Monday, March 11, 2013

Jacobs great, Stoughton not so much as NONT wins the Brier

So was it a great performance by Brad Jacobs or a crappy one by Jeff Stoughton? It was probably a combination of both but in the end, it doesn't really matter -- the Northern Ontario are Brier champs. 

Here's how the National Post saw the finale, with Jacobs saying the win was overdue. 

“It’s been too long since Northern Ontario’s held that Tankard,” Jacobs said, his voice shaking. “To bring this back to Northern Ontario, to Sault Ste. Marie, it means the world to us.” 
Jacobs, third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden will represent Canada at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship from March 30 to April 7. 
It’s the first Canadian men’s title for all four curlers. At 27, Jacobs is the youngest skip to win the Brier since Kevin Martin in 1991 at age 24.“I don’t even know how to feel right now,” Jacobs said. “It’s really overwhelming what’s going on.”

Not surprisingly, the astute Paul Wiecek saw a great team in Jacobs and a surprisingly awful team in Stoughton. 

The way Brad Jacobs and his Northern Ontario team were playing here the last few days, Jeff Stoughton probably wasn’t going to beat him in the Brier final anyway.But then the game started and Stoughton promptly — and personally — removed all doubt.
If you’re interested, you probably already watched the game on TV Sunday night, so there’s no need to belabour the ugly details behind Northern Ontario’s historic 11-4 victory over Stoughton, other than to point out he missed his first four shots — two in the first end and two in the second end — to gift the best-hitting team in Canada a 3-0 lead on steals and a stranglehold on the game.

Jacobs' victory came 28 years after Northern Ontario's last win, which means, of course, that the skip, at 27, wasn't born yet. He doesn't have any first-hand knowledge of the most famous shot in Brier history thrown by Al Hackner, a guy, by the way, who probably should have beat him in the Northern Ontario playdowns. Here's the Edmonton Journal: 

Jacobs became only the fifth Northern Ontario team to win the Brier, and the first since Hackner in 1985, when he shocked Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton 11-4 in front of 10,897 spectators Sunday night at Rexall Place. 
“I know Al Hackner made that amazing shot, the best shot of all time, and then he ending up stealing in the extra (end) to win,” Jacobs said about Hackner’s cross-house double takeout to force an extra end against Alberta’s Pat Ryan at Moncton, N.B. 
“That’s really all I know. I wasn’t even born,” he added. “It really doesn’t mean a whole lot to me. The Briers that I’ve seen are in the past 10, 15 years.”
OK, that makes some of us feel really old, Brad. No worries, though. And leave it to Terry Jones of the Edmonton Sun to bring up the fact that a few years ago, there was talk of doing away with the Moose team. 

Three years ago there was talk of getting rid of the non-province from the Brier line-up.Now Brad Jacobs, E.J. and Ryan Harnden and the missing link they added this year in Manitoba native Ryan Fry, are headed to the Ford Worlds in Victoria.

Now we can excuse the local rag for waxing a little poetic. After all, it isn't every day that a national title comes home to Sault Ste. Marie. Here's the story from the Sault Star. 

Like a snowball rolling down a ski hill, they grew and grew, and got stronger and stronger.All the while they kept building momentum.And in the end, no one could stop them.Not Kevin Martin.Not Brad Gushue.Not Glenn Howard.And not Jeff Stoughton.Folks, Sault Ste. Marie is now home to the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier champions.The Brad Jacobs rink won its first Canadian men's curling championship Sunday, whipping Manitoba's Stoughton 11-4 at Rexall Place in Edmonton.The Soo Curlers Association rink became the first Northern Ontario team to win the Brier since Thunder Bay's Al Hackner stole the deciding point in an extra end, upsetting Alberta's Pat Ryan 6-5 in 1985.

And here's what the readers in Sault Ste. Marie will be waking up to this morning. 

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