Jeff Stoughton, Stefanie Lawton advance to Canada Cup curling competition finals
Winnipeg skip Jeff Stoughton sits in the house during his 8-7 loss to John Epping of Peterborough, Ont., in draw 7. of the Capital One Canada Cup curling competition in Moose Jaw, Sask., on Friday. (The Canadian Press / Handout Photo courtesy of the Canadian Curling Association, Michael Burns)
The Canadian Press
Published Saturday, December 1, 2012 10:45AM CST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 11, 2012 3:43PM CST
MOOSE JAW, Sask. -- Stefanie Lawton and Jeff Stoughton each advanced to the finals at the Capital One Canada Cup curling competition Friday.
Saskatoon's Lawton locked up the top spot in the round robin despite losing 4-3 to Winnipeg's Cathy Overton-Clapham (1-5). Lawton topped the round robin with a 5-1 record and said her team deserved a day off.
"We're just going to relax, go to the spa, and we'll get out practising (Saturday)," said Lawton. "We just want to take a break and regroup after that loss."
Despite missing out on a perfect run with the loss to Overton-Clapham, Lawton said her rink is happy to have the bye to the final and doesn't see a downside to sitting and watching while the rest of the field fights to join them.
"We're not afraid to wait. We honestly like it," said Lawton. "It gives us a break. The girls work hard out there and it gives them a chance to relax their muscles a little bit and then they can come out firing."
Saturday's women's semifinal was decided in the final draw.
Team Jennifer Jones will play Heather Nedohin of Sherwood Park, Alta., in the semi after both teams won their final matches to finish with 4-2 records.
Team Jones advanced with a 7-5 victory over Winnipeg's Chelsea Carey (2-4). Kaitlyn Lawes is handling skip duties for Jones's Winnipeg rink since Jones gave birth to a baby girl two weeks ago and is also recovering from knee surgery.
Nedohin, meanwhile, needed 11 ends to beat Overton-Clapham 10-8.
On the men's side, Stoughton, who entered the ninth and final draw tied atop the round robin with fellow Winnipeg native Mike McEwen, defeated McEwen 7-5 in 10 ends to secure first place on the men's side with a 5-1 record.
The loss was McEwen's second of the day after falling 7-4 to Calgary's Kevin Koe in the afternoon draw at Mosaic Place. McEwen (4-2) will now play a rematch against Koe (4-2) in a tiebreaker Saturday after Koe beat Edmonton's Kevin Martin 6-3.
The winner will face world champion Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont., in the semifinal. Howard (4-2) secured the spot with a 7-3 victory over winless Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L.
The Howard rink was on the mat after posting an 0-2 record on the opening day. They ran the table to not only advance, but bypass the tiebreak altogether thanks to holding the advantage in the three-way tie.
"After day one this is huge," said Howard. "We were struggling. We didn't play well at all. We played two horrible games and our backs were against the wall. We knew we pretty much had to run the table to even have a sniff.
"I have to give credit to my guys. We all talked about just going out and having fun like we normally do and don't get down, don't get upset with anything and we did. We kept it positive. We played four really solid curling games and lo and behold we're 4-2."
It was a disappointing tournament for Martin, the defending Olympic and Canada Cup champion, who is going home with a paltry 1-5 record.
Both the men's and women's finals are Sunday. Each winner will receive one of the six automatic qualification spots for the 2013 Roar of the Rings -- the tournament that will determine Canada's entries at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.