It's becoming a two horse race at the top of the leaderboard through four days at the Tim Hortons Brier in Kamloops.
BC and Alberta traded punch for punch on day four Tuesday, each earning a pair of decisive wins to remain deadlocked at the top with identical 6-1 records.
BC's John Morris took down Yukon/Northwest Territories 7-2 and New Brunswick 9-3 Tuesday while Kevin Koe of Alberta countered with a 9-3 win over Northern Ontario and an 8-6 triumph over Saskatchewan.
“We’re getting stronger and stronger,” skip John Morris said after B.C. rolled to a 9-3 win over James Grattan of New Brunswick to improve to 6-1.
“We snuck some wins out early with some character-builders and now we’re starting to get a handle on the rocks, a real positive thing to see.”
Perhaps nothing was more positive looking Tuesday than the shot-making of Cotter, who throws last rocks. He curled 91 per cent in the latest win but it wasn’t his percentage that stood out, but, rather, his clutch shooting.
In the sixth end, with the game tied 3-3, he made a tough, last-rock triple kill for three to give B.C. control. Lead Rick Sawatsky, who has curled with Cotter for more than a decade, including four Briers, said he had no doubt the shot would be successful
“No, not a doubt really,” said Sawatsky, a native of Sioux Lookout, Ont., “John knows the spot pretty well, it was just a matter of Jimmy throwing it really well and he just threw it pure.
“He’s feeling it, you can tell. He’s throwing it a lot better, he’s getting his draw weight down pat and he’s made a lot of big shots for us the last couple of days. He’s been really clutch for us.”
Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton sits alone in third spot at 5-2. After a heartbreaking 9-7 extra end loss to Quebec in the morning draw, Stoughton bounced back to defeat winless Nova Scotia 8-6 in the afternoon.
Ontario and Saskatchewan are next at 4-2 followed by Quebec at 3-3.
Brad Gushue of Newfoundland/Labrador heads a list of teams with four of more losses at 3-4. Gushue neds to run the table to have a chance to possibly squeak into a tie-breaker.
Morris plays Gushue and Ontario Wednesday while Koe faces off with Nova Scotia and Ontario.