SUMMERSIDE – It was only by a half an inch, but an upset nonetheless.
Colton Flasch and his team from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon scored an 8-7 win over the previously unbeaten John Morris rink from Vernon, B.C., in Wednesday’s noon draw of the Home Hardware Road to the Roar Canadian Olympic Pre-Trials curling event at Summerside’s Eastlink Arena.
Flasch and his team of Kevin and Dan Marsh and Matt Lang moved to 1-2 (won-lost) in round-robin play. Morris now has two wins and a loss.
Another rink suffered its first loss in Draw 8. Pat Simmons’s Winnipeg rink evened its record at 1-1 after scoring an 8-7 extra-end victory over Jean-Michel Menard from Saint-Romuald, Que.
Simmons scored three in the 10th end to force the extra end against Menard, who went into the game 2-0.
In the extra end, Menard was able to clear a lot of Simmons’s guards, but Simmons still found a way to hide his last stone behind it, back four. Menard attempted to follow him with hammer, but his shot hung out and ended up back eight, allowing Simmons to steal the win.
Against Flasch, Morris scored two with hammer in the ninth to tie the game 7-7.
In the 10th end, Morris concentrated on putting up guards to protect a stone on the four-foot. Flasch managed to clear a Morris guard as well as the rock in the house with his first skip stone, but left his rock in guard position.
After a timeout, Morris called for Jim Cotter, who throws skip rocks, to bury behind the Flasch guard. He delivered, back four.
Flasch followed essentially the same path and his sweepers took over right out of his hand, only stopping as the rock entered the house. As it hit the tee line Morris took over feverishly trying to sweep it back. A measure determined it outcounted Cotter’s stone by a half an inch. Flasch was in the win column.
In other games, Greg Balsdon (1-1) from Kingston, Ont., who found himself trailing 3-0 after three ends, fought back for a 6-5 win over William Lyburn (1-2) from Winnipeg, and Edmonton’s Brendan Bottcher (1-2) scored one with the hammer in the 10th end for a 7-6 win over Dayna Deruelle (1-2) of Brampton, Ont.