Simmons and company stay alive at National

Matthew
Matthew Gourlie
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It came down to the last shot of the opening round, but Pat Simmons and the Kevin Koe rink lived to play another day at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites National curling event in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Koe’s Calgary foursome — which features Moose Jaw’s Simmons at third — beat Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 6-5 in an extra end to finish with a 3-2 mark in Pool A. The loss dropped McEwen’s record to 2-3.
After scoring one in the eighth end to tie the game, Koe stole a point in the extra end to stay alive.
Koe entered Friday’s play with a 1-2 record. They beat Calgary’s Brock Virtue 5-3 in the afternoon before beating McEwen.
Eight teams will qualify for the quarter-finals. In addition to the three pool winners, there are six other teams with 3-2 records.
Steve Laycock, with Moose Jaw’s Joel Jordison at third, failed to advance to the quarter-finals as well.
After a 2-0 start at The National, Laycock’s rink lost three in a row to some of the biggest names in the game. Reigning Brier champion Jeff Stoughton beat Laycock 5-3 Thursday and Glenn Howard defeated Laycock 9-2 in Friday’s early draw.
Laycock concluded pool play by losing 4-3 to Olympic champion Brad Gushue in an extra end. Laycock’s Saskatoon rink came back from a 3-0 hole, but couldn’t steal a winning point in the extra end.
That left Laycock fourth in Pool C as Gushue and Stoughton both finished 3-2. Howard was unbeaten.
Kevin Martin topped Pool B with a 5-0 record. Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Calgary’s Brent Bawel were both 3-2.
The National is the third stop on the men’s Capital One Grand Slam of Curling. Eighteen teams are competing for their share of the $100,000 purse. The champion earn $20,000, while the runner-up takes home $11,000.

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