#1 Tuukka Rask finished with a 23-save shutout, von miaowang123 22.03.2019 02:19

KAMLOOPS, B.C. -- John Morris is now just one game away from bringing British Columbia their fifth Canadian mens curling championship, after handing Albertas Kevin Koe his second loss of the day Friday. "Hopefully we can play the same come 4:30 Sunday," said B.C. fourth stone Jim Cotter. "Ive never been in a Brier final myself so were still soaking it in right now." "We got a little fortunate this morning," added skip and third stone Morris, thanking Quebec for getting them in the 1-2 game by beating Alberta earlier in the day. "Coming out of the gate strong and being sharp like that, having the draw weight was important, and Jimmy made a couple of bonus highlight reel shots." He also liked the energy from the almost packed house, by far the biggest crowd of the week at the Interior Savings Centre. More than 4,300 filled the 5,000-seat arena and loudly cheered B.C. and Cotter, a Kamloops native. B.C. scored two in the first end with the hammer and stole another in the second when Koes draw to the button was millimetres short. With a three in the fourth set up by one of Cotters house-clearing highlight reel shots, Morris was up 6-1 and it looked like the 1-2 Page playoff game was over except for the handshake. But Koe finally picked up a deuce in five off a miss on a half-rock double by Cotter and a steal in eight kept it going through nine, when Koe conceded after B.C. picked up one to make it 9-5. "I struggled a bit, kind of the wrong side of the inch there tonight," said the Alberta skip, who won the Brier and a world championship in 2010. "Obviously they werent missing much so we were in trouble when we werent playing our best." Alberta also dropped their last round-robin game to Quebec Friday, which cost them the hammer in the evening 1-2 Page playoff game and got B.C. into the game. B.C., Manitoba and Alberta all finished at 9-2 and a tiebreaking formula was used to rank them. Had Alberta beat Quebec, they would have faced Manitoba. Alberta will now have to play the winner of the Manitoba-Quebec 3-4 game Saturday. The winner of that semifinal will face Morris Sunday in the final. "Today wasnt our day but fortunately we put ourselves in a position where we have another life," Koe said. "Weve done well in the semis at the Brier before." The last B.C. rink to win the Brier was Greg McAulay in 2000, who went on to become world champion that year. Coincidentally, Both McAulay and Morris were born in Winnipeg. Earlier Friday, within the span of a minute or two, Saskatchewan was out and Quebec was in the playoffs, and only partly because of Jean-Michel Menards 7-5 upset win over Alberta. Even with Quebecs victory, Saskatchewan skip Steve Laycock was up one with the hammer and had an open draw against three to beat New Brunswick and force Menard into a tiebreaker. Laycock was heavy with the final stone and it proved costly. "We knew that we had to win," said Laycock. "We knew it was in our control to try and get in that tiebreaker and just didnt finish that game out, a really poor last end." Saskatchewan finished at 6-5, tied with Newfoundland and Labradors Brad Gushue and New Brunswicks Jamie Grattan. Had Menard lost, there could have been a four-way tie for fourth place and a round of afternoon tiebreakers. Instead hell now get to play Manitobas Jeff Stoughton Saturday in the 3-4 Page playoff game. Stoughton took it in stride, although Albertas loss also cost him the spot in the 1-2 game. "Quebecs a great team and Kevins team just wasnt quite as sharp as they had been all week and Quebec got them, so we get to play Quebec now," said Stoughton, a three-time Brier winner and two-time world champion. "Its good though, because they beat us earlier so we can get a little revenge on them at this game." Menard, the 2006 champion whos making his fifth Brier appearance for Quebec, was 7-4, although he also beat each of the top three teams in the round robin. "Our goal was to make it to the playoffs and there you never know whats going to happen ... if theres still some magic in our bag well try to use it," he said. Menard seemed in control throughout the game and got a boost with a three-point end in the fifth. Koe, who was solid all week, finished with a 76 per cent rating and his teammates struggled as well. Prince Edward Islands Eddie MacKenzie (4-7) finished the round robin with an 11-7 win over Jamie Koe of Northwest Territories/Yukon (3-8). Ontarios Greg Balsdon (5-6) capped his Brier debut with a 9-6 win over Jamie Murphys winless Nova Scotia team (0-11). Northern Ontario was also well back at 2-9. 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PETERSBURG, Fla. - Tampa Bay Rays manager Joe Maddon has reworked his lineup in search of an offensive spark. Maddon had sluggers Wil Myers and Evan Longoria first and second Wednesday night in the lineup against Oakland. Part-time outfielder Brandon Guyer, who normally hits seventh or eighth, was the cleanup hitter. Over a 28-game stretch through Tuesday, Longoria hit .202. Myers started the day with two RBIs in his past 14 games. &quuot;I wanted to get them as many at-bats as possible to get them going," Maddon said of Myers and Longoria.dddddddddddd "Right now its really difficult to try to set up a logical batting order based on as a group not hitting. If those two guys go, well be in pretty good shape." The Rays, last in the AL East, had scored in just one of their previous 28 innings entering Wednesday, and had 14 runs over the previous seven games. ' ' '

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