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Middaugh beats Jacobs to lock up spot in championship round at Brier

Members of team P.E.I. sweep their rock during the 9th draw against team Quebec at the Brier in Brandon, Man., Tuesday, March 5, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

A Wayne Middaugh-skipped Wild Card Three rink has secured a berth in the championship round at the Canadian men’s curling championship.

Middaugh, who is skipping the Ontario rink in place of an injured Glenn Howard (ribs), beat Northern Ontario’s Brad Jacobs 8-6 on Thursday to improve to 6-1 at the Tim Hortons Brier.

With one game to go, Middaugh leads Pool A. Jacobs dropped to 5-3 after losing his final preliminary-round game. He’s clinging to the fourth and final championship-round spot in Pool A, just ahead of New Brunswick’s James Grattan (4-3).

Manitoba’s Jason Gunnlaugson (5-2) missed a chance to stay even with Howard after losing 7-4 to B.C.’s Steve Laycock (3-4).

Read more: Manitoba’s Gunnlaugson suffers first loss at Canadian men’s curling championship

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Gunnlaugson is tied with Brendan Bottcher for second after the Alberta skip beat Yukon’s Dustin Mikkelsen 11-2.

In the other game in Thursday’s opening draw, Wild Card Two’s Mike McEwen (3-4) beat Gregory Skauge of the Northwest Territories 12-3.

The top four teams in each of the two pools after Thursday’s final two draws advance to the championship round on Friday and carry their records with them.

The top three emerging from the final eight are Sunday’s playoff teams at WinSport’s Markin MacPhail Centre.

Read more: Manitoba’s Gunnlaugson moves to 4-0 at the Brier, McEwen falls to 2-3

The No. 1 seed earns a bye to the evening final to face the winner of the afternoon semifinal.

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