Manitoba shimmies into Brier’s Championship Pool

A 7-6 victory over Prince Edward Island’s John Likely rink allowed Manitoba’s Reid Carruthers to edge themselves through the round robin with four wins and three losses.

Manitoba isn’t out of it yet.

A three-point eighth end for the province’s Reid Carruthers’ rink was enough to squeeze by Prince Edward Island’s John Likely 7-6 in the 13th draw of the Tim Hortons Brier on Wednesday afternoon.

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Tied at four after seven ends, Manitoba managed to score three in the eighth then allowed one in the ninth before P.E.I. stole another in the 10th. The win kept Carruthers alive in the tournament, advancing them to the Championship Pool with a 4-3 record, one shared by Pool A’s fourth seed, Saskatchewan. The first and second seeds after round robin play were unbeaten Northern Ontario with seven wins and the Wild Card Brendan Bottcher rink from Edmonton with a 6-1 record.

The top four teams for each pool advance to the Championship Pool, which occurs Thursday and Friday at Westoba Place. In Pool B, Alberta leads the way with a 7-0 record, followed by Canada at 6-1, and Ontario and British Columbia, who both ended round robin play with a 4-3 record.

In other matches on Wednesday, the morning draw had New Brunswick defeat Ontario 7-6; Canada knocked over Nova Scotia 9-2 in eight ends; Alberta hammered Nunavut 13-2 in eight ends; and B.C. topped Northwest Territories 9-5 in nine ends.

The afternoon draw saw Northern Ontario defeat Yukon 10-5 in nine ends; Quebec beat Newfoundland 14-4 in eight ends; and Saskatchewan bowed to Wild Card 8-2 in eight ends.

In the evening draw, Canada beat Nunavut 11-2 in eight ends; New Brunswick topped Northwest Territories 8-2; Alberta knocked over Nova Scotia 7-5; and Ontario edged B.C. 10-9.

Thursday’s Championship Pool opens at 2 p.m. with Manitoba facing Team Canada, while Saskatchewan meets Ontario, Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs meets B.C. and Alberta clashes with Bottcher and his Wild Card squad.

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