Koe keeps pace; Gushue suffers first loss

Jason Simmonds
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SUMMERSIDE – Kevin Koe and Mike McEwen are tied atop the men’s standings at the 2014 Players’ Championship here at Eastlink Arena.

Both rinks are 3-0 after Koe rallied for a 9-6 win over Brad Gushue in Thursday’s supper-hour draw, and MacEwen edged Jeff Stoughton 5-4 in afternoon action. Gushue is alone in second place at 3-1 while Brad Jacobs and John Epping are tied for third at 2-1.

“We were chasing all game,” said Koe, whose rink trailed 3-0 after two ends and 6-4 following six ends.

The turning point in the game was Koe’s three-ender in seven, and he stole a deuce in the final eighth end.

“We got down three, battled back to tie it up (4-4 after five ends), gave up a bad deuce in six," offered Koe. “We played a great seventh end, and just to get the lead was obviously a big turning point.”

With both rinks going in undefeated, Koe expected a close game.

“Brad has a great team and it looks like they’ve been playing good all week, himself especially,” said Koe. “We knew we were in tough, and fortunately we found a way to sneak it out.”

Also in Draw 8, Jacobs needed an extra end to defeat Niklas Edin of Sweden 7-4; Epping downed Sven Michel of Switzerland; David Murdoch got his first win with a 6-4 decision over Glenn Howard, and Heather Nedohin got her first win in four games by defeating Switzerland’s Michele Jaggi 5-4. Jaggi dropped to 1-3.

The Jacobs and Edin game followed a similar script as Koe and Gushue. Edin scored single points in the first three ends to take a 3-0 lead. Jacobs answered with a deuce in the fourth and a steal of one in the fifth to tie the game. Jacobs took his first lead of the game, 4-3, in the seventh end, and Edin tied the game in the eighth end.

Jacobs was able to count three in the extra end.

“It was a little bit of a weird game,” assessed Jacobs. “In the beginning of that game we couldn’t really buy a shot.

“We had an opportunity for two in the second end, and I threw a bad one and we gave up a steal. We gave up another steal, but we were able to hang in there, get a deuce, make them make some nice shots and we got some breaks late in the game.”

Jacobs explained how he handled playing from behind: “The approach when you are down like that (early) is to try and get some rocks in play and your rocks in a really good spot. You don’t want to panic and force it too much.

“We were able to do that. It was your typical game plan when you are down, get some guards in play.”

Thursday’s final draw features five women’s games at 8:30 p.m.

Geographic location: Switzerland

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