There won’t be a police investigation, but Glenn Howard was guilty of theft on Thursday morning in Calgary.
Facing yet another possible loss at the Tim Hortons Brier Men’s Curling Championships, Howard and his Coldwater and District Curling Club foursome made out like bandits against the Mark Dacey rink from Nova Scotia.
With the game tied at 6-6 after eight ends and Dacey holding last rock advantage in the ninth, Dacey missed on his final shot of the end, thereby delivering three points to Howard, the three-time world champion.
Holding the three-point cushion, Howard and teammates Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Savill ran Dacey’s rink out of rocks in the final end and registered the 9-6 win.
The victory over Dacey improved Ontario’s record at the Brier to 9-1 in round-robin play.
With Dacey scheduled to take on Kevin Martin’s Alberta rink on Thursday afternoon, Howard needed the win to keep pace with Martin, who was at 9-0.
A win over Martin in Thursday evening’s showdown and the Howard rink can still claim first place in the standings and the all-important last-rock advantage in the weekend playoffs.
Howard’s battle with Dacey was a seesaw affair throughout, with the lead changing numerous times.
As he has been doing in recent games at the Brier, Howard and his Coldwater foursome fell behind early, 2-0 to Dacey after one end, but rebounded with two points of their own in the second end.
Dacey then jumped back out to a 3-2 lead in the third end, before Howard responded with one point of his own in the fourth end to tie the game at 3-3. Dacey grabbed a single point in the fifth end to retake the lead at 4-3, before Howard countered with two points of his own to pull into a 5-4 lead after six ends.
In the seventh end, Dacey scored two to pull in front 6-5, followed by a single point from Howard in the eighth end to tie the game at 6-6.
That set the stage for the three-point steal by Howard for the win.
Ontario and Alberta have secured playoff berths for the weekend action, while teams including Newfound/Labrador and New Brunswick continued to fight it out for the remaining playoff berths on Thursday afternoon.