McEwen earns redemption at Curling Players' Championship

The Canadian Press
4/19/2012 9:25:36 PM
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SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. -- It was a day of redemption for Mike McEwen and his Winnipeg rink on Thursday at the Grand Slam of Curling's Players' Championship.

After going 0-2 on Wednesday, McEwen rebounded with wins of 4-3 over Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton, and a 7-6 extra-end win over Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L.

"We had to dig deep today," said McEwen. "The curling gods were not shining on us yesterday, and we probably deserved a better fate than 0-2."

Edmonton's Kevin Martin defeated Gushue 4-2 and the Niklas Edin rink of Sweden 6-4 to remain the only undefeated men's team at 4-0.

Toronto's John Epping, who is seeded eighth in the eight-team field, and Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., are tied for second at 3-1. Epping defeated Howard 6-3, and then drew to the four-foot to get by Edmonton's Kevin Koe 7-6 in an extra end.

Howard rebounded from the early-afternoon loss to beat Stoughton 6-4 in the evening.

McEwen credited lead Denni Neufeld with setting the stage for the game-winning point.

"Our lead almost won the game for us on his first two shots (of the extra end)," said McEwen. "Brad's last shot may have picked a bit because it had perfect weight and perfect line, or I would have had to draw to a decent piece of the button."

McEwen did not have to throw his final rock.

In women's play, Winnipeg's Cathy Overton-Clapham clinched first place in the round robin, and a semifinal berth.

Overton-Clapham, third stone Jenna Loder, second stone Ashley Howard and lead Breanne Meakin won twice on Thursday to remain undefeated.

"Being 6-0 in this competition is something we couldn't have asked for," said Overton-Clapham, who is a fan favourite at EastLink Arena.

Five other teams

Overton-Clapham edged Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey 4-3 in the morning draw, and then outlasted Switzerland's Tirinzoni 6-4 in a late-afternoon game.

Overton-Clapham took a 5-4 lead into the final eighth end, and made a tap against two to sit for shot rock. Tirinzoni's hammer shot for a deuce did not curl enough, allowing Overton-Clapham to steal a single point.

While the game will mean nothing to Overton-Clapham as far as the standings are concerned, Jones can clinch a berth in Saturday morning's semifinals with a win.

"I am not sure of the standings, but it is a game we will likely have to win," said Jones after defeating Scotland's Eve Muirhead 6-1 in the afternoon to improve to 4-2. "We will come out and try to play our best." Jones, who struggled with consistency early in the week, liked the play of her rink on Thursday.

Lawton came through under pressure on the game's final shot for an important 6-5 win over Middaugh.

"I had to play lighter weight, I came off a rock, tapped one of our other rocks sideways onto the button for two," explained Lawton. "There wasn't really that much risk to it, but I wanted to take advantage of that second point and not have to go an extra end." Middaugh kept her playoff hopes alive with a 4-2 win over Nedohin in the evening draw.

¡ Jennifer Jones (4-2), Stefanie Lawton (4-2), Sherry Middaugh (3-3), Silvana Tirinzoni (3-3) and Heather Nedohin (3-3) ¡ are in the hunt for the final three semifinal berths.
Curling (Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)


(Photo: Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
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