SOCHI, RUSSIA - With a playoff spot not guaranteed, Canadian skip Brad Jacobs is ready for the fight of his life Sunday.
“We’ve got to put everything out there,” Jacobs said after his team beat Great Britain’s David Murdoch 7-5 to improve to 5-2 in the Olympic men’s curling tournament Saturday.
“It’s do-or-die for us. We’re just gonna come out like it’s our last day on Earth and those are our last two curling games.”
Canada faces the United States Sunday and takes on China in the evening to close out the round robin. One win will get them in the semifinals and make their bye day on Monday much more bearable.
Jacobs, who is from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., just wants to improve on Saturday’s sloppy performance.
“We want to come out, play a lot stronger, prove to ourselves once again that we can play a lot better, come out with a lot of intensity in the morning,” he said.
The Canadians were fortunate to win against Great Britain. With temperatures soaring to 18 C outside the Ice Cube Curling Center, ice conditions inside were tricky. Canada had several rocks pick, including one on Jacobs’ last rock in the ninth and two more in the 10th end.
Murdoch had a chance to make a double for the win, but didn’t get the angle quite right.
“We got a huge break at the end there,” Jacobs said. “Dave threw his last one perfect and I thought the double was made. Huge break, but we’ll take it.
“There were some flat spots on the ice today. It’s really hot outside so it’s to be expected. It can’t be easy on the ice-makers with all that heat that’s pounding on the building.”
The Canadian players were visibly frustrated throughout the game, and not just because the ice was difficult.
“I was frustrated all game to be honest with you,” he said. “That was not our best game and we can play a lot better than that. We had a lot of opportunities and just didn’t close anything out.”
Jacobs said his team is starting to round into form after coming out poorly to begin the tournament and losing two of the first three games.
“We were definitely flat at the beginning of the tournament,” he said. “It was easy for everyone to pick up on, even people back home were saying the same thing. We knew we needed to act like we want to win and give it everything we’ve got on every shot.”
Canadian third Ryan Fry said his team is feeling very fortunate to be 5-2 right now instead of 4-3.
“It was a little sloppy and as the game went on we had some pretty bad picks,” Fry said. “I’m real proud of the guys for being able to stick with it. Under this pressure and with that kind of thing happening to us it’s pretty hard to keep your focus and composure and we were able to do that.
“You need one of those kinds of wins every once in a while to keep momentum going.”