News Canadian Open

Koe defeats Dunstone to claim second win at Co-op Canadian Open

RED DEER, Alta. — Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe climbed to a 2-0 record in the Co-op Canadian Open with a 6-4 victory over Winnipeg’s Team Matt Dunstone during Draw 8 Wednesday night at Servus Arena.

Riding the wave of a tour title win this past weekend in Lloydminster, Sask., Koe’s crew are looking to qualify for the playoffs in a Grand Slam of Curling event for the first time this season and aren’t in the clear just yet at only the halfway point of pool play.

“We’ve had a pretty up-and-down season,” Team Koe third Tyler Tardi said. “We’re either making the final or we’re home by Thursday night. It’s good to go in with a big win like that and coming into the [provincial] playdowns. Kev’s playing just as good here as he was there, so that’s nice. Just need to tune up — a couple of the guys but mainly myself.”

Team Koe posted a perfect 6-0 record to win the Red Deer Curling Classic tour event earlier this season just down the hallway in the curling club and now aim for another trophy in the venue.

“We’ve got good memories here for sure and I’ve got my lucky table along here, which is a long story I won’t share,” Tardi said with a laugh, “but it’s good and hopefully we can keep the wins here in Red Deer.”

Koe jumped out to an early 3-0 lead with a soft raise to score two in the second followed by a single steal in the third. Dunstone had to make it razor-thin past a guard but was unable to upend Koe’s counter.

Dunstone (1-1) regrouped with a draw to the button for a deuce in the fourth, forced Koe to a single in the fifth and then took two more points in the sixth to square it 4-all.

Koe, who has won five Grand Slam men’s titles as a skip, drew for two right back in the seventh to re-establish the two-point advantage and ran Dunstone out of rocks in the eighth.

“To be honest, we were pretty sloppy and Kev stood on his head as he’s been doing lately, so that’s really nice,” Tardi said. “Obviously, a huge win. Going 2-0 to start is huge in a Slam but we’re far from done.”

He added: “I think our record with [the last shot draw challenge] has proven to be not great, so we’re definitely going to need a win coming sooner rather than later, hopefully.”


Elsewhere in Draw 8, Team Bruce Mouat also moved up to a 2-0 mark with a decisive 9-2 win over Team James Craik in a Scottish derby.

“We have to travel all the way to Canada just to play them,” Mouat said with a smile. “But they’re doing really well this season and they’re a tough game, so we know that.”

Mouat broke a 1-1 tie with a three-ender in the third, forced Craik to a single in the fourth and then rolled away with a deuce in the fifth followed by a steal of three in the sixth that led to early handshakes.

“It’s nice,” said Mouat, who opened the event with a 10-3 win Tuesday against Team Danny Casper from the United States. “We performed really well, we’ve had two really solid games and we’re making a lot of shots out there.”

It was tough sledding for Team Mouat during last month’s WFG Masters as they were missing third Grant Hardie, who was out of the lineup following minor surgery. With Hardie back, they’ve returned to form in the New Year winning the Mercure Perth Masters back home and reaching the semifinals at the Lloydminster tournament.

“It’s nice to have him back and he’s obviously performed really well,” Mouat said. “We’ve played really well this year so far. The first three weeks it’s nice we’re kind of back to our usual and making a lot of shots.

“We’ve struggled in the Slams recently, so it’s nice to feel like we’re throwing it really well at the Slams. We’ll obviously see how tomorrow and Friday go but hopefully, all the best.”

Team Korey Dropkin of the United States improved to a 1-1 record with a 6-3 win over Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin (1-1).

“It’s been a bit of a struggle the last couple of events for us,” Dropkin said. “To go out there and have a good game, we got some breaks here and there, but getting a win — doesn’t matter against who — is huge. It’s nice to clean things up a little bit, get in that win column and hopefully more good things to come.”

Team Dropkin had to play as three in their opening game as lead Thomas Howell was delayed due to flight issues, but the band was all back together in time for Wednesday’s big tilt against the reigning Olympic gold medallists.

“It’s always nice to have a full team,” Dropkin said. “Tom’s a huge part of this team, so without him it’s a little bit difficult. He had some airline difficulties or flight problems, but we’re glad to have him.”

Italy’s Team Joël Retornaz (1-1) evened their record as well with a 5-4 decision against Team Casper (0-2).


The Co-op Canadian Open resumes Thursday with Draw 9 at 10:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. MT.

Broadcast coverage begins with Draw 10 at 2 p.m. ET / Noon MT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet+ (Canada) and (international).


The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the 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. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday evening with the best eight teams in both divisions advancing to Saturday’s quarterfinals. If necessary, a tiebreaker round will be played Saturday morning to determine the final playoff berths. … The semifinals are also on tap Saturday with both finals scheduled for Sunday.