OAKVILLE, Ont. — Defending champions Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul are through to the Masters semifinals.
Fleury fended off Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli 6-2 in an all-Manitoba matchup during Saturday’s quarterfinals at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Down by one, Fleury scored a deuce in the fourth to take the lead for good and stole singles in three consecutive ends to secure a spot in the semifinals of the season-opening Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event.
Fleury has won all four meetings with Einarson so far this season including an 8-5 decision during Friday’s B-qualifiers.
The two-time reigning Players’ champion Einarson needed a 6-5 victory over Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque earlier Saturday in the C finals to advance.
Team Fleury will now face Team Alina Kovaleva from Russia. Kovaleva ousted Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan 5-3.
Fleury captured her first career GSOC women’s title at the 2019 Masters in North Bay, Ont., and down the road from her hometown of Sudbury. The Masters was not held last season and this year’s edition is the first GSOC event to have fans back in the stands since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones will take on Team Eun-Jung Kim of South Korea in the other women’s semifinal. Jones took out two-time reigning world champions Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland 6-4 and Kim scored two in the eighth to lift her club past Team Tabitha Peterson of the United States 6-5 in the quarters.
Jones, who has won nine GSOC women’s titles, fell into the C side early at 0-2 but has rattled off four consecutive wins with elimination on the line.
Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., go up against Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat meet Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher in the men’s semifinals.
Both finals are set for Sunday.
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 only.
The Masters is the first 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. … A combined $300,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $33,000 plus berths into the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … Tickets are available at masters.goigniter.com.