Regina, Saskatchewan -- Brad Gushue of Newfoundland & Labrador as Team Canada, John Epping of Ontario and Brad Jacobs of Northern Ontario have separated from the field at the Tim Hortons Brier.
Gushue and Epping (both at 9-1) meet Friday evening in the final draw of the round-robin to determine who will have hammer in the Page 1v2 game Saturday and head into the playoffs with a big advantage. Gushue is guaranteed a spot in the 1v2 game, though Jacobs (8-2) could jump into the top page game with a win over Alberta's Brendan Bottcher (7-3) and an Epping loss.
For Bottcher and his team of Darren Moulding, Bradley Thiessen and Karrick Martin, this season has been a breakout, their strong Trials performance now paired with a strong week here at the Brier needs to win to lock down the fourth and final playoff spot.
Mike McEwen and his Wildcard team (6-4) still have life after a tough Thursday that saw them drop two games in tough fashion plays provincial rivals Reid Carruthers to try and hope to win and see Bottcher drop to 4 losses to force a tiebreaker.
Carruthers of Manitoba, Steve Laycock of Saskatchewan and Jamie Murphy round out the Championship Pool, all at 5-5 and eliminated from playoff contention ahead of the final round-robin draw.