Mouat defeats Ruohonen to begin quest for the Masters
OAKVILLE, Ont. — New Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season, same Team Bruce Mouat.
The Scottish squad, who won both GSOC men’s titles last season, picked up where they left off with a 7-3 victory Tuesday over Team Rich Ruohonen of the United States to begin their quest for the Masters at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Team Mouat moved onto the A Event semifinals of the triple knockout while Team Ruohonen dropped to the B Event. Teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.
Mouat was down by one after three ends and scored a deuce in the fourth to pull ahead then added a single steal in the fifth to pad the lead 4-2. Ruohonen was held to one point in six, Mouat matched with a single in seven and tacked on a steal of two in the final frame.
Team Mouat captured the Champions Cup and Princess Auto Players’ Championship back-to-back in the Calgary bubble in April and are looking to make it three in a row in the series.
Elsewhere in the third draw, Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., got by Scotland’s Team Ross Whyte 6-5. Gushue held the hammer coming home down by one and capitalized after Whyte wrecked on his own guard. That allowed the 11-time GSOC title winner Gushue to play an open hit for two and the win.
Reigning Canadian champions Team Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton rode the steal train to a 6-2 win over Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson. Bottcher was already up by one and stole single points in the sixth, seventh and eighth ends to seal the victory.
Toronto’s Team John Epping fended off Team Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland 4-2 scoring a single in the seventh and stealing a point in the eighth.
Triple knockout play continues with Draw 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET.
NOTES: 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. … 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. … Broadcast coverage begins Thursday at 11 a.m. ET on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).