TORONTO — The second night of the Players’ Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, featured victories for some big curling names as well as tough luck for others.
The night was highlighted by an extra end 4-3 victory for Niklas Edin of Sweden over Kevin Martin and his Alberta rink.
Martin had the hammer in the eighth but was only able to take one and was unable to get the steal in the extra end.
“We had the hammer coming home, which is huge, but just a few unfortunate misses and we were forced to take just one,” said Martin. “We had a great chance to win in eight, but it just didn’t happen.”
“You’re not going to steal against those guys very often.”
They ran into some bad luck in the extra when lead Ben Hebert hogged his first shot after a pick.
“Well that happens (the pick), and every other shot in the end was made by both teams,” said the skip. “The odds of a steal once our first one picked was very remote, so at that point we were in trouble.”
Martin is now 1-1 in the Players’ Championship.
Glen Howard defeated Greg Balsdon’s local Toronto rink 4-2 to improve their record to 2-0 after beating Mark Kean last night in the opener.
Third Wayne Middaugh said the team started off on the right foot when Howard drew to the button to get the hammer in the first.
“We used that to control the game, even with the steal of one in the fifth end, we still had control of the game and we just kept it,” said the vice.
With the Players’ Champion having only four preliminary games – as opposed to the Brier which is a full round robin – Middaugh thinks it’s key to start the tournament off well.
“There’s no time to be really flat at all, if you a bit of a bad run at any time you’ll get behind the eight ball and it can out put you out pretty quick,” said Middaugh.
In the third men’s match of the evening, Jim Cotter defeated John Epping handily by a score of 8-2 after just five ends to even his record at 1-1.
The 2013 Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner Rachel Homan and her Ottawa rink were victorious over Renee Sonnenberg of Grand Prairie, AB 6-3.
She took two and three in the fifth and sixth ends respectively to put a stranglehold on the game. She is now 2-0.
Shannon Kleibrink fought hard in her match against Eve Muirhead and the 2013 World Champions, but allowed three consecutive single steals in the sixth, seventh and eighth to lose 6-4 and fall to 0-2.
Vice Anna Sloan said the string of steals was critical.
“It really gave us the momentum to close the game out,” she said.