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Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher back in the Brier, beats John Epping 8-4 in wild card game

Skip Brendan Bottcher calls a shot during the wildcard game at the Brier in Brandon, Man., Friday, Mar. 1, 2019.
Skip Brendan Bottcher calls a shot during the wildcard game at the Brier in Brandon, Man., Friday, Mar. 1, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Brendan Bottcher defeated John Epping 8-4 in Friday’s wild-card game to gain entry into the main draw of the Canadian men’s curling championship.

Bottcher and his Edmonton team open the Tim Hortons Brier against Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs on Saturday.

Trailing 7-4 after eight ends, Toronto’s Epping not only missed a tricky hit to score two, but gave up a steal of one to Bottcher.

Bottcher ran Epping out of rocks in the 10th end.

The Edmonton skip drew for two in the sixth for a 5-2 lead after stealing a point in the fourth and scoring a deuce in the third.

The two highest-ranked teams in Curling Canada’s Canadian Team Ranking system (CTRS) that don’t win their province or territory qualify for the Brier’s wild-card game.

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Epping (3) and Bottcher (4) skipped their respective provinces last year in Regina, where Bottcher lost in the final to Brad Gushue and Epping fell to Bottcher in the semifinal.

READ MORE: Alberta curler Brendan Bottcher wins his way into Tim Hortons Brier final to face Brad Gushue

Watch below: (From March 2018) After winning his way into the Tim Hortons Brier final to face Brad Gushue on Sunday, Alberta’s Brendan Bottcher spoke to reporters about reaching the curling championship.

Click to play video 'Brendan Bottcher speaks about advancing to Tim Hortons Brier final' Brendan Bottcher speaks about advancing to Tim Hortons Brier final
Brendan Bottcher speaks about advancing to Tim Hortons Brier final – Mar 11, 2018