News Canadian Open

Gushue, Jacobs stay perfect to reach Meridian Canadian Open semifinals

YORKTON, Sask. — Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., kept their undefeated streak intact in the Meridian Canadian Open to reach the men’s semifinals.

Team Gushue, who went 3-0 through the A Event of the triple knockout, added another victory to their tally grabbing a 6-1 win from Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller during Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals at the Gallagher Centre.

The 11-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling champion Gushue converted for a deuce in the second end to opening the scoring. Schwaller, who was playing in his first GSOC quarterfinal, struggled with his final shots rolling deep on his last in three to give up one point and came up short in four to concede two more.

A single in the fifth for Schwaller broke the shutout streak, however, Gushue matched in the sixth and out came the early handshakes.

Team Gushue shot an outstanding 96 per cent as a foursome with second Brett Gallant and third Mark Nichols earning perfect scores.

The crew will now take on Toronto’s Team John Epping, who advanced with an 8-3 win over Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland. Tied 2-2 after the second end, Epping rolled away counting three in the third and another trio in the fifth while holding Mouat to just a single in the fourth.

Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Winnipeg’s Team Mike McEwen will meet in the other semifinal. Jacobs doubled up on Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., 8-4 while McEwen bounced Team Korey Dropkin of the United States 6-2.

It was a game of missed opportunities early between Jacobs and Howard. Jacobs, who also qualified A-side at 3-0, tried to draw for two in the first and only needed a piece of the paint but came up short of the house. Disaster struck for Howard in the second as he crashed on guards with both of his skip stones resulting in a steal of four.

Jacobs jammed a double in three giving Howard the opportunity to make a double takeout of his own to score a deuce. After Jacobs settled for a single in four, Howard had to draw against five but didn’t miss a second time and landed at the back of the button.

Howard swiped a point in six while sitting two and forcing Jacobs to make a tricky short angle raise. Jacobs was able to eliminate one counter but missed the other. Although that narrowed the gap, Jacobs was able to put the game away drawing for a deuce in seven.

Team Jacobs look to capture a third consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title after finishing 2019 with back-to-back wins at the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge and BOOST National.

The women’s quarterfinals are up next with Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., vs. Team Min Ji Kim of South Korea; Team Nina Roth of the United States vs. Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa; Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg vs. Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni and Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Team Alina Kovaleva of Russia. Watch at 4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT on Sportsnet 360 featuring Jones vs. Kovaleva.

Both semifinals are at 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT (Sportsnet 360) and the finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Online streaming is available at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

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 are points towards the Pinty’s Cup, which is the season title awarded following the conclusion of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April.