YORKTON, Sask. — Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa chased away Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey 7-3 Saturday morning to punch a playoff ticket in the Meridian Canadian Open.
Fujisawa (3-2) surged in the second half of the C-qualifier scoring a deuce in the fifth end to break a tie and added single steals in the sixth and seventh to eliminate the reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion.
The Meridian Canadian Open is the lone Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event to use the triple knockout format where teams must win three games before they lose three games in order to qualify. Each loss drops teams to a lower bracket until they are eliminated.
Team Min Ji Kim of South Korea stole one in the eighth to oust Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead 6-5 and Team Silvana Tirinzoni doubled up on Team Elena Stern 8-4 during an all-Swiss battle in the other C-qualifiers to complete the playoff picture.
Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., and Team Nina Roth of the United States were the A-qualifiers with 3-0 records while Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones, Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden and Team Alina Kovaleva of Russia made it through the B-side at 3-1.
Einarson plays Kim, Jones takes on Kovaleva, Roth faces Fujisawa and Hasselborg goes up against Tirinzoni in the quarterfinals.
The men’s quarterfinals are up first with Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., vs. Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont.; Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., vs. Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller; Toronto’s Team John Epping vs. Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland; and Winnipeg’s Team Mike McEwen vs. Team Korey Dropkin of the United States. (Watch on Sportsnet and CBC at Noon ET / 11 a.m. CT.)
The women’s quarterfinals go down at 4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT followed by the men’s and women’s semifinals at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT. (Watch both draws on Sportsnet 360.)
NOTES: The Meridian Canadian Open is the fourth event and third major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … At stake is a $300,000 total purse, split equally between the men’s and women’s divisions, with the winners earning $35,000 plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup. … Also up for grabs: points for the Pinty’s Cup, which is the season title awarded following the conclusion of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April.