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Martin, Morris, Jacobs remain undefeated at Roar of the Rings

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The Canadian Press
12/3/2013 9:04:13 AM
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WINNIPEG -- Jeff Stoughton made a great shot to tie their game but it wasn't enough as Kevin Martin extended his winning streak at the Olympic Curling Trials to two games and put Stoughton in a must-win situation from now on.

"Wasn't that something . . you're just never safe," Martin said of Stoughton's shot, minutes after the Edmonton skip's single in the 10th made it 6-5.

"We had to make it a tough double and of course he made an incredible double and made it a close game."

Brad Jacobs and John Morris also stayed undefeated. Morris, Martin's former third, is curling with B.C.'s Jim Cotter and he beat Calgary's Kevin Koe 6-4 and Jacobs, out of Sault Ste Marie, Ont., downed Winnipeg's Mike McEwan 7-5.

Glenn Howard, out of Coldwater, also beat fellow Ontario skip John Epping of Toronto 9-5, which left both at 1-1.

The crowd at the MTS Centre had lots to cheer about as Stoughton made a difficult double off one of Martin's stones to score three in the ninth.

He missed another, perhaps even more difficult, multiple takeout in the sixth that could have given him four but he had to settle for one.

Stoughton knows he has no more room left to lose another game, with all agreeing a record of 5-2 is probably a must to make the playoffs.

"I would think so. It's not where we wanted to be after two games," he said.

"We've played worse and won."

He has already said this will be the last time he tries to win a spot on the Olympic team.

"There's five games left . . We're not out of this by any means."

Martin agreed that losing more than two looks like elimination.

"Five and two is safe, four and three I don't think ever has been."

Jacobs was enjoying the moment as well.

"It's a seven-game round robin so every win is huge. You feel great to be at 2-0. You wouldn't want to be 0-2," he said.

On the women's side of the event, an underdog and a favourite remained the only undefeated teams after the morning draw.

Former world champion Jennifer Jones needed an extra end to finish off Ontario's Sherry Middaugh.

"It was a really hard fought battle and we gave up a really bad three in the seventh end but the girls hung in there and we found a way to win that game, which we're going to need this week if we're going to be successful," said Jones.

The four-time Scotties winner has tried twice before to win a coveted spot on Canada's Olympic team and both times failed to make the playoffs.

The win left Jones tied at the top of the standings at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings with Val Sweeting, who curls out of Edmonton, and whose best and only finish to date at a Scotties was 4-7 in 2010.

"The record is a bonus," said Sweeting.

"We thought we started that game better but we had a little bit of a shaky last half so maybe tonight we'll have a solid game start to finish."

They knew they would need it, since they were set to meet Jones in the evening draw.

After giving up a three in the seventh, Jones scored two in the 10th end to tie the game and forced Middaugh to make a tight hit that she flashed in the extra as her team fell to 1-1.

"My guard in 10, thrown a bit better . . . maybe Jennifer would have had a harder deuce," said Middaugh.

"I just overthrew and kind of popped out my one in the extra end."

Sweeting defeated Saskatoon's Stefanie Lawton 8-6. Lawton also lost Sunday's opening draw and fell to 0-2.

In other scores from the morning draw, Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey also needed an extra end to hand Edmonton's Heather Nedohin her second loss, beating her 8-5, and Ottawa's Rachel Homan downed Renee Sonnenberg of Grande Prairie, Alta., 8-2, leaving both at 1-1.

"We really needed a win this morning," said Homan, the reigning Canadian champ who finished third at the world championships.

"I guess you could say a lot more pressure this morning than there was yesterday."

The Manitoba Curling Association and the province also announced Monday that curling is joining the CFL's Winnipeg Blue Bombers and NHL's Jets with a specialty license plate of its own, and part of the proceeds will go to the association's Curling for Life Endowment Fund.

Kevin Martin (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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