News National

McEwen ousts Epping to stay in contention at Boost National

CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Mike McEwen’s Winnipeg-based team avoided early elimination by scoring their first win of the Boost National to stay in contention.

Team McEwen ousted Toronto’s Team John Epping 4-1 in the C brackets of the triple knockout stage during Draw 11 Thursday at Chestermere Recreation centre.

McEwen (1-2) isn’t out of the weeds just yet and still needs to win two more games in a row in order to qualify for the playoffs.

“It was good,” skip Mike McEwen said. “The intensity was up. We had a great first game against (Peter) de Cruz and then we came out flat against (Braden) Calvert. Had we been like that today we would have been a quick exit.

“I could tell the guys had a little click in their step. That translated into us playing with a good amount of confidence.” 

The seven-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner McEwen started with the hammer and scored a deuce in the opening frame. After forcing Epping to a single in the second, McEwen blanked three consecutive ends before settling for a point in the sixth to reclaim the two-point advantage.

“The ends don’t start out that way, that’s for sure,” McEwen said with a smile. “Having that many blanks on the scoreboard is not really indicative of what the teams are trying to do offensively. The boys moved some rocks today and there was some good shot-making to get those blanks. Not that that was the intention but that’s how it ended up.”

It became a three-point gap in the seventh as Epping attempted an angle raise but ran it straight back to give up a steal. McEwen ran Epping out of rocks and out of the tournament in the eighth end.

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Winnipeg’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson (1-2) also remained in the tournament with a 6-4 victory over Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson (0-3).

Meanwhile, Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., and Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin qualified through the A-side at 3-0.

Gushue defeated Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat 8-6 and Edin scored four points in the seventh end to lift his squad to a 7-3 victory over Team Peter de Cruz of Switzerland and into the quarterfinals. 

Mouat and de Cruz dropped into the B brackets with 2-1 records.


The triple knockout stage continues with Draw 12 at 10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. MT. Watch on Sportsnet East, Ontario, Pacific, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).


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. 


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.


The Boost National is the second 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 with a combined $300,000 prize purse. … The winning teams earning $33,000 plus spots in 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