Saskatchewan needed to win to even stand a chance at making it to the playoffs, but so did Mike McEwen’s wild-card team.
And after a full ten ends of play, it was McEwen who came out on top and whose hopes stay alive to make it to the final four.
“The McEwen team was amazing today. They made a lot of shots,” said Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock after the 6-4 loss.
“We had a chance to get a deuce in nine we were millimetres away from that, but even then if (McEwen’s) going to hit the button we still weren’t going to win. They played a great game.”
McEwen’s team was in the same situation as Saskatchewan was: hoping for an Alberta loss and in need of back-to-back wins of their own.
Alberta lost to Ontario meaning McEwen hangs on to a sliver of hope to make it to a tiebreaker.
For that to happen, the wild card team will need to beat their provincial rivals, Team Manitoba (5-5), and Alberta (7-3) will need to lose again this time to Northern Ontario (8-2).
That would force a tiebreaker Saturday morning.
Saskatchewan meanwhile does have one more game to play against Nova Scotia (5-5) even though it won’t advance them to the playoffs.
“We have a lot of pride as a team so we’re going to go out there and try to win the game for our team and for Saskatchewan,” Laycock said. “Obviously the rest of the weekend will feel better if we finish on a win.”
“We owe it to our ourselves to finish with an over .500 record especially starting (0-2) the way we did,” added third Matt Dunstone. “If we can finish with above .500 we’ll be content … and proud of how we battled.”
This hometown Brier was Dunstone’s first and while the losing sucks, he does think he look back on it very fondly.
“Not many people get to play their first Brier as a hometown team. Just to have that crowd behind you. You get goosebumps every time you walk out on the ice before every game. I’m sure they’re going to be loud for us tonight so I’m going to try to soak that all in. You never know when you’re going to get back to a Brier.”
Elsewhere on the ice, Manitoba’s loss to Nova Scotia took them out of the running for the playoffs and Brad Gushue’s Team Canada beat Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs to move to 9-1.
Team Canada, Team Ontario and Team Northern Ontario have all booked their spot in the page playoffs. The fourth team will be decided Friday night if Alberta wins or Saturday morning if they lose.