Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., throws a stone during the Humpty's Champions Cup men's quarterfinals in Calgary. (Anil Mungal)

Jacobs bounces McEwen in Champions Cup quarterfinals

April 29, 2017, 8:45 PM

CALGARY — Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., fended off a late charge from Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen to win 9-8 in the Humpty’s Champions Cup quarterfinals Saturday at WinSport Arena.

The 2014 Olympic gold medallist advances to the evening semifinals for the season-ending Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament and will play Toronto’s John Epping, who dispatched Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 8-3.

Jacobs opened with hammer and took two in the first. The teams alternated singles and McEwen made a double takeout to score three in the fourth to take a 4-3 lead.

A disastrous fifth end put McEwen down in a deep hole. Looking to make a quad, McEwen misfired to only eliminate one then flashed his second allowing Jacobs to ease his last in to score five and hold an 8-4 advantage.

The six-time Pinty’s GSOC champion McEwen rallied with a deuce in six and stole two in seven to erase the deficit, but Jacobs bounced back with a open hit and stick in eight.

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Meanwhile, Epping trailed to de Cruz by one with hammer in the sixth end and scored three for the lead. The three-time Grand Slam champion stole in seven after making a double takeout to lie a trio and Team de Cruz fourth Benoit Schwarz came up short of the house on his draw.

Elsewhere, Sweden’s Niklas Edin scored four in the final end to lift his team to an 8-5 victory and eliminate Brad Gushue of St. John’s.

After Edin scored a deuce in the second to go up 2-1, Gushue blanked back-to-back ends and Edin had to pull off a double takeout to limit the damage in five. With Gushue already counting shot stone in his pocket on the button, he simply eased his last into the four-foot circle for two and a 3-2 lead.

Edin came right back with a flat double off his own to nudge Gushue’s shot rock in six and count another couple. Gushue drew for two in the seven to retake the 5-4 lead, but left Edin a simple takeout in the eighth to score his four-count.

The Rogers Grand Slam Cup champ Edin meets Kevin Koe in the semifinals after the hometown hero took down former teammate John Morris of Vernon, B.C., 7-3.

After Morris stole one in the first, Koe bounced back big time in the second with a great runback double takeout to score three. Team Morris fourth Jim Cotter drew to the button for a point in the third and Koe added a pair in four and stole one in five to make it a four-point gap. Morris got just one in the sixth and Koe matched in seven.

Epping ousted American John Shuster and Edin eliminated Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock in the morning tiebreaker draw to advance.

There will be a new men’s champion after reigning champs Team Carruthers of Winnipeg missed the playoffs.

Third Braeden Moskowy was skipping the team this week with Reid Carruthers away at the world mixed doubles championship. Derek Samagalski and Colin Hodgson also moved up spots in the lineup with new alternate/adviser Craig Savill, a two-time world and 12-time Grand Slam champion, making his debut with the squad at lead.

The women’s semifinals are set with Ottawa’s Rachel Homan facing Alina Paetz of Switzerland and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg playing Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont.

Homan knocked out Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones to ensure a new champ on the women’s side as well.

Watch the semifinals at 9:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. MT on Sportsnet One, online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or (international).