Curling controversy? Ontario team says broom tap wasn't meant to 'intimidate'
Curling action is in full swing at the Brier in Calgary on Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (Jeff McIntosh / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, March 3, 2015 7:27PM EST
CALGARY -- Curling took a page from hockey's playbook at the Tim Hortons Brier.
It wasn't a slash or a trip, but rather a curling version of a friendly lovetap -- and naturally with a broom instead of a hockey stick.
The Brad Jacobs team from Northern Ontario said tapping the foot of an opponent was a reminder for the player to get his knees off the ice after releasing the stone at the Canadian men's curling championships. The incident occurred in Northern Ontario's 7-3 win over Ontario's Mark Kean on Monday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Ontario coach Bryan Cochrane was seen complaining to officials after a Northern Ontario sweeper rapped the foot of Ontario third Mat Camm after he delivered his rock.
In a statement released Tuesday on the team's Facebook page, the Jacobs rink said that "it was not done with any aggressive or intimidating intent" but to remind the player not to leave marks on the ice that can affect the movement of stones.
Warmth from hands and knees can create a "puddling" effect on the ice.
"It's something we're trying to put behind us," Jacobs said Tuesday. "It's definitely not something we would ever intentionally try to do, intimidate a player or anything like that.
"When we saw them in the dressing room after the game, we had apologized. They were fine with the apology at that point."
Curling Canada said the chief umpire had spoken with both teams and told them that complaints should be made during the game to the game umpires and not after it.
"I have no hard feelings, just as long as everyone learns from the experience," Kean said Tuesday.
"I don't think it's right, but if everyone can learn from the experience and the officials are on top of that kind of stuff -- and they're on top of the knees on the ice too -- then there's no issue between either team."
Jacobs, the reigning Olympic champion, topped the round robin at 6-0 after Tuesday afternoon's draw.
Kean, meanwhile, who's making his Brier debut with one of the youngest teams in the field, took a 2-3 record into his evening game against Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador.