OAKVILLE, Ont. — Mike McEwen and his Winnipeg club are still in contention at the Masters after ousting Toronto’s Team John Epping 3-1 Friday morning during C side action at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
After losing their first two games to start, Team McEwen improved to a 2-2 record with their backs against the wall in the triple knockout stage where three losses leads to elimination.
McEwen blanked the first couple ends and scored a deuce in the third. The teams alternated single points in the sixth and seventh ends and McEwen held the hammer in the eighth end to run Epping (1-3) out of rocks and out of the tournament.
Switzerland’s Team Peter de Cruz also moved onto Friday evening’s C bracket finals after knocking out defending champions Team Matt Dunstone from Regina 8-6.
De Cruz and McEwen will play losers from the B bracket finals for the last quarterfinal spots.
In the women’s division, Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones won their second straight game to bring their record level at 2-2. Jones jumped out with a three-ender in the first, stole one in the second and cruised from there in an 8-3 victory over Team Tori Koana of Japan.
Team Alina Kovaleva from Russia also moved onto the C finals at 2-2 scoring two in the seventh and stealing one in the eighth to fend off Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 7-4.
Koana and Fujisawa, both 1-3, were eliminated from the tournament.
The Masters continues with Draw 14 at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international). The featured game will be Team Bottcher vs. Team Ross Whyte of Scotland in the B 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.