Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Team B.C. defeated the Yukon 9-2 for their first win Monday, March 8, at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship in Calgary. (Black Press - file photo)

Vernon’s Jim Cotter and Team B.C. defeated the Yukon 9-2 for their first win Monday, March 8, at the 2021 Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship in Calgary. (Black Press - file photo)

B.C. picks up first win at Brier

Steve Laycock and teammates cruise past the Yukon 9-2 Monday at the Calgary bubble

A dominant performance helped Team B.C. into the win column Monday, March 8 at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship in Calgary.

Steve Laycock’s foursome, which includes Vernon’s Jim Cotter throwing fourth rocks, and the Kelowna front end of lead Rick Sawatsky and second Andrew Nerpin, rolled to a 9-2, eight-end victory over Dustin Mikkelsen of the Yukon in Draw 8 action.

After a scoreless first end, Laycock – B.C.’s Saskatoon import who calls the games – scored deuces in the second and fifth end to take a 4-1 lead into the intermission.

Mikkelsen got one back in the sixth but Laycock and company put the game out of reach with a four-ender in seven, for an 8-2 lead, and received handshakes from the Whitehorse rink after a steal of one in the eighth.

The Yukon team, now 0-4, has yet to finish a game in 10 ends, conceding all four matches.

The win improved Team B.C. to 1-2, leaving them in seventh spot in Pool A.

There are two divisions of nine, with the top four teams in each pool advancing to the championship round on Friday, March 12.

Jason Gunnlaugson won the battle of Manitoba as the provincial champ improved to 3-0 to sit atop Pool A with an 8-5 win over Mike McEwen’s Wild Card 1 squad (2-2).

Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher, who has dropped the last three Brier finals, and New Brunswick’s Jamie Grattan are 3-1. Bottcher handed Wild Card 3’s Glenn Howard his first loss, a 5-3 setback. Howard is 2-1. Grattan needed an extra end to defeat Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario 7-6. Edwards is 2-2.

Former champ Kevin Koe’s Wild Card 2 squad of Calgary, which has former Cotter teammate John Morris throwing second stones, sits atop Pool B heading into action Monday night at 4-0.

Ontario’s John Epping and Quebec’s Michael Fournier are 3-1. Matt Dunstone of Saskatchewan and defending champion Brad Gushue’s Team Canada rink from St. John’s, Nfld. are 2-1. Team Murphy from Nova Scotia is at 2-2.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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