GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — The Italian trio of Team Retornaz are through to the playoffs in the HearingLife Tour Challenge with a 3-0 record.
Skip Joël Retornaz, third Amos Mosaner and second Sebastiano Arman are missing lead Mattia Giovanella this week, but the “Trentino tre” clinched a spot in the quarterfinals with a 6-5 come-from-behind victory over Canada’s Team Bottcher during Draw 10 action Thursday at the Coca-Cola Centre.
Bottcher scored three points in the third end to hold a 4-1 lead, however, Retornaz settled for a single in the fourth before grabbing steals in the fifth and sixth to knot it up.
After Bottcher was held to one in the seventh to pull back ahead, Retornaz took two for the win — after a measurement — in the final frame.
While Retornaz is flying high at the top of the table, Bottcher is at the bottom at 0-3.
Meanwhile, Sweden’s Team Edin also qualified for the playoffs early at 3-0 with a tight 3-1 victory over Canada’s Team Koe.
Tied 1-1, Edin was forced to another single in the fourth but stole one in the sixth to pad the lead. Skip Kevin Koe (2-1) blanked the seventh to retain the hammer coming home, but he didn’t get the opportunity to throw his last rock in eight as his counterpart Niklas Edin ran him out of rocks.
Canada’s Team Flasch picked up their first victory to stay in it by defeating Norway’s Team Walstad 7-3. Both teams hold 1-2 records.
Team Schwaller scored four in the sixth during a 9-6 win over Team Hösli in a Swiss derby matchup. Schwaller improved to a 2-1 record while Hösli has been eliminated at 0-3.
TIER 2 RESULTS
• Sturmay 6, Wiebe 3
• Tao 7, Kim 3
• Hartung 6, Dropkin 3
• Asselin 9, Jacques 5
The HearingLife Tour Challenge is the second event on the 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling calendar with two tiers and a total of 64 teams. Both tiers feature 16 men’s teams and 16 women’s teams. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday as teams play four games against opponents outside of their pool. … The top eight teams overall advance to Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Saturday evening with both finals on tap for Sunday.