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McEwen punts Paterson in Boost National tiebreaker to qualify

CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — Better late than never, Winnipeg’s Team Mike McEwen locked down the final playoff spot for the Boost National.

The seven-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner McEwen qualified at the last minute with a 7-4 victory over defending champions Team Ross Paterson of Scotland in Saturday morning’s tiebreaker game at CBS Arena.

McEwen got out to a fast start scoring a deuce in the first and stole two in the second to build an early 4-0 lead. Paterson was forced to a single in three, but McEwen matched with a point in four and added a steal in five to extend his lead to 6-1.

Paterson rebounded hard and got back into the game with a three-spot in six but could not complete the comeback as McEwen tacked another point on the board in seven.

Team McEwen will now take on No. 1 seed Team Niklas Edin of Sweden in the late afternoon quarterfinals at 5 p.m. NT. Also on tap are Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., vs. Team Peter de Cruz of Switzerland; Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe vs. Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland; and Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., vs. Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher.

Edin, Gushue, De Cruz, Koe, Mouat, Jacobs and Bottcher all qualified with 3-1 round-robin records while McEwen and Paterson finished pool play at 2-2.

The women’s quarterfinals are up first at 1:30 p.m. NT with Switzerland’s Team Elena Stern vs. Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa; Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., vs. Team Robyn Silvernagle of North Battleford, Sask.; Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead; and Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey vs. Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg.

Fujisawa stole a point in the eighth end to edge Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., 3-2 and Silvernagle bounced Team Silvana Tirinzoni 9-3 during the women’s tiebreakers Friday night.

Stern and Fleury posted perfect 4-0 records through pool play; Muirhead, Carey and Hasselborg all went 3-1 while Jones, Fujisawa, Silvernagle, Einarson and Tirinzoni finished at 2-2. The nine-time GSOC title winner Jones advanced directly to the quarterfinals based on draw-to-the-button shootout totals.

Broadcast coverage resumes with the women’s quarterfinals on Sportsnet ONE and CBC (Noon ET) followed by the men’s quarterfinals on Sportsnet ONE (3:30 p.m. ET) and the men’s and women’s semifinals on Sportsnet ONE (7 p.m. ET). Online streaming for all playoff draws is available via Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international).

Both finals are set for Sunday.

NOTES: The Boost National is the third event and second major of the 2019-20 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 15 of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the world. Qualification is based on the WCF World Team Ranking system. … A $300,000 combined purse is on the line, split equally between both divisions, with the winners receiving $35,000 each plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup in Olds, Alta. … Teams also earn points towards the Pinty’s Cup awarded to the season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April.