Manitoba saw their playoff chances vanish on Thursday at the Tim Hortons Brier in Brandon.
Team Manitoba’s Mike McEwen suffered back-to-back losses at the start of the championship pool to officially get knocked out of playoff contention.
Manitoba started the day with a 6-3 loss to the Team Canada Brad Gushue rink in Draw 15.
READ MORE: Must-win time for Manitoba at the Brier
That put McEwen and company in a must-win situation in Thursday’s late draw. But Alberta’s Kevin Koe scored a pair in the 10th end to hand Manitoba their fifth loss, officially ending their chances of winning a Brier title in their hometown.
The win by Alberta clinched a playoff spot and gave them sole possession of first place at 9-0.
In other Draw 16 action, Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs had his first loss. They were beaten by Ontario 7-6 in an extra end. Canada moved into a tie for second place with an 8-4 triumph over Saskatchewan. And the Wild Cards, skipped by Brendan Bottcher, inched closer to a playoff berth with an 8-3 win over British Columbia.
All eight remaining teams have two more games in the championship pool on Friday before the start of the Page playoffs on Saturday. The top four teams in the championship pool will advance to the playoffs.
Championship pool standings
x-Alberta (K.Koe) 9-0
Northern Ontario (Jacobs) 8-1
Canada (Gushue) 8-1
Wild Card (Bottcher) 7-2
Ontario (S. McDonald) 6-3
Manitoba (McEwen) 4-5
British Columbia (Cotter) 4-5
Saskatchewan (K.Muyres) 4-5
x — clinched berth in Page playoffs
WATCH: Raw Mike McEwen interview after loss to Canada