SUMMERSIDE P.E.I. — Glenn Howard’s season came to an end at the Players’ Championship on Friday afternoon, one that also sees second Brent Laing’s time with the team close as well.
The Penetanguishene, Ont., rink fell 8-6 to Kevin Koe’s team after Howard missed on his final shot during Draw 11 at the Grand Slam of Curling event.
Laing now departs the rink to head west and join, by coincidence, Koe’s new team in the fall. Third Wayne Middaugh will also not return. Howard announced his new roster Sunday adding Jon Mead and Richard Hart with Craig Savill staying at lead.
“It’s a weird feeling, for sure not the way we had planned (to end) it,” Laing said following the game. “We wanted to come in here and play well and see what happens. It’s a difficult field and tough to win but we’ve had success at these events for a few years.
“A terrible way to end it and it doesn’t feel good that way but everything else is probably going to sink in that it’s over and it sucks.”
Koe trailed 6-5 after six ends but scored a deuce in the seventh to pull ahead and sealed the victory with the steal of one in the eighth.
Laing joined Team Howard in 2004, winning the Brier and world championships in 2007 and 2012 and a total of 12 Grand Slam titles.
“It’s always fun to perform well at Grand Slams against the best teams from around the world on the best ice and on Sportsnet,” Laing said. “We gear our season around these and they’re the best events for us and the most fun to play in.”
Team Howard won two Slams this season: the Masters and the Syncrude National. Counting the Players’, they’ve won six of the past 12 events overall.
“We’ve had a great run at Slams over 10 years, especially over the last three years we’ve won half of them, which is crazy, but it’s been a ton of fun and a lot of that has to do with the four of us, especially with Glenn,” Laing said. “He’s consistenly great and same with Wayne. He’s managed to find ways to win and that’s a testament to how great this team was.
“It’s pretty cool how many of them that we’ve won and down the road when we look back as the Grand Slams continue to grow it’ll be more and more special but it’s been a crazy run.”
Koe’s new team will feature Laing alongside Team Martin’s Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert. Laing said he’s looking forward to playing with his new teammates.
“For three other guys who I respect as much or more than anyone on tour, I’m super excited to see, as they are, what we can do together and the challenge of building a new team,” Laing said. “Giving the Olympics, for me, one more 125 percent effort, see where the chips fall and after that I’m not sure what will happen but I’m super excited to play with Kevin, Marc and Ben.”