So it didn’t end with another championship game appearance.
With the book now closed, Brad Jacobs called the 2012-2013 season “an unbelievable year” on Saturday, shortly after being eliminated in the semifinals at the Players Championship in Toronto.
In the final Grand Slam of Curling event of the year, the Soo Curlers Association rink dropped a 6-3 decision to Glenn Howard of Coldwater, Ont.
Jacobs made it to the semis following a 9-5 quarter-final victory over Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud.
The Howard rink went on to beat Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen 4-3 in Sunday afternoon’s final.
McEwen had advanced to the title match with a 5-2 semifinal victory over Jeff Stoughton, who also hails from Winnipeg.
“This year has absolutely been a dream come true,” added Jacobs, who, along with third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden, won the 2013 Tim Hortons Brier.
The foursome followed with a silver-medal finish at the recent world championships.
“When you take a step back and look at it from where we started the year, before becoming Brier champions, finishing second at worlds and qualifying for the quarter-finals in all four Grand Slam events, the season couldn’t have been written any better,” E.J. Harnden added. “When all of this sinks in, we’ll be extremely happy with both our individual and team performances.”
While the goal in Toronto was to secure another championship, Jacobs said he and his mates “consider making it to the semis a success. (Team Howard) played better than we did. They were definitely beatable, but we came out a little flat.”
By finishing among the final four in the six-day, 15-team competition, Team Jacobs pocketed $10,500. Team Howard earned $26,000.
The overall prize pool was worth $100,000.
However, by finishing fourth overall in the Grand Slam of Curling bonus points standings – and not in the top three — the Jacobs rink wasn’t eligible to share in an additional $100,000 of prize money.
Had the Jacobs rink advanced into Sunday’s final, the reward would have been an automatic spot (along with five other entries) in the Olympic Trials, slated to be held in December in Winnipeg.
Instead, the Jacobs quartet is slated to play in the Pre-Olympic Trials, joining 11 other teams in search of two spots in the Olympic Trials.
Pre-trials are slated for Kitchener in November.
“It is, what it is. That’s curling,” Jacobs said of Saturday’s setback. “When you play the best rinks in the world, you can’t win every game.”
In head-to-head matchups of elite rinks “you’re hoping for a .500 record,” Jacobs added. “You just hope to win the right games.”
Howard used the hammer to score two in the first end Saturday.
Jacobs could have tied the match in the second end. But his draw for two wrecked on a guard.
“It didn’t curl, it ran straight,” he explained. “That cost us both a tie game and momentum.”
Jacobs final shot of the third end under-curled and remained in the open.
With the hammer, Howard removed it and hung around for a deuce.
That made it 4-1 after three ends.
“That was our worst end and to give up only two was fortunate,” the Sault skip said. “Overall, we didn’t play that well. But I thought we battled back to made it a good game.”
Jacobs scored one in the fourth when he successfully executed an open draw against four.
But the Brier champions could get no closer.
“I’m still proud of how we played this week,” added Jacobs, who’ll join his teammates in taking the summer off, before beginning to throw rocks again in September.
Meantime, Eve Muirhead of Stirling, Scotland, beat Margaretha Sigfridsson of Skelleftea, Sweden, 8-5 in the women’s final Sunday morning.
Team Muirhead won $23,000.