ALBERTA

McEwen and Sweeting need extras in semi to advance to Canada Cup final

12/07/2014 12:04 EST | Updated 02/05/2015 05:59 EST
CAMROSE, Alta. - Winnipeg's Mike McEwen held the hammer in the 11th, scoring one to defeat Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., 5-4 in the men's semifinal at the Canada Cup curling tournament on Saturday night.

McEwen will face Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., in the championship game on Sunday afternoon.

"I'll be perfectly honest, today felt like the final for us," McEwen said. "Tomorrow it's still going to be real tense and everyone will want to win real bad but today felt like the most was on the line. This was our final."

Earlier in the day, Edmonton's Val Sweeting advanced to the women's final after edging Heather Nedohin of Sherwood Park, Alta., 7-6.

After three scoreless ends, McEwen stole a deuce from Howard in the fourth to go up 2-0.

The teams exchanged points in the fifth and sixth ends, before being held scoreless in the seventh.

Both Howard and McEwen used the hammer in the eighth and ninth ends to grab singles before Howard stole a pair in the 10th to force extras.

"Oh, God, they played well," Howard said of McEwen's team. "I don't feel bad coming off that game. I don't know if they had any misses and we had a couple and that was it. It was fantastic."

On the women's side, Sweeting will play Rachel Homan of Ottawa for the women's championship on Sunday. Sweeting scored a single in the 11th end to secure her semifinal victory.

Nedohin gave up a steal of one in the ninth end and allowed Sweeting to escape without having to throw last rock in the 11th. Nedohin's last-rock raise attempt was wide and left Sweeting sitting with the winning point.

Both skips struggled at times, finishing with their lowest shooting percentages of the week, both at less than 70 per cent.

"Did they shorten the rings of something overnight?" Sweeting joked afterwards. "It was quick out there. I was heavy a lot, but I made the ones that matter, that's what counts."

She credited her teammates with playing a major role in the victory.

"The whole team hung in there. I was struggling a bit with my draws but the team was really good, they were just, 'You know what? We've got this, it's ours.' They really hung in there."

Though Sweeting struggled with draws, she made the key shots, including a perfect draw to the button for two in the eighth and her first lead of the game.

Nedohin counted one in the first, two in the third, one in the seventh and two in the 10th to force the extra end. Sweeting countered with one in the third, deuces in the fifth and eight and a steal of one in the ninth.

"I missed the shot," Nedohin said of her try at a come-around tap back in the ninth. "When your skip misses a shot in nine and they get a steal it's the turning point, absolutely. My thoughts were to get two, maybe an opportunity for three."

The game swung in Sweeting's favour in the eighth end when she made a tight but perfectly placed draw to the button for two and a 5-4 lead.

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