News Players' Championship

Fujisawa tops Lawes to even record at Princess Auto Players’ Championship

TORONTO — Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa has drawn level to a 2-2 round-robin record in the Princess Auto Players’ Championship.

Fujisawa edged Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes 6-4 in an extra end during Draw 10 Thursday at Mattamy Athletic Centre with one day and one more game to go in pool play.

Tied 2-2 at the fourth-end break, Fujisawa made a tricky draw through a port then chipped and rolled into the four-foot circle to score a single in the fifth after a measure.

Fujisawa went up 4-2 in the sixth when Lawes’ last shot ran out of gas to give up a steal.

Lawes (2-2) recovered and drew right onto the top of the button for a single in the seventh then stole one in the eighth to force OT when Fujisawa came up short on her last. Fujisawa made no mistake on her last in the extra to eliminate Lawes’ stone and tack two points on the board.

Team Fujisawa made history at the last Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event in January by capturing the Co-op Canadian Open to become the first Asian-based club to claim a major title in the series.

Clancy Grandy’s Vancouver-based team climbed to a 3-1 record with an 8-3 win over Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones (1-3) in a clash of Canadian clubs.

In men’s play, Canada’s Kevin Koe capped a two-win Thursday with an 8-2 victory over Korey Dropkin (0-4) from the United States. Koe’s Calgary crew (3-1) also earned a 9-5 decision over Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell during the morning draw.

Italy’s Joël Retornaz swept past Canada’s Reid Carruthers 8-2 in only five ends. Retornaz’s team raised their record to 3-1 while Carruthers, from Winnipeg, holds the exact opposite mark at 1-3.

Carruthers, third Brad Jacobs and second Derek Samagalski are playing as a trio this week without lead Connor Njegovan (paternity leave).


Round-robin play continues at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet Pacific, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Tickets are available at the box office and online at

NOTES: The Princess Auto Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world based on the World Curling Federation’s year-to-date world team rankings. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday. The best six teams overall qualify for Saturday’s playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals. Both finals are scheduled for Sunday. … The Pinty’s Cup will also be awarded to the season champions in the series during the event.