Ontario sews up top-two finish

Glenn Howard of Ontario guaranteed himself a spot in the Page playoff system 1-2 game when he made...

Glenn Howard of Ontario guaranteed himself a spot in the Page playoff system 1-2 game when he made short work of Nova Scotia's Jamie Murphy 8-3 in eight ends. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)

TERRY JONES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:33 PM ET

SASKATOON - Ontario, Manitoba and the Territories did what they needed to do to solidify a berth in the Brier playoffs Thursday morning.

Glenn Howard of Ontario, who has played a record five games in extra ends in the 83rd edition of the Canadian men's curling championships, guaranteed himself a spot in the Page playoff system 1-2 game when he made short work of Nova Scotia's Jamie Murphy 8-3 in eight ends.

The win left Howard with a 9-1 record heading into his final round-robin game Thursday night against Alberta's Kevin Koe, who carried a 7-2 record into the day. Koe plays Nova Scotia in the afternoon draw.

Meanwhile, Manitoba's Rob Fowler made it three wins in a row with a 9-3 decision over Saskatchewan.

Taking a 7-3 record into an afternoon game against Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs, the Brandon skip could sew up a spot in the 1-2 playoff game -- he'd clinch with a win against Jabobs and a Koe loss to Howard. Regardless, the morning win guaranteed no worse than a tie-breaker playoff game.

Jamie Koe finally stopped the bleeding after an 11-3 loss to his brother and a 10-5 loss to Fowler Wednesday, scoring a 9-6 win over New Brunswick's Terry Odishaw to turn the dog sled around after three straight losses.

The Territories team is 6-4 going into an evening game against B.C.

Also with four losses is Northern Ontario, which had a bye in the Thursday morning schedule.

Follow me on Twitter.com/sunterryjones

terry.jones@sunmedia.ca


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