Gushue, Dunstone to face off for final men’s playoff spot at WFG Masters
OAKVILLE, Ont. — Brad Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L., crew are still in it to win it at the WFG Masters after emerging victorious 7-4 over Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell during the final men’s round-robin draw Friday night.
With Ramsfjell already secure for the quarterfinals, all the pressure was on Gushue to avoid missing the playoffs in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling for the first time since the 2018 Canadian Open. Gushue has been the model of consistency with an impressive playoff streak of 21 tournaments in the series.
Team Gushue aren’t in the clear though as they now have to face Team Matt Dunstone in a tiebreaker for the eighth and final men’s playoff berth.
Dunstone and his Winnipeg club edged Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller 6-5 in an extra end during the evening draw to also ensure their playoff hopes remain alive.
Both Gushue and Dunstone finished pool play with 2-2 records.
Joining Team Gushue and Team Dunstone on the ice Saturday at 8 a.m. ET / 5 a.m. PT are two women’s tiebreaker games featuring Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., vs. Winnipeg’s Team Chelsea Carey and Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg vs. Switzerland’s Team Michele Jäggi.
Admission is free for the tiebreaker draw at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex. Fans can follow along with live scoring of the tiebreakers at thegrandslamofcurling.com/scores.
The winner between Gushue and Dunstone will meet top seed Team Brendan Bottcher almost immediately right after in the men’s quarterfinals (Saturday 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT). The Calgary club clinched the No. 1 spot going undefeated through pool play at 4-0.
The other three men’s quarterfinals are Schwaller vs. Italy’s Team Joël Retornaz, Ramsfjell vs. Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin and Team Ross Whyte vs. Team Bruce Mouat in a Scottish derby. All six squads hold identical 3-1 records.
Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan and Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., both went 4-0 through the women’s division and await the tiebreaker winners in their quarterfinals (Saturday 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT). The other two women’s quarterfinals are Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Team Eun-Ji Gim of South Korea and Winnipeg’s Team Kaitlyn Lawes vs. Team Tabitha Peterson from the United States.
Elsewhere in Draw 16, Team Korey Dropkin from the United States played the spoiler to eliminate Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers 4-3 and Mouat slammed Toronto’s Team John Epping 8-1 in only five ends.
Dropkin, Carruthers and Epping all missed the playoffs with 1-3 records.
WFG MASTERS ON SPORTSNET
Broadcast coverage of the WFG Masters resumes with the men’s quarterfinals at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).
The WFG Masters is the third event of the 2022-23 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. … The semifinals are also set for Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT) with both finals on tap for Sunday.