History has shown that every time Glenn Howard represents Canada at the men’s world curling championship, he comes home a winner.
With a dramatic 7-6 extra-end win over Scotland’s Tom Brewster in Saturdays’ 1-2 Page Playoff game, Howard has put himself in a position to win his fourth world title.
Saturday’s win at Basel, Switzerland, moved Howard straight into Sunday’s championship final. The Coldwater, Ont. skip won his first two titles, in 1987 and 1993, throwing third rocks for his brother Russ. He then won his first title as skip for Canada in a dominant 2007 performance.
“It was really good to win this one,” said Howard, whose lineup now includes Wayne Middaugh at third, a replacement for Richard Hart, who retired at the start of this season.
Saturday’s win proved to be a bit more treacherous against a determined Scottish crew and Howard knows he’ll have to a bit sharper in its setups if it hopes to get another title.
“We were pretty good in that game but I’d like to see us pick it up a bit,” said Howard. “I don’t care if we curl 12%, as long as we win the game (on Sunday). This is as far as we can be so far. We’re in the final, so we’ve made goal number three and we’re right where we want to be.”
Brewster wrestled control of the game with a hit and roll behind cover to create a fifth-end steal and take a 2-1 lead.
After the teams traded singles, Howard took advantage of a slight mistake by Brewster, whose last rock in the eighth end overcurled.
Howard made a highlight-reel triple for four, doubling out a couple of Scotland’s rocks at the top of the rings and bumping out a third rock as his shooter slid sideways across the rings.
That prompted a frustrated Brewster, who lost the 2011 world final to Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, to bang the end of his broom on the floor.
“We got an uncharacteristic miss out of Tom,” said Howard. “We were looking at it and looking at it and we ended up chiselling it out and got four.”
Yet, that 6-3 lead evaporated in a hurry.
After Brewster scored a pair in nine, the game was sent into an extra end when Howard’s rock picked on his last draw.
But Howard made no mistake in the extra frame and a look of relief crossed his face when his winning draw came to a rest just behind the button.