OLDS, Alta. — Kevin Koe is through to the men’s semifinals of the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup.
Koe’s Calgary club took two for the win in the eighth end to clip Karsten Sturmay’s Edmonton-based team 6-5 Friday afternoon in a Battle of Alberta at the Olds Sportsplex.
Team Koe wrapped up pool play with a 4-1 record and earned the bye to the final four, along with Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin, based on draw-to-the-button shootout scores. Team Brad Jacobs (4-1) of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., were the odd men out and take the No. 3 seed into the quarterfinals.
The Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale is the last event for Team Koe with the skip forming a new squad with Tyler Tardi, Brad Thiessen and Karrick Martin. Third John Morris is stepping back from men’s curling, second B.J. Neufeld is joining Team Matt Dunstone and lead Ben Hebert is off to play with Team Brendan Bottcher.
Sturmay finished with a 1-4 record in his first GSOC tournament as a skip.
Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni (4-1) also secured a direct spot in the semifinals on the women’s side with a 6-1 victory over Denmark’s Team Madeleine Dupont (2-3).
Tirinzoni took two points in the third to break a 1-1 tie and then sprinted away stealing singles in three consecutive ends.
It’s the last event for the three-time reigning world champions as well with both lead Melanie Barbezat and second Esther Neuenschwander stepping back from the sport after the season.
Meanwhile, Team Eun-Ji Gim clinched a quarterfinals spot with a 7-6 extra-end victory over Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man.
Einarson awaits the result of the final round-robin draw as her team could either go straight to the quarterfinals or require a tiebreaker against Team Eun-Jung Kim.
Team Korey Dropkin of the United States ended on a high note with a 7-5 win over Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat.
Dropkin scored his second straight win to finish with a 2-3 record.
Mouat also missed the cut at 2-3 and did not qualify for the playoffs in the series for the first time this season after reaching the final in all three previous events. Team Mouat captured the Masters and Princess Auto Players’ Championship titles and finished runners-up to Team Gushue in the Boost National. Mouat was missing Grant Hardie (personal commitments) this week with Ross Whyte filling in at third.
Tickets are available at the Olds Sportsplex box office and online at champions.goigniter.com.
Both divisions are split into two groups of six for pool play. The best six teams overall qualify for the playoffs with the top two receiving byes to the semifinals.
The quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Saturday with both finals set for Sunday.
The KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup is the fourth and final Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of the 2021-22 season featuring 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams who have won top tour titles in order to qualify. … A combined $210,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $25,000 plus berths to next year’s KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … The 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling campaign kicks off with the Boost National, Oct. 4-9, at Memorial Gardens in North Bay, Ont. Full-event passes are now available for all six events for next season, visit thegrandslamofcurling.com/tickets for more information.