Off to men’s semifinals on Saturday night
SUMMERSIDE – Kevin Martin and Brad Jacobs are still alive in the 2014 Players’ Championship.
Martin pulled out a 6-4 win over John Epping in one of two quarter-final games in Saturday’s 5 p.m. draw, and Jacobs made a clutch shot with the game’s final rock to get by Kevin Koe 7-6 in the other.
In the semifinals on Saturday at 8:30 p.m., Martin will take on Mike McEwen and Jacobs will face the Brad Gushue rink, which includes third stone Brett Gallant of Charlottetown and Adam Casey of Seven Mile Bay.
Martin, who announced on Friday night he is retiring after the Players’ Championship and will become an analyst with Rogers Sportsnet, scored a deuce in the seventh end to take a 5-4 lead. He then closed out the game with a steal of one in the final eighth end.
Epping won the 2012 Players’ Championship in Summerside.
On the game’s final shot, Jacobs had to get by a guard out front to knock out Koe’s shot rock for the game-deciding two points.
Each team scored three deuces with last-rock advantage.
It marked the final game for the Koe rink of third stone Pat Simmons, second stone Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen. Koe, who will skip, will team up with Brent Laing and Martin’s current front end, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert, next season.
Also on the ice during Saturday night’s draw will be the two women’s semifinals of the season's final event of the Grand Slam of Curling. Olympic gold-medallist Jennifer Jones will take on Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson in a rematch of the gold-medal game at the 2014 Sochi Games, and Canadian women’s champion Rachel Homan meets Silvana Tirinzoni, who is the leading money winner on the World Curling Tour this season.