Kamloops product Jim Cotter and Team B.C. needed a victory on Monday to stay alive in the race for a spot in the Championship Pool at the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary.
They tinkered with strategy and got it, posting a 9-2 win over underdog Yukon in a Draw 8 matchup that was over after eight ends.
B.C., which was skipped by third Steve Laycock in its first two draws, both losses, handed the reins to Cotter, who called the game on Monday.
“We had a lot more fun out there,” said Cotter, who lives in Vernon. “We kind of ran into a little bit of time-clock issues, too, in our first couple games, so this game, it was a lot more relaxed and allowed both Steve and I to prepare a little bit better for our shots, especially later on in the game.”
Cotter, who throws fourth for B.C (1-2), had his best statistical game of the tournament, curling at 88 per cent.
“If anything, we didn’t make any changes,” Cotter said. “We just trusted in all the time and the amount of effort we put into it. Whatever the percentages are, I don’t care. I never look at percentages. It's more the process of, 'How did it feel to throw?' If you feel like you’re throwing it good, don’t change anything."
Cotter curled at 75 per cent in a 10-7 loss to Wild Card No. 1 (Mike McEwen, 2-2) on Sunday and 65 per cent in a 7-5 loss to New Brunswick (James Grattan, 3-1) on Saturday.
"To be honest, we feel like we've been throwing pretty decent,” said Cotter, who is a 10-time Brier veteran. “We've missed a lot of shots on some good throws. We’ve been seeing that from other teams, too. It’s easier to say when you’ve won, but the ice was definitely better today, a little more consistent across the board."
B.C. is scheduled to play twice on Tuesday — 7:30 a.m. against Northern Ontario (Brad Jacobs, 2-2) and 5:30 p.m. versus Wild Card No. 3 (Glenn Howard, 2-1).
“You have to bring your absolute best and also get some breaks along the way,” Cotter said. “You need to have those little extra things go your way. It’s the difference between winning and losing.”
After round-robin play concludes, the top four teams from each of the two nine-team pools will advance to the Championship Pool, from which three playoff teams will emerge.
Cotter will handle skip duties on Tuesday.
"It's a bit of a long week, so a bit of maintenance, too," Cotter said. "It's nice to change it up a little bit and gain that confidence back. It’s comfortable for Steve and I."