Fry in form for return but Team Jacobs drops decision at Canadian Open

Ryan Fry looks on during his team's loss to Team Epping at the 2017 Roar of the Rings Canadian Olympic Trials in Ottawa on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. The World Curling Tour plans to review its policies in the wake of the weekend ejection of a curling team from the Red Deer Curling Classic. (Justin Tang/CP)

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Team Brad Jacobs dropped a 6-5 decision to Team Peter De Cruz on Wednesday at the Canadian Open in Ryan Fry’s first game back since taking a seven-week break after his disqualification from the Red Deer Curling Classic.

Fry was in top form for his return, shooting 97 per cent for the game. De Cruz scored a single point with a tapback in the eighth end for the victory.

Fry last played as a substitute at a World Curling Tour event in Red Deer last November. He was ejected with teammates Jamie Koe, Chris Schille and DJ Kidby for what organizers called unsportsmanlike behaviour resulting from excessive drinking.

Organizers said Fry broke three brooms and that the team used foul language and was disruptive to other players on the ice.

Fry, who took a break to focus on growth and self-improvement, had his return to the team confirmed on New Year’s Day.

Jacobs will return to the ice Wednesday night at the Civic Centre against Team Rylan Kleiter. Team Matt Dunstone edged Team Braden Calvert 5-4 in the other early afternoon men’s game.

In women’s play, Team Robyn Silvernagle topped Team Tracy Fleury 6-3, Team Jennifer Jones dumped Team Isabella Wrana 8-2 and Team Eve Muirhead beat Team Anna Hasselborg 7-2.

Fry, skip Jacobs, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden won Olympic gold at the 2014 Sochi Games. The Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.-based rink won the Tim Hortons Brier in 2013 and took world silver that year.

Jacobs, who won the Tour Challenge earlier this season, has risen to No. 3 in the world rankings.

With Fry out, substitute Marc Kennedy helped the team win the Canada Cup last month. Matt Wozniak filled in a week later as Jacobs reached the quarterfinal at the National.

The Canadian Open is a triple-knockout Grand Slam event. Play continues through Sunday.

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