SUMMERSIDE – The finals at the 2014 Players’ Championship are now set after three of the four semifinals required extra ends on Saturday night.
Kevin Martin put himself in position for a storybook ending to his distinguished career by calmly making a perfect draw through a port to get a piece of the button and four-foot to edge Mike McEwen 6-5 in one of four semifinals played at Eastlink Arena on Saturday night.
The 47-year-old Martin, who announced on Friday night that he is retiring after the Players’ Championship, set up a championship game against Brad Jacobs, who eliminated the Brad Gushue rink 6-4. Third stone Brett Gallant of Charlottetown and second stone Adam Casey are Gushue’s teammates.
Jacobs scored three in the sixth end to close out the game’s scoring and overcome a 4-3 deficit.
The men’s final, which will feature the last two Olympic gold-medallists – Martin in 2010 and Jacobs in 2014 – will be played Sunday at 5 p.m.
Martin’s clutch shot drew the loudest cheer of the night as team members celebrated with smiles, handshakes and fist pumps.
It was a disappointing end for McEwen, who was looking for his first Grand Slam of Curling title and went 5-0 in the round robin.
On the other side of the ice, there was no lack of excitement as both women’s semifinals required an extra end.
Canadian champion Rachel Homan and Olympic gold-medallist Jennifer Jones will meet in a much-anticipated matchup to decide a winner on Sunday at 11 a.m.
Homan has an opportunity to win a $100,000 bonus if she wins because it will give her a sweep of this season’s two women’s events on the Grand Slam of Curling. Homan won the Masters in November.
Homan had to hit and stick in the four-foot in the extra end to edge Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni 4-3.
Jones had to draw against one to the back of the eight-foot to edge Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson 8-7.
It appeared Jones was in control of the match, leading 7-4 after six ends of the eight-end game. But Sigfridsson counted a deuce with the hammer in seven, and stole a single point in the eighth to even the score.
The men’s and women’s divisions are each competing for $100,000 in prizes.
Rogers Sportsnet will broadcast both finals.