Brad Jacobs, Canada will play for gold in men's curling
Defeat China's Rui Liu 10-6 for spot in final vs. Great Britain
Brad Jacobs and his Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., rink will play for the gold medal in Olympic men’s curling.
The Canadian skip beat China’s Rui Liu 10-6 in their semifinal on Wednesday, turning a Chinese mistake in the seventh end into a game-changing triple, and sealing the win with another score of three in the ninth.
Jacobs and his teammates Ryan Fry, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden will play in the gold-medal match on Friday (streaming live at 8:30 a.m. ET on cbc.ca/olympics.)
"One of the goals coming in here was to make the semifinal and put a really good performance together and that's what we did today," Jacobs said. "I'm really proud of the guys for the way they played."
Canada will face Great Britain's David Murdoch, who beat Sweden's Niklas Edin 6-5 in their semifinal. They may be one win away from gold, but Fry, the team's third, says they won't get too far ahead of themselves.
"I'm not even going to think about that until later tomorrow. I'm just going to enjoy this win," he said. "We're Olympic medallists and that's an unbelievable feeling."
Canada and China traded singles over the first two ends before Jacobs got the hammer back in the third. Facing a crowded house, the Canadian skip hit a run-back off the 12-foot, knocking a Chinese rock off of the button, scoring two for Canada and a 3-1 lead. (Confused? See 'Sochi Cheat Sheet: Curling lexicon.')
Liu missed on an attempt for two in the fourth, giving the hammer back to Canada, who posted a single of their own to take a 4-2 lead into the sixth.
China scored a pair to tie the game heading into the seventh, but the Canadians took the lead for good in the seventh.
With Jacobs lying three and holding the hammer, the Chinese team conferred with coach Marcel Roque before Liu’s final shot.
Triples seal the win
Unfortunately for the Chinese skip, deciding to go for the less-risky double takeout did not turn out the way he was hoping. Liu’s shot was off, leaving Canada lying two and Jacobs jumped on the break, sliding an out-turn draw onto the button for the triple and a 7-4 lead.
China scored a double in the eighth to draw within one of the Canadians, but another missed shot in the ninth gave Jacobs an open shot for his team's second triple.
"We had control that entire game, it was just a matter of falling a little deep or just missing something," Fry said. "I'm really happy with the way we performed. Up and down the lineup we played very well.
"That's probably our best game and to be able to do that in the semifinal means the world to us, and speaks volumes to how this team reacts under that type of pressure."
Canada now has a team in both men's and women's gold-medal games, as Jennifer Jones' Winnipeg rink booked their spot earlier in the day - something Jacobs said inspired his rink before their semifinal.
"It's good. Jennifer Jones' team is kind of steam rolling the field right now and it's awesome to see," he said. "Every time they win we want to come back and win as well and stick with them."
"Seeing them win that semifinal earlier today pumped us up. It's great for curling in Canada."