Howard still perfect, McEwen close behind at Canadian Open of Curling
Quarter-finals, semi-finals go on Saturday
World champion Glenn Howard continued his perfect run at the Canadian Open of Curling while defending champion Mike McEwen kept pace Friday in Kelowna, B.C.
Howard (5-0) remained undefeated through Draw 9 after beating Rob Rumfeldt of Guelph, Ont., 5-4 in eight ends. The Coldwater, Ont., native overcame an early 2-0 deficit against Rumfeldt (1-4) by scoring twice in the second and sixth ends.
McEwen improved to 4-1 after clobbering John Morris, who is skipping Kevin Martin's Edmonton rink, 7-1 in five ends. Morris dropped to 2-3.
The victory was McEwen's third straight of the day after earlier wins over Brent Pierce and Rob Fowler of Brandon, Man.
Meanwhile, Winnipeg's Jeff Stoughton (3-2) cruised past Jean-Michel Menard (1-4) of Gatineau, Que., 7-4.
Toronto's John Epping (1-4) scored two in the eighth end against Jim Cotter of Kelowna, B.C., to earn a 6-5 win, his first of the tournament. Toronto's Mark Kean (3-2) needed an extra end to beat Pierce (2-3), from New Westminster, B.C., 7-6.
Howard leads Pool A, McEwen holds Pool C and a logjam has developed in Pool B where Cotter, Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., Kevin Koe of Calgary and Jake Higgs of Harriston, Ont., are tied for the lead at 3-2.
The 18-team tournament is the second men's Grand Slam event of the World Curling Tour season and has a purse of $100,000.