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Winnipeg’s Ryan Fry joining John Epping’s Ontario rink next curling season

Team Northern Ontario third Ryan Fry calls a shot during the first draw against team wildcard at the Brier in Brandon, Man., on March 2, 2019.
Team Northern Ontario third Ryan Fry calls a shot during the first draw against team wildcard at the Brier in Brandon, Man., on March 2, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

John Epping’s Ontario rink will add Ryan Fry at third next season after his departure from Brad Jacobs’ Northern Ontario powerhouse.

Epping announced Monday that Fry will replace Craig Savill next curling season and join a rink that includes Brent Laing at lead and Mat Camm at second.

“We are very excited to add Ryan Fry to our team,” Epping said in a statement. “Ryan is one of the top curlers in the game and he’s a proven winner at all levels.

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“He’s so focused on being the best he can be and we feel his elite shotmaking ability will make us an even better team moving forward.”

Fry was with Team Jacobs for seven years, helping the rink win a Tim Hortons Brier in 2013 and an Olympic gold medal in 2014.

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A low point came earlier this season. when Fry, playing as a substitute at the Red Deer Curling Classic, was disqualified along with teammates Jamie Koe, Chris Schille and DJ Kidby for what organizers called unsportsmanlike behaviour resulting from excessive drinking.

READ MORE: Curler Ryan Fry ‘taking break’ after disqualification for being drunk at tournament

Organizers said Fry broke three brooms and the team used foul language and was disruptive to other players on the ice. All four players later apologized and Fry took a leave of absence from Team Jacobs to focus on growth and self-improvement.

He came back in January at the Canadian Open and posted strong numbers after his return. The team won the Northern Ontario playdowns but lost in the semifinal at the Brier.

Team Jacobs announced last month that Fry would be leaving the rink after the season.

“I couldn’t be happier to join Team Epping and truly believe we will be a very tough team to beat over the next few years,” said Fry. “In chatting with John, it was clear we had the same goals and a willingness to get to the top to be one of the best teams in the world.”

READ MORE: Team Jacobs and longtime third Ryan Fry to part ways at end of curling season

Fry tweeted he will be moving to Toronto next month.

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Epping lost the Brier wild-card game to Brendan Bottcher this year.

Fry will play with Jacobs and Savill will be with Epping at this week’s Players’ Championship in Toronto.

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