BRANDON, Man. — It's starting to become a little crowded at the top of the Canada Cup men's standings.
Reid Carruthers, 2014 Olympic champion Brad Jacobs, and Brad Gushue's team from St. John's, N.L., are all 3-1 through round-robin play after two days of competition at the curling tournament.
Carruthers capped a good day by edging Mike McEwen 4-3 in a battle of Winnipeg teams Thursday evening. In the afternoon, his squad of third Braeden Moskowy, Derek Samagalski, second Colin Hodgson and coach Dan Carey beat Calgary's Kevin Koe 7-6.
"After Day 2 we've put ourselves in a good spot," said Carruthers. "We control our fate, we don't have to hope for teams to do this and that to get us in. So even if we split the games (Friday) we have a chance at least at a tiebreaker. To win both, you never know we just might go direct to the final.
It was also a double-win day for Jacobs. His team of third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden and coach Caleb Flaxey also played it close to the vest until the final two ends before downing Saskatoon's Steve Laycock 6-4.
The game turned in the eighth end when Jacobs executed a soft punch-out to score three for a 5-2 lead. The Jacobs team also beat Koe 5-1 in the morning draw.
"Every win here is large and to beat Koe and Laycock today is huge for us and hopefully we can build some momentum and keep going," said Jacobs.
Gushue's squad, skipped by Mark Nichols while Gushue rehabs an injury, fell back to the pack with an 8-4 loss to previously winless John Epping of Toronto.
"We needed one, we were desperate," said Epping.
Unlike the men's side, there is one team out in front ahead of everyone else in the women's.
Jennifer Jones, the 2014 Olympic gold medallist, moved to 4-0 by cruising to victory over another Winnipeg squad skipped by Kerri Einarson, who dropped to 2-2 after losing both games Thursday.
The win clinched at least a tiebreaker spot for Jones. The team's final round-robin game against Ottawa's Rachel Homan (3-1) could potentially be a battle for first place and a bye into Sunday's final.
"We're pleased with our start for sure, we've got two big games left," said Jones. "It's just about getting better with each game, with each shot and really getting a handle on the ice which I think we're on our way to doing."
Val Sweeting breezed by another Edmonton team skipped by Kelsey Rocque 6-2 in Thursday's late draw. The victory put Sweeting into a tie for the third and final playoff spot with Einarson and Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., at 2-2.