NEWS
03/10/2016 13:09 EST | Updated 03/11/2017 00:12 EST

Veteran skips Gushue and Koe join Jacobs in playoff mix at Tim Hortons Brier

OTTAWA — Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador and Alberta's Kevin Koe are playoff-bound at the Tim Hortons Brier.

Gushue locked up a berth with an 8-7 victory over B.C.'s Jim Cotter in the morning draw at TD Place. The veteran skip came through with a hit on his final throw and stayed on the button to improve to 8-1 after 14 draws.

Koe (7-3) secured his spot by posting an 8-3 win over Canada's Pat Simmons. Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs, who did not play in the early draw, is in first place and playoff-bound after opening with eight straight victories.

Saskatchewan's Steve Laycock eliminated Ontario's Glenn Howard from playoff contention with a 7-4 victory and Prince Edward Island's Adam Casey topped Jamie Koe of the Northwest Territories 7-4.

Manitoba's Mike McEwen (6-2) is the favourite to earn the final playoff spot. He can lock up a berth in one of the two draws scheduled for later in the day.

Several teams have a slim chance of reaching a tiebreaker but they'll be eliminated with another loss or if McEwen posts a victory in one of his three remaining games.

Round-robin play concludes Friday morning. The medal games are scheduled for Sunday.

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Gregory Strong, The Canadian Press