Cheryl Bernard already had clinched a bye into Saturday’s women’s final at the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.
Second-place finisher Shannon Kleibrink was already assured of second place and a spot in Friday night’s women’s semifinal.
Kleibrink heads into the semifinal off a 10-9 extra-end win, eliminating pre-event favourite Jennifer Jones.
“It was great that we had to draw the four-foot in the extra end because we all pretended that was for something big,” said Kleibrink. “The main thing was that we came out there and played well (Thursday) so we had some momentum going into the semifinal. Win or lose, it’ll go one way or the other. Somebody’s not going to be happy.”
The rest of the playoff picture looked as wacky as a Picasso painting.
Who Kleibrink plays in Friday’s 6 p.m. semifinal is anybody’s guess as five of the eight teams are still alive going into Friday’s tiebreaker round.
Amber Holland, Stefanie Lawton and Krista McCarville all clawed their way into the tiebreaker round with final-game wins.
Based on cumulative draws to the button, Lawton faces McCarville in the 8:30 a.m. tiebreaker. The winner faces Holland at 1 p.m. for the right to play in the semifinal.
Holland’s team is getting hot at just the right time.
The Regina skip stayed alive by rattling off her third straight win, a 10-4 decision over Kelly Scott.
“We knew how to get back into it and that was just to play better,” said Holland about her 1-3 start. “We knew we could play better and that’s all we had to do. We knew the wins could take care of themselves if we did that.
“Right after we got down to three losses, we knew four wins would probably get us in the playoffs, if not the tiebreaker.”
Lawton scored a pair with her last shot to beat previously undefeated Cheryl Bernard 6-5.
“Just throw the right weight and hit the broom,” said Lawton about her thoughts as she threw the winning rock. “We’re fighters. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty, we work hard and play hard.
"We’re definitely tough girls.”
McCarville eked out a sloppy 6-4 win over Crystal Webster.
“It could be a long day but a good day,” said McCarville. “No matter what, we had to win. We need to pick it up because teams in the tiebreaker are sharp. They’re winning, but I’m confident in my team.”
On the men’s side, Kevin Martin analyzed his situation succinctly.
“Somebody’s getting hammer Saturday (in the semifinal), and somebody’s getting hammer Sunday (in the final),” Martin said before his marquee matchup for first place with Glenn Howard.
Martin took control with a spectacular raise angle jam double takeout for three in the ninth for an 8-6 win.
“He made a great shot,” said Howard, who had some tough luck in the end. “We just couldn’t get the rocks in the right spot and it ended up in a perfect spot for him.
“My first one picked. If I would have got that one in there, it would have been a different story. Mine ended up in one for those spots. He had a little bit of a window. Tip of the hat to Kevin Martin. He runs it back into the pile and makes a great shot.”
It was Howard’s first loss of the week after reeling off six straight wins.
Howard takes on Jeff Stoughton in Saturday’s semifinal.
“Deja vu all over again,” said Howard, who lost to Stoughton in the 2009 Brier semi. “We’ve got a day to recover and we’ll come out guns a-blazin.’”