Homan, Tirinzoni first to qualify for playoffs at Masters
OAKVILLE, Ont. — Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan and Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland completed undefeated 3-0 runs through the A brackets of the Masters to qualify for the playoffs.
Team Homan scored two in the seventh and stole a couple in the eighth end to come from behind and beat Team Tabitha Peterson 7-5 during Draw 11 action Thursday at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
The two-time reigning world champions Team Tirinzoni jumped out to an early lead but needed an extra end to edge Team Eun-Jung Kim of South Korea 8-5 in another nail-biter.
Homan and Tirinzoni can now catch their breath and rest up with a day off as they prepare for Saturday’s quarterfinals.
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It looked like Peterson was in control never trailing until the final rock. The 2020 U.S. champion started strong covering the pin hole with her the draw-to-the-button shootout to open with the hammer. After Peterson settled for a single in the first, Homan’s last rock of the second end over-curled to give up a steal and fall behind 2-0.
Peterson sat two counters in the third end, forcing Homan to draw for a just single that grabbed a piece of the button to boot.
The teams alternated pairs of points in the fourth and fifth ends, although Homan appeared to be in a bit of pain after throwing her last rock in five as she favoured her right leg.
Peterson was forced to draw for a single in the sixth to take a two-point lead at 5-3, but misfired her last in the seventh and Homan capitalized to hit for the tying two points.
Homan made back-to-back great draws in the eighth end landing right on the pin to sit two and then protected the pair with her last. Peterson clipped the top one but missed the shot rocks.
Meanwhile, Team Tirinzoni fourth Alina Paetz drew for a single in the first, but they sat a triangle of counters in the second and pirated all three points to grab a 4-0 hold as Kim came up short of the house. Kim was limited to one in the third, however, the rally was on as she stole single points in three consecutive ends to erase the deficit.
Team Tirinzoni could have blanked the seventh end with only one Team Kim stone in the house. Paetz hit it right on the nose to count a single point to take a 5-4 lead but lost the hammer for the eighth end. Team Tirinzoni was able to limit Team Kim to a single to force an extra end and Paetz made no mistake in OT.
Peterson and Kim, both at 2-1, have another chance to qualify Friday in the B bracket finals.
Down in the C side, Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones and Team Alina Kovaleva from Russia scored their first wins of the Masters to stay in the mix. Jones stole one in the eighth end to swipe a 5-4 victory from Japan’s Team Sayaka Yoshimura while Kovaleva bounced Team Un-Chi Gim of South Korea 9-2.
Jones and Kovaleva improved to 1-2 records and move onto the C semifinals while Yoshimura and Gim are out of the tournament finishing at 0-3.
The Masters continues with Draw 12 at 7 p.m. ET with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international). The featured game will be Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., vs. Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe in the men’s A bracket finals.
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 out of 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. … A combined $300,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $33,000 plus berths into the season-ending KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … 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.