CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Team Braden Calvert picked up their pivotal first win of the Boost National during Draw 6 action Wednesday afternoon at the Chestermere Recreation Centre.
Team Calvert upended Team Mike McEwen 7-3 in a battle of Winnipeg clubs to improve to a 1-1 record in the B brackets of the triple knockout stage.
The loss dropped McEwen (0-2) into the danger zone of the C-side where his team now must win three consecutive games in order to qualify for the playoffs with another loss leading to elimination.
“It’s obviously huge to get a win under our belt,” skip Braden Calvert said. “We felt like we played really well against (Brad) Jacobs yesterday and didn’t quite close that one out, so it was nice to get our first win and hopefully, we can get something going.”
McEwen opened with the hammer, but Calvert was able to take control by stealing a point in the second end to open the scoring. Calvert pulled off a tricky angle raise takeout to lie shot rock buried at the top of the four-foot circle and McEwen was unable to outcount it.
“We wanted to play super-aggressive in the first end because we just missed our draw to the button there,” Calvert said. “If they come out with a deuce early, it’s back against your wall, so we tried really hard … to give them a tough shot and luckily we did.”
McEwen matched with a single in the third to knot it up and Calvert made the most of his first crack with the hammer in the fourth end. After McEwen rubbed against a centre guard, the door was open for Calvert to hit and stick to score a critical four points.
“We saw a couple uncharacteristic misses from McEwen’s team and we were able to capitalize,” Calvert said. “That’s the biggest thing with our team is when we get those misses we need to capitalize and take advantage of our opportunities.”
The seven-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner McEwen misfired his last in the fifth end to give up a single steal but recovered with a solid sixth stanza and had an open draw for a deuce to cut down the deficit.
That only bought McEwen another end as he missed the angle raise with his last in the seventh and shook hands before Calvert could even plan his final shot.
“I think our whole team has looked up to what that guy’s done and that team’s done,” Calvert said. “Whenever you get a chance to play against them, you definitely get up for the games. We had a lot of intensity out there today.”
Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe also climbed into the win column with a commanding 7-1 victory over Winnipeg’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson.
Koe (1-1) scored a deuce in the first and stole two in the second for an early 4-0 hold. Gunnlaugson (0-2) was limited to his lone point in the third and Koe continued to cruise counting another couple of points in the fourth and stealing one in the fifth end for early handshakes.
Meanwhile, Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., and Team Peter de Cruz from Switzerland moved onto the A finals with 2-0 records.
Gushue downed Regina’s Team Matt Dunstone with a clinical 8-2 decision and de Cruz stole three in the sixth and one in the seventh to defeat Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 7-3.
TRIPLE KNOCKOUT EXPLAINED
The triple knockout consists of three brackets: A, B and C. Teams must win three games in order to qualify for the playoffs. Each loss drops a team to a lower bracket until they lose three games and are out of the tournament. Two A teams (3-0 records), three B teams (3-1 records) and three C teams (3-2 records) advance to the quarterfinals.
NO TICK ZONE
Teams cannot tick guards off of the centre line while the five-rock, free guard zone is in effect during the eighth and extra ends.
The Boost National is the second of five events on the 2021-22 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule and features 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world with a combined $300,000 prize purse. … The winning teams earning $33,000 plus spots in the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … Triple knockout play runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals and semifinals are also Saturday with both finals set for Sunday. … Tickets are available at boost.goigniter.com.