From starting 0-2 to a chance at the championship, Saskatchewan has had quite the bounce back at the Brier.
It happened in a decisive fashion as they dominated Nunavut in a 10-3 victory, but received help from Team Manitoba and Team Northern Ontario who beat the only two teams within striking distance of the hometown team.
“Obviously when you start 0-2 this is the best it possibly could have gone so pretty pleased that we’ve bounced back really nicely and given ourselves a chance now at least,” said skip Steve Laycock after the game.
Saskatchewan has been rolling since they forced an extra end against Manitoba Sunday morning. They’ve gone on to win four straight games since then, but second Kirk Muyres said it was really the game against PEI where he felt them turn the corner.
“We kind of got rolling after that,” he said, adding the pressure of falling behind early kept them on track.
“We kind of played a little more desperate, a little more hard and that’s really proven well for us … we got to be desperate on every shot, every shot and obviously, it’s been working really good.”
Saskatchewan has one more game in round robin play Wednesday afternoon against Ontario and they’re feeling good going into it.
“To get that fourth win in a row, we’re starting to roll we’re getting that confidence back, that little bit of swagger,” Muyres stressed. “We’re going to set ourselves up nice for the championship pool too if we can win (Wednesday).”
The new format sees the top four teams from the two pools advance to a championship pool. The teams’ records stay with them as they go on to face the top four seeds in the other pool for a chance at the page playoffs and eventually the title.
If Saskatchewan goes in as the second place team from pool B it means they can avoid playing the likes of Brad Gushue’s Team Canada and Mike McEwen’s wild card team early in the championship round.
“We’re still in essence back against the wall,” Muyres stressed, but also stressed the relief he feels of no longer having to fight just to make it to the second part of the tournament.
“It is so nice when you can be on the top of the pile and not the bottom working up.”
Saskatchewan (4-2) plays Ontario (5-1) Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m.