News Players' Championship

Team McEwen escapes with win over Team Dunstone in Players’ Championship

Dunny wasn’t money Wednesday in the sixth draw of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.

Team Matt Dunstone of Wadena, Sask., took a risk in the seventh end throwing their last rock away to concede a point and fall behind by one to Team Mike McEwen in order to retain the hammer for the decisive final frame looking to score two for the win.

Another messy house in the eighth meant Dunstone had to pull off a circus shot just to get to the button to potentially score one and force an extra end. Dunstone raised his guard, redirected off of one stone to get into the house then zig-zagged off of another to bite a piece of the lid. It wasn’t enough to out-count Team McEwen’s shot rock, however, as the Winnipeg club held on to win 5-3.

Both teams are now level with 1-1 records in the second of back-to-back Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling events inside the bubble.

Third Reid Carruthers has moved up to skip Team McEwen to wrap up the season with the pair of Grand Slams. The skip remained home to be with his wife, Team Jennifer Jones lead Dawn McEwen, who gave birth to the couple’s second daughter last week. Tyler Tardi of Langley, B.C., is in as a sub. Lead Colin Hodgson (personal) also opted out of the bubble and Carruthers, Tardi and Samagalski are playing as a trio.

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Elsewhere in Draw 6, Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., and Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller moved up to matching 2-0 records. Gushue got past Toronto’s Team John Epping in a 6-3 set and Schwaller scored a single in the eighth end to clip Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe 5-4. While Gushue and Schwaller are out on the right foot, Epping and Koe are trending in the opposite direction at identical 0-2 records.

Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., picked up their first win of the event downing Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni 8-1. Team Fleury (1-2) dropped their first couple games and already needed a win to stay in the mix. Two-time Canadian champion Chelsea Carey is skipping this week after Fleury left the bubble to return home. Fleury’s young daughter was diagnosed with infantile spasms in November and the skip from Sudbury, Ont., missed the Scotties Tournament of Hearts with Carey coming on board there, too.

The Princess Auto Players’ Championship is closed to the public. One more round-robin draw is on tap Wednesday, watch live coverage at 10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. MT on Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific and Sportsnet 360 or stream online at Sportsnet Now (Canada) or Yare (international).

The Princess Auto Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world. Both divisions are split into two pools for round-robin play with the top six overall qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semifinals go down Saturday evening with both championship games scheduled for Sunday. The prestigious major event follows the Humpty’s Champions Cup, which wrapped up Monday with Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan capturing the women’s title and Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat victorious on the men’s side.