Saskatchewan was already moving on to the second round of the Brier, but they would have preferred to do it with a win.
After evening things up in the eighth end, third Matt Dunstone missed on a difficult shot it gave Ontario the opportunity to lay four.
John Epping made no mistake and the teams shook hands after Ontario took the 8-4 lead in the second last end.
“They just played a really good end,” acknowledged Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock. “We had to gamble a little bit to try to get the force … We had to push some stuff around and they didn’t set up a good angle and Matt’s last (rock) needed to roll a bit further.”
The loss moves Saskatchewan to a 4-3 record, a record that will follow them into the championship pool on Thursday when they begin to play the top teams for Pool A including Brad Gushue’s Team Canada, Mike McEwen’s wild-card team, Brendan Bottcher’s Team Alberta and a yet to be determined fourth team.
It will be an uphill battle for Saskatchewan to make it to the page playoff now, with some of the top teams only having one or two losses.
“We have to run the table because four losses is probably too many,” Laycock said. “If our pool completely dominates the other book and brings everyone back to four losses than maybe we have might have a chance.”
But Saskatchewan has been down and not out before.
They started the tournament 0-2 and came back to win four straight games to make it to this point.
“We won four in a row already, we just got to win another four, we know how to do that,” said Dunstone.
“We’re willing to take it on,” added Laycock. “There’s no one on that side that we haven’t beaten before, so bring it on.”