Howard, Laycock heading to Tim Hortons Brier

Check out this beauty by Glenn Howard to score two and beat John Epping in the Ontario Tankard.

Glenn Howard is heading to the Brier for a 16th time in his career.

Howard made a clutch double raise tap for two in the last end to top John Epping 6-5 and win the Recharge with Milk Ontario Men’s Tankard on Sunday in Brantford.

The incredible shot capped a remarkable run through the provincial championship for the Penetanguishene team. Team Howard was missing vice skip Wayne Middaugh, who sustained a broken leg during a skiing accident last month. Howard called upon Adam Spencer, who was part of the spare pool on hand at the event and filled in admirably at second with Richard Hart moving up to the third. Howard’s team also includes his son Scott Howard at lead.

Team Howard went 10-0 through the round robin with their only hiccup coming in the 1 vs. 2 page playoff Saturday afternoon where they lost to Epping 5-4.


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The Toronto native Epping, who finished runner-up to Mark Kean a year ago, opened with hammer and made a draw against three for a single. Howard took two in the second and Epping matched with a deuce in three to retake the lead 3-2. Howard made a double takeout for a point in four to tie it up.

Team Epping blanked the fifth and was forced to a single in six as sweepers Tim March and Patrick Janssen dragged their last stone into the four-foot circle while facing two counters. Howard faced five counters with his last in the eighth and grabbed a piece of the button for one to knot it back up.

Epping was held to a point in nine as Howard held the hammer coming home.

Earlier Sunday, Howard made the draw to the eight-foot circle with his last in the extra end to edge Toronto's Mike Harris 5-4 in the semifinal to advance.

Howard won seven provincial titles playing with his brother Russ Howard and skipped his own team to eight straight from 2006-13. He returned to the Ontario Tankard after missing out on qualifying for the event a year ago.


SASKATCHEWAN

That's three in a row for Steve Laycock.

The Saskatoon native earned his third consecutive SaskTel Tankard title defeating Shaun Meachem 6-4 in Sunday's final.

Laycock scored a deuce in the second end to open the scoring and never trailed as he stole one in the third to go up 3-0.

The teams alternated singles in four and five as Laycock maintained the three-point advantage. Laycock stole another point in seven and Meachem scored a deuce in eight to narrow the gap 5-3. Meachem then swiped a point in nine but Laycock held on with the hammer coming home.

Meachem defeated Josh Heidt of Kerrobert 5-1 during the morning semifinal. Laycock went on a perfect run through the A side of the triple knockout and advanced straight to the final with an 8-2 win over Heidt in the A vs. B page playoff Saturday night.

Team Laycock includes third Kirk Muyres, second Colton Flasch and lead Dallan Muyres. Laycock will be making his sixth trip to the Brier having also won three provincial titles playing for Pat Simmons.


NEW BRUNSWICK

Mike Kennedy is off to the Tim Hortons Brier after defeating Terry Odishaw 9-2 in the New Brunswick Pepsi Tankard final Sunday in Rothesay, N.B.

Kennedy jumped out to a 4-0 lead scoring a deuce in the first and earning single steals in two and three in a battle between Moncton-based teams. Odishaw settled for a single in four. Kennedy blanked five, scored four in the sixth and stole another point in seven.

Team Kennedy earned the direct bye to the final posting a perfect 7-0 record through the round robin.

Odishaw scored a six-ender in the ninth to beat Rick Perron, also of Moncton, 10-5 in Saturday's semifinal.


TIM HORTONS BRIER LINEUP

The 2016 Tim Hortons Brier runs March 5-13 in Ottawa.

Team Skip
Canada Pat Simmons
Alberta Playdowns: Feb. 10-14
BC Playdowns: Feb. 10-14
Manitoba Playdowns: Feb. 10-14
New Brunswick Mike Kennedy
Newfoundland & Labrador Brad Gushue
Northern Ontario Playdowns: Feb. 10-14
Northwest Territories Jamie Koe
Nova Scotia Jamie Murphy
Nunavut Wade Kingdon
Ontario Glenn Howard
PEI Adam Casey
Quebec Jean-Michel Menard
Saskatchewan Steve Laycock
Yukon Bob Smallwood

Pre-qualifying round: NWT, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, and Yukon.