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Kevin Koe to face Brad Gushue in Brier final

Team Canada skip Kevin Koe delivers a rock as they play Manitoba in draw 20 semifinal action at the Tim Hortons Brier curling championship at Mile One Centre, in St. John’s on Saturday, March 11, 2017.

Andrew Vaughan/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Canada's Kevin Koe defeated Manitoba's Mike McEwen 7-6 on Saturday night to earn a return ticket to the Tim Hortons Brier final.

McEwen missed a double runback attempt to give Koe the single point in the extra end.

The Koe win sets up a Sunday night showdown with local favourite Brad Gushue of Newfoundland and Labrador for the gold medal. Gushue advanced straight to the final with a victory over McEwen in the Page playoff 1-2 game Friday night.

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Koe beat Gushue in last year's final at Ottawa and went on to win the world championship. Gushue is looking for his first career Brier title in 14 appearances.

Koe forced an extra end in the semifinal with a clutch double takeout to score two.

Earlier in the day, Koe defeated Northern Ontario's Brad Jacobs 6-2 in the Page playoff 3-4 game at Mile One Centre.

Koe scored a single in the eighth end and put the game out of reach with a deuce in the ninth. He shot 89 per cent on the day while Jacobs was well back at 74 per cent.

"Just on the wrong side of the inch on a few of my shots," Jacobs said. "We narrowly missed some good opportunities and you've got to take advantage of stuff like that if you want to win the Brier, not miss them. That's how the game went for us."

Koe started the game with hammer and scored a pair of singles. The game was delayed for 66 minutes after the third end due to a power outage.

"It had no effect on us," Jacobs said. "We were already behind the eight ball at that point."

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When play resumed, the teams blanked another end before Koe added a single in the fifth. Jacobs got on the scoreboard with a deuce in the sixth end but that was all the offence he could muster.

Jacobs, the reigning Olympic champion, will settle for an appearance in the bronze-medal game Sunday afternoon against McEwen.

Even though there are ranking points and cash on the line, he admitted it would be "very difficult" to get up for the third-place game.

"You come here to win the tankard," Jacobs said. "We were the fourth (seed) leading into the playoffs. I feel like we've finished in fourth place."

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