacks and thankfully, E.J., Brad and myself made a bunch of them. It was defensive but I think that’s kind of the way we like it.”

Edin conceded another point in five and got on the board in six with a single. Jacobs finally held the hammer for the first time in seven and tacked on another point to go up by two. The three-time GSOC title winner Edin never got a chance to throw his last as Jacobs nailed the runback on his final stone to run him out of rocks.

“I just think it goes to show how good our hitting ability is right now,” Jacobs said. “You look at the last few scoreboards and we really did a good job of forcing the other team and controlling the scoreboard. The scoreboard management is just reflective of how good our hitting has been.”

Team Jacobs went 3-1 through round-robin play with their lone loss in their opener against Team Brendan Bottcher. Jacobs avenged the defeat stealing an extra end to bounce the Edmonton squad in the quarterfinals and turfed Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., on their home turf in the semifinals.

Up next is the women’s final between Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones and Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden. Watch at 5:30 p.m. NT (4 p.m. ET) on Sportsnet. Stream online via Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international).

NOTES: The Boost National is the third event and second major of the 2019-20 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season. … Winners also receive berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup in Olds, Alta. Jacobs already secured his spot by winning the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge. … Teams also earn points towards the Pinty’s Cup awarded to the season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April.