It’s not the way Jim Cotter wanted his eighth Brier to end.
The Vernon skipped dropped his final five games to finish 4-7 and in eighth place (out of 16) at the Tim Hortons Canadian Men’s Curling Championships in Brandon.
After going 4-2, Cotter, third Steve Laycock (eighth Brier), second Tyrel Griffith (sixth), lead Rick Sawatsky (eighth) and fifth man Brad wood of Penticton (second), lost their final preliminary round game but still qualified for the championship pool, which saw the B.C. champs go 0-4.
Cotter lost his final two games Friday, 9-7 to Mike McEwen of Manitoba – who tied the game 7-7 with two in the ninth then stole the winning two points in the last end – and 6-5 to Laycock’s former team, skipped by Kirk Muyres of Saskatoon.
Against Saskatchewan, Cotter scored three in the third end to jump out to a 4-1 lead. Muyres responded with a deuce in four, then stole one in the fifth to tie the match 4-4 heading into the fifth-end break.
Following a blank in six, Muyres stole another single in seven to take a 5-4 lead. Cotter, with hammer, blanked the eighth end and picked up a single in nine to tie the contest. Muyres used last rock to score a single point.
Cotter, McEwen and Muyres had been eliminated from playoff contention heading into Friday’s final two draws.
Alberta’s Kevin Koe finished a perfect 11-0 with a 7-5 win over Brad Jacobs (9-2) of Northern Ontario in the last draw Friday, a preview of the one-two page playoff game Saturday.
The winner advances to Sunday’s final. The loser will play the winner of the third-versus-fourth-place matchup between defending champion Brad Gushue’s Team Canada rink (9-2) from Newfoundland and Labrador, and Team Wild Card, skipped by Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton (8-3).
Gushue defeated Bottcher 8-5 in eight ends in Friday’s final championship pool draw.
The other match saw McEwen defeat Scott McDonald of Ontario 8-4.