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Jacobs’ electrifying shot lifts Team Carruthers over Team Gushue in Co-op Canadian Open

RED DEER, Alta. — Reid Carruthers was looking for a spark when he handed over the skip reins to Brad Jacobs.

That spark certainly shined Wednesday afternoon during Draw 6 of the Co-op Canadian Open at Servus Arena.

Not content to settle for a single to force an extra end against Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., Jacobs and the Winnipeg-based squad took on the tricky angle raise double takeout to score two and a 7-6 win that had the crowd buzzing.

Both teams are now even with 1-1 records halfway through round-robin play.

“That’s a confidence booster,” Carruthers said with a smile. “What a heck of a throw from Brad. To have a chance in the last end, we’ll take that all day. Brad’s been making those shots to win the game, so we just have to give him that opportunity.”

It was on the eve of last month’s WFG Masters when the team decided to switch the back half of their lineup with Carruthers now throwing third and Jacobs calling the shots. Team Carruthers qualified for the playoffs in that Grand Slam event and finished runner-up to Team Kevin Koe this past weekend during the Astec Safety Challenge in Lloydminster, Sask.

“The mojo’s great,” said Carruthers, whose team has vaulted from 16th to 10th in the world rankings. “There’s no ‘I’ in team, we’re all buying into the new role. Even the front-end, they have a different person that they’re working with right now, so it takes all of us to really buy into the switch and it feels great.

“I’m getting some sweeps in, the old bones are a little sore at the end of the day, but it’s been really good so far.”

Gushue opened the latest chapter in the “Battle of Brads” with the hammer and converted with a tap for two points in the first end.

Jacobs, who has won seven Grand Slam of Curling men’s titles, responded with authority in the second making a double to score four and take a 4-2 lead.

The 14-time Grand Slam champion Gushue had to settle for one point in the third but was able to tie it up in the fourth with a steal.

After a blank in five, Jacobs was limited to a single in six, and Gushue jumped back ahead with an open draw for a deuce in seven to make it 6-5.

Jacobs could have drawn for one in the eighth end but that would have required to pull off something even more impossible: steal off of Gushue in an extra end.

“They keep winning the Brier for a certain reason,” Carruthers said. “They’re obviously an extremely good team and when we play against them, we know we have to play 95 as a team to at least have a sniff. They’re so consistent. Especially going to the extra, we want to have the hammer, so we wanted to go for the win there. Brad threw it great and we made a good line call.”


Elsewhere in Draw 6, defending champions Team Brendan Bottcher of Calgary beat Switzerland’s Team Michael Brunner 7-3, Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller defeated Team Mike McEwen 7-4 and Scotland’s Team Ross Whyte downed Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell 7-3.

Bottcher, Schwaller and Whyte all improved to 2-0 records while Brunner, McEwen and Ramsfjell dropped to 0-2 and now must win out to avoid early elimination.


The Co-op Canadian Open continues with Draw 7 at 6 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. MT.

Broadcast coverage begins Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / Noon MT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet+ (Canada) and (international).


The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday evening with the best eight teams in both divisions advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals. If necessary, a tiebreaker round will be played Saturday morning to determine the final playoff berths. … The semifinals are also on tap Saturday with both finals scheduled for Sunday.