Howard edges Frans to reach Ontario final

February 9, 2013, 4:50 PM

Defending world champion Glenn Howard edged Joe Frans 5-3 to win the Page 1 vs. 2 playoff matchup on Saturday afternoon and advance to the Dominion Tankard final in Barrie, Ont.

Frans scored two in the opening end before Howard replied with a pair of his own in the second. Howard stole two in the third to take the lead and Frans blanked four straight ends to retain the hammer but had to settle for one in the ninth. A single in the 10th capped the victory for Howard.

Howard is aiming to win his eighth consecutive Ontario title and 15th overall.


Qualifiers on Sportsnet: Watch the Ontario Provincial Championships semifinal Sunday on Sportsnet Ontario & Sportsnet ONE at 9:30 a.m. ET.


Frans, the number one seed in the round robin, has a second chance to reach the final and will play the winner of the Page 3 vs. 4 match between John Epping and Rob Rumfeldt.

The provincial champions will face in the Tim Hortons Brier starting March 2 in Edmonton.

Manitoba

Mike McEwen thumped Terry McNamee 8-1 in Qualifier 3 at the Safeway Championship in Neepawa, Man.

McEwen scored two in the opening end and stole one in the second to build a 3-0 lead. The National Grand Slam of Curling finalist added another pair in the fourth and stole one in the fifth to pull away. Another steal of two in the sixth sealed the victory.

McEwen will face defending Manitoba champion Rob Fowler in the Page 3 vs. 4 playoff match tonight at 7:30 p.m. ET.

Fowler went ahead with a single in the sixth and then stole five in the seventh to down Scott Ramsay 10-4 in Qualifier 4.


Qualifiers on Sportsnet: Watch the Manitoba Provincial Championships semifinal 1 on Sportsnet at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT


In Saturday morning action, Jeff Stoughton scored triples in the first and sixth ends to defeat McNamee 8-4.

Stoughton, a nine-time provincial champion, will now play Sean Grassie in the Page 1 vs. 2 playoff with the winner of their match moving onto the final.

Grassie scored four in the third and four more in the sixth to thump Fowler 8-2.

British Columbia

Brent Pierce scored four in the fifth and added a pair in the ninth to beat Sean Geall 8-4 in the Page 1 vs. 2 playoff and advance to the final at the Canadian Direct Insurance B.C. Men’s Provincial Championship in Parksville, B.C.

Andrew Bilesky pulled away with a triple in the seventh and added one in the eighth to win 8-3 against Tom Buchy in the Page 3 vs. 4 playoff.

Bilesky opened the scoring with one in the first before stealing a single in the second and a double in the third.

Geall and Bilesky will now face off in the semifinal.

Newfoundland and Labrador

Brad Gushue has punched his ticket to the Newfoundland and Labrador Tankard final with an 8-2 win over Colin Thomas in the Page 1 vs. 2 playoff in St. John’s, N.L.

Gushue scored a trio in the second to take the lead and stole three in the third to go ahead 6-1.

The six-time defending provincial champion picked up a pair in the fifth to seal the win.

Colin Thomas will play Jeff Thomas in the semifinal.

Jeff Thomas rallied to score two in the 10th end and beat Andrew Symonds 7-6 in the Page 3 vs. 4 match.

Thomas grabbed two in the opening draw, settled for one in the third and stole singles in the fourth and fifth and led 5-1.

Symonds scored a triple in the sixth to cut the deficit to one and stole one in the eighth to even it up before going ahead with a steal in the ninth.

Nova Scotia

Paul Flemming edged James Murphy 8-6 to reach the final of the Nova Scotia Men’s Molson Tankard Provincial Championship at Truro, N.S.

Flemming scored two in the second and stole two in the third before Murphy picked up a triple in the fourth to tie it 4-4 in the all-Halifax rink Page 1 vs. 2 playoff.

But Flemming responded with a single in the fifth and stole another pair in the sixth to go ahead. Murphy scored a single in the eighth and stole one himself in the ninth to pull within one.

Flemming sealed the win with a single in the final end and is now one win away from a sixth appearance at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Mark Dacey scored two in the eighth to go ahead and stole a pair in the ninth to beat Peter Burgess 8-5 in the quarter-final. <br.
Murphy and Dacey will now play in the semifinal at 6 p.m. ET.

Northern Ontario

Bryan Burgess scored five in the eighth end to defeat Al Hackner 9-3 in the tiebreaker at the Dominion Men’s NOCA Provincials in Nipigon, Ont.

Burgess scored a double in the fourth and stole one in the sixth to take a 4-2 lead.

Hackner settled for one in the seventh to pull within one.

Alberta

In the Alberta Boston Pizza Cup at Leduc, Alta., 11-time provincial champion Kevin Martin will set his sights on another title when he plays Aaron Sluchinski in the Page 1 vs. 2 playoff at 8:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. MT.

Prince Edward Island

The Prince Edward Island Tankard provincial men’s curling championship matches for Saturday were cancelled because of major snowstorms hitting the east coast.

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