NORTH BAY, Ont. — Matt Dunstone is through to the semifinals in a Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event for the first time as a skip with his Regina-based squad.
The 24-year-old Dunstone advanced out of the quarterfinals in the Masters after eliminating Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Memorial Gardens.
After Jacobs scored his two points in five, Dunstone retook the lead for good by matching with a pair in six. Dunstone added a single steal in seven as Jacobs crashed on a guard and tacked another on the scoreboard in eight when the 2014 Olympic gold medallist looked to make a very thin in-off to possibly get the equalizing deuce but whiffed right by the guard.
Dunstone now meets No. 1 seed Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland with a championship opportunity on the line.
Mouat’s patience paid off as he blanked five consecutive ends before scoring four points in the eighth end to oust Scottish compatriots Team Ross Paterson 6-3.
Mouat remains undefeated after going 4-0 through group play to top the table. It was a quick turnaround for Paterson, who punted Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe 7-6 in the morning tiebreakers.
Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., ended Team Brendan Bottcher’s GSOC title streak with a 6-2 victory. Bottcher, who beat Gushue in pool play Friday afternoon, was looking to pick things up where he left off last season winning the final three men’s events in the series.
Gushue, who has won 11 Grand Slam titles, now goes up against Toronto’s Team John Epping.
The defending champion Epping continues his title defence after eliminating Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., 7-3. With Glenn away on a trip to Scotland, his son Scott Howard moved up from third to skip this week and Adam Spencer subbed at vice.
Epping edged Team Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 5-3 in the morning tiebreakers to qualify for the playoffs.
Earlier Saturday, Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa defeated Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 7-3 in the lone women’s tiebreaker game.
Fujisawa will play No. 1 seed Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland in the women’s quarterfinals. The other matches see Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Team Sayaka Yoshimura of Japan, Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., vs. Switzerland’s Team Elena Stern and the featured game of Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg vs. Team Kerri Einarson of East St. Paul, Man.
The finals are scheduled for Sunday.
NOTES: The Masters is the first of six Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events on the season and one of four majors in the series. … The total prize purse is $300,000 and is split evenly between the men’s and women’s divisions. Winners receive $35,000 plus berths towards the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup taking place April 29 to May 3, 2020, in Olds, Alta. … Also up for grabs at the Masters are Pinty’s Cup bonus points. The leaders following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April will capture the Pinty’s Cup with additional prize money awarded.