OAKVILLE, Ont. — Defending champions Team Tracy Fleury and Team Kerri Einarson advanced to the B bracket finals of the triple knockout stage in the Masters.
Now, they’ll face off in an all-Manitoba matchup with a playoff spot on the line.
Team Fleury, the defending champions from East St. Paul, scored three points in the fifth end and held on down to the stretch to defeat Japan’s Team Tori Koana 6-5 during Thursday morning’s Draw 9 action at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Einarson, of Gimli, scored four during the fourth end during an 8-5 win over Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa.
Fleury captured her first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title at the 2019 Masters in North Bay, Ont. The Masters was not held last season due to the COVID-10 pandemic.
Team Einarson and Team Fleury, both with 2-1 records, will meet in Draw 15 Friday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET.
Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden stole single points in the seventh and eighth ends to escape with a 6-5 victory over Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque.
Sweden’s Team Isabella Wrana also reached the B bracket finals scoring three in the sixth end and four in the eighth during a 10-4 rout over Team Min-Ji Kim of South Korea.
Hasselborg and Wrana, both at 2-1, await the losers of the A bracket finals.
Koana, Fujisawa, Rocque and Kim all fell to 1-2 records and into the C bracket semifinals with elimination on the line.
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 eliminated from 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 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. … 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 masters.goigniter.com.