by Asif Hossain
February 16, 2014, Sochi Russia (ISN) – Two big wins by the rink led by skipper Brad Jacobs on Sunday saw the Canadian men’s curling team through to the semifinals of the Olympic Winter Games tournament with a 7-2 record.
Combined with another win for Canada’s women, it marked the second straight day that Canadian curling teams swept all three of its games.
Team Brad Jacobs won its last six round robin games en route to the playoffs.
Sunday began with an 8-6 victory during the morning session over the United States, and it ended with beating China 9-8 in an extra end to close out the evening.
The double triumph guaranteed second place in the round robin for Team Jacobs after a 1-2 start to the Olympics.
“We kind of got ahead of ourselves coming here,” Jacobs remarked after his cool draw to the pin won the game for Team Canada over China. “When you’re coming to the Olympics there’s so much hype about gold, gold, gold, gold, gold. That’s really drilled into you, especially as we’re the Canadian men’s curling team.”
“We kind of let that get to us a little bit (earlier in the tournament). We just had to refocus, regroup, rethink our whole strategy.”
Grinding it out and feeding off emotions are key features of the Jacobs rink. Both came into play against China when they had to come from behind down 6-3. They took advantage of Chinese blunders and made some key shots of their own to put Jacobs in position to win the game.
“I actually was really excited that I had the opportunity to throw that shot,” the skip said. “I hate to say that it was a fairly simple shot because you really have to get close to the button, but it felt easy.”
On the women’s side, Team Jennifer Jones extended its unbeaten run to eight games beating the United States 7-6 after that contest went to an extra end.
The Canadians are 8-0 and have a chance to be the first women’s team to go undefeated through the round robin portion of an Olympic tournament if they beat South Korea on Monday.
“The undefeated possibility doesn’t really even cross our minds to be honest,” Jones said. “We just really want to get as confident with the ice, and feel as confident heading into the playoffs, as we can.”
Team third Kaitlyn Lawes said of their impressive record “we felt really good coming into this tournament. We figured we would have some losses in the round- robin with such a tough field but we’ve just been taking it game by game.”