Brad Jacobs wins the National to claim 2nd straight Grand Slam title

Brad Jacobs wins the National to claim 2nd straight Grand Slam title

Brad Jacobs, Marc Kennedy, E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden just weren't going to be beat this week.

In a clinical curling performance Sunday afternoon inside the Conception Bay South Arena, Jacobs and his team held reigning world champion Niklas Edin to just one point all game, winning the Boost National Grand Slam title 3-1. 

That's back-to-back Slam wins for a team brimming with confidence right now.

"I would say it's exceeded expectations," Jacobs said after the win. "What else can I say? It's been a while since we've won this much."

WATCH | Jacobs wins the National men's final:

Slow start

It was a cautious start to the championship game with both teams trying to find room in the house to hides rocks early. But their skill and strategy led to three consecutive blanks to begin the men's final.

Finally, Jacobs scored the first point of the game with a steal in the fourth end.

They'd steal another single in the fifth end after Edin missed a double takeout on his last rock to make it 2-0 heading to the sixth end.

Edin then had a delicate tap for two, a nearly impossible shot, and played it perfectly, but his thrown stone rolled too far. He'd have to settle for a single, cutting Jacobs' lead to 2-1.

Jacobs played a double takeout on his last throw with hammer in the seventh end to score a single point and make it 3-1 heading to the eighth and final end. That's as close as Edin would get to the Jacobs' Rink – the northern Ontario skip made a takeout with his last stone to run the Swedes out of rocks and secure the victory.

"We've been disciplined and have a lot of good habits as a team which is paying off. We're hoping to make winning more of a habit," Jacobs said.

"You have to be near perfect out here if you want to win championships in men's curling now."

Marc Kennedy provides spark

Jeffrey Au/World Curling Federation

During the offseason Jacobs made a change at third, bringing in Marc Kennedy in place of long-time teammate Ryan Fry. The lineup shakeup has provided the team with new energy – and a lot of victories.

"I'd say Marc has brought excitement and energy. A new perspective," Jacobs said. "We needed those things and he's brought that. He's also reignited a love of the sport for the three of us." 

In the final two games of the Slam this week, Kennedy curled 100 per cent.

"It felt good this week. I got comfortable with the ice. I just love being out here and don't take any of these finals for granted," he said.

The newly formed team has now won four of eight events they've played in.

"Four good curlers. Great chemistry. And we're having a lot of fun," Kennedy said. "We played great. We had a game plan coming in and executed it pretty well. What a season so far."

Kennedy took a year off from the sport after playing with Kevin Koe for years. He stepped away from curling after the Olympics, partly due to a nagging hip injury. That time away from the sport has provided Kennedy with a new appreciation for being on the ice.

"The year off was wonderful for so many reasons. I found a way to love this game again. I coached some kids last year and remembered why I love this sport," Kennedy said.

It's reignited four curlers who continue to grow and learn on the ice together – which means trouble for their opposition as this season rolls along.

"We've been doing a great job of being critical of ourselves and being open-minded too. Not only for the sport of curling but as people too" Jacobs said.

Anna Hasselborg captures Slam with win over Jennifer Jones

Sweden's Anna Hasselborg loves curling in Atlantic Canada.

Last month, she captured the Tour Challenge Slam title in Nova Scotia. On Sunday night, Hasselborg won the women's Boost National title in Newfoundland and Labrador, defeating Jennifer Jones, 7-3.

It's the Swedish team's fourth Slam win of their careers.

WATCH | Hasselborg wins the National women's final:

"It feels huge. It feels great," Hasselborg said. "We're paying so well. We're communicating and my team is making a lot of shots. I have a really easy job out there."

The reigning Olympic champion broke the game wide open in the fourth end by scoring four. Jones missed her last two shots and Hasselborg capitalized. It made the score 6-1 midway through the game and the Swedes never looked back.

Jones did mount a bit of a charge in the sixth end with a double takeout to score two and make it 6-3, but Hasselborg scored a single in the seventh to force Jones to handshakes.

That's now three Slam wins out of the four in Atlantic Canada — the two other came in Nova Scotia. Hasselborg says they feel at home by the ocean. 

"I'm from Stockholm. I love the ocean. We rented an ocean house here to make us feel comfortable," she said after the win.

"We just enjoy ourselves here. I think we should give the ocean some credit."