Team B.C. continues to seek its first win at the Tim Hortons Brier Canadian men’s curling championship at the Calgary bubble.
The provincial reps fell to 0-2 Sunday afternoon with a 10-7 loss to Mike McEwen’s Wild Card 1 entry from Manitoba.
The B.C. rink consists of the Kelowna front end of lead Rick Sawatsky and second Andrew Nerpin, skip Steve Laycock of Saskatoon, who is throwing third stones, and Vernon’s Jim Cotter is throwing fourth rocks.
Fifth player Tyler Tardi of Cloverdale, a former Canadian and World Junior Men’s champion, has yet to see action.
Laycock, Cotter and Sawatsky are each appearing in their 10th Brier tournament. Nerpin is playing in his third national event.
McEwen started quickly, scoring a deuce with hammer in the first. The B.C. champs responded with three in the second for a brief 3-2 lead, only to have the Wild Card entry score another pair with last rock in the third for a 4-3 lead.
The Manitoba quartet stole one in the fourth to up its lead to 5-3, and Laycock answered with a single in five for a 5-4 McEwen lead at the fifth-end break.
McEwen picked up his third deuce in the sixth to extend his lead to 7-4. B.C. got another one back in the seventh, then the rinks exchanged pairs in eight and nine, giving McEwen a 9-7 advantage with hammer heading home in the 10th.
Manitoba champion Jason Gunnlaugson and Wild Card 3 entry Glenn Howard of Ontario were 2-0 and leading Pool A after play Sunday.
Brendan Botcher of Alberta, who has lost the last three Brier finals, is among a group of four at 2-1 that also includes McEwen, Jamie Grattan of New Brunswick and former champ Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario.
Laycock is 0-2 heading into his next match Monday, March 8, at 12:30 p.m. Pacific against Dustin Mikkelsen of the Yukon (0-3). Gregory Skauge of the Northwest Territories is also 0-3.
Top four teams from Pool A will advance to meet the top four from Pool B in the championship round starting Friday, March 12.