SAULT STE. MARIE—Manitoulin Island curler Jordan Chandler was a member of the Brad Jacobs rink that won the men’s provincial curling championship playdowns this past weekend in Sault Ste. Marie. The rink will now move on to the Brier, the Canadian national men’s championship, taking place in March.
“It’s pretty cool,” stated Mr. Chandler on being part of the winning Jacobs rink and qualifying for the upcoming Brier.
Mr. Chandler played second on the rink which also included skip Brad Jacobs, lead Ryan Harnden, vice E.J. Harnden and alternate Caleb Flaxey. “I’ve only had one month on the ice this year and it almost feels like I cheated to move on. But I guess I’ve paid my dues over the years. I’m pretty excited to be going to the Brier.”
The Jacobs rink had a very strong start to the championship event, winning their first four games. On Thursday, in draw one, they destroyed the Josh Szajewski rink by a 12-2 score, then on Friday they defeated the Trevor Bonot team 9-1. In draw three, the Jacobs rink won another easy game by a score of 8-1 over the Dylan Johnston rink. On Saturday morning the Jacobs rink beat Team Gilbota 8-3.
“We hit the ground running,” stated Mr. Chandler. “We started off well,” he said, noting he and his new teammates had spent four days of training leading to the provincials and then four days at the provincials. As second, “I had to sweep in the games and that was one of the new things I needed to work on.” (Mr. Chandler has skipped his own team for many years and so has left sweeping duties to teammaters).
In their fifth game, played on Saturday, the Jacobs rink dropped a 9-5 decision to the Sandy MacEwan rink. “That’s my former team, only their vice was different when I played with them for several years. They played very well.”
In the final game, the MacEwan team scored three in the fifth end to take a 4-2 lead, and after the Jacobs team rallied, they held a 5-4 lead going into the last end. The MacEwan rink fought back again and tied things up before the Jacobs rink scored one in the 11th (extra) end to win.
“We had one hiccup in the fifth end where they got three, but we were able to come back,” said Mr. Chandler.
“Things went pretty seamlessly all week playing for Brad’s rink. The guys were all awesome and they really made me feel like an equal member of the team. They are a class act,” said Mr. Chandler.
As was reported in last week’s edition of The Expositor, Mr. Chandler had been asked to join the Jacobs rink as Mark Kennedy, a regular member on the Jacobs rink, had agreed to play on the Gushue Canada men’s curling team at the Winter Olympic Games in China this month.
With Mark Kennedy returning to the Jacobs rink for the Brier championship, “I will be the fifth man on the rink, so I will mostly be a spectator at the Brier. But it still should e a good experience,” said Mr. Chandler, who pointed out with regulations being reduced, “there will be a lot of fans at the Brier which is good.”
The Brier begins March 4 in Lethbridge, Alberta.