Playoff picture at Montana’s Brier now complete

Curling fans now know who is in the playoffs at the Montana’s Brier in Regina.

In Pool A, first place was decided during the last game of the round-robin, as Manitoba’s Team Carruthers, skipped by Brad Jacobs, defeated Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher 6-3. Bottcher finished second, and Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone finished third via a head-to-head tiebreaker with Northern Ontario’s Trevor Bonot.

In Pool B, the host province claimed the top spot on Wednesday night in their win over Nunavut. Defending champion Team Canada’s Brad Gushue had to wait until Thursday afternoon to know if he was in or out. A commanding 10-4 win over Alberta’s Aaron Sluchinski settled him in second place. The Northwest Territories are in the playoffs for just the second time ever after beating Prince Edward Island 9-8 in an extra end to claim the third spot.

Manitoba skip Brad Jacobs says his group saw the last game of the round-robin as a “freebie.”

“We were already in the playoffs, and we decided to go out there and just play loose and free,’ Jacobs said. “I said to the guys after the game, ‘That felt easy,’ and that’s a good sign. I think that was the best team game we’ve put together so far at the Brier, and that makes me excited and happy, and I’m really proud of the guys for how they came out and performed (Thursday) night.”

Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher says with Saskatchewan on the way, he’s looking forward to the matchup.

“They’re playing well, they’re playing with a pile of confidence, and they’re playing at home, which is always a good feeling,” Bottcher said. “They’re going to be tough to beat.”

Manitoba’s Matt Dunstone represented Saskatchewan four times at the Brier from 2018 until 2022. He says he’s where he wants to be, and that’s alive during playoff weekend.

“As long as we’re alive, that’s where we’ll want to be,” Dunstone said. “When we’re going, we’re as good as anybody, so we’re totally fine with where we are.”

The playoffs begin with the 1-2 qualifying games on Friday afternoon. The winners of those games will move on to Saturday night’s 1-2 page playoff game, while the losers will play the third-place seeds on Friday night for a chance to play in Saturday afternoon’s 3-4 page playoff game.

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