CAMROSE, Alta. — Brendan Bottcher and his Calgary club claimed a big win to start their run in the Co-op Canadian Open.
Bottcher scored six points in the fourth end during a 9-3 victory over Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers in Draw 4 action Tuesday evening.
“We’ve been playing really well the last couple of events,” said Bottcher, who reached the semifinals at last month’s WFG Masters. “We came off a really good week in Oakville at the last Slam. We had a little bit of downtime over Christmas but were also working hard.
“It’s good to see we came out of the gate really strong tonight. If we can keep doing that for the rest of the week, it should be a good week.”
Bottcher was already up 2-1 when his touchdown just before the halftime break put the game out of reach early. Carruthers recovered with a deuce in the fifth end but shook hands early after Bottcher put another point on the board in the sixth.
Bottcher credited second Brett Gallant and third Marc Kennedy in particular for helping set up the six-ender.
“They put some pressure on us, too,” Bottcher said. “They threw a couple of centre guards and had us playing around the middle, which was probably to their strength given the scoreboard, but my guys just made a few great shots. Brett and Marc put some in really great spots.
“We got some half shots and then when you put on that much pressure early you’ve got to execute. We got a couple of half shots and were able to capitalize.”
The Co-op Canadian Open features a triple knockout preliminary round where teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.
Team Bottcher will now take on Toronto’s Team John Epping, who picked up a 6-4 victory over WFG Masters champions Team Joël Retornaz from Italy.
Retornaz drops into the B event of the triple knockout to face Carruthers, who now has Brad Jacobs playing third for the remaining GSOC events this season. Team Carruthers mutually parted ways with Jason Gunnlaugson during the holiday break.
Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., scored a 4-2 win against Team Wouter Gosgens from the Netherlands and Ross Whyte connected on a hit to score three points in the eighth end to lift his Scottish side to a 5-4 win over Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller. Gushue goes up against Whyte in the A-semifinals while Gosgens and Schwaller will meet in the B brackets.
Triple knockout action resumes Wednesday with Draw 5 at 10:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. local time. Single draw tickets plus full-event, weekend and daily passes are available at the Encana Arena box office and online at camrosegsoc.goigniter.com.
NOTES: The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world at Encana Arena. … Broadcast coverage of the Co-op Canadian Open begins Thursday at 2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT on Sportsnet and streaming online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international). … Triple knockout action runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon followed by the semifinals in the evening. Both finals are set for Sunday.