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Tirinzoni regains momentum to stay in Princess Auto Players’ Championship

TORONTO — Just when it looked like Silvana Tirinzoni and her team were down and out at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship, the Swiss squad found their world championship-winning form again to turn things around and remain in the mix.

Down 0-2 to start pool play, Team Tirinzoni were on the brink of an early elimination in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling major tournament.

Tirinzoni brushed aside the bad losses though and rattled off three consecutive victories including a 7-1 victory over Canada’s Rachel Homan on Friday night to finish off the group stage at Mattamy Athletic Centre.

It’s the first event for Tirinzoni since running the table to win a fourth consecutive gold medal at last month’s world women’s curling championship in Sweden.

Team Tirinzoni fourth Alina Pätz said it’s awesome they’re still in it and get to play Canada’s Clancy Grandy in a tiebreaker with the winner advancing to the quarterfinals against Tabitha Peterson from the United States.

“The last three games were way better than the start we had,” said Pätz, who has won a total of six golds at the women’s worlds in her career. “We had trouble at the beginning of the tournament to come back to our normal level. We didn’t have a lot of time on the ice the last two weeks, so we took a rest after the worlds.

“It took us some time to get back to 100 per cent but we’re getting better and better. I like our chances for tomorrow.”

Unfortunately for those looking to replicate Team Tirinzoni’s success at the worlds, Pätz said there’s no secret way to do it.

“I’m super proud of how we performed,” she said with a smile. “We played well all week. I think our worst game was the final, but we still pulled out the win there. Just play well and that’s all you have to do.”

Although Pätz was forced to draw for just a single point in the second end to open the scoring against Homan, Team Tirinzoni poured on the pressure to sit three counters in the third. Disaster struck for Homan as her last shot came up light to give up the trio of stolen points.

Things didn’t get much better for Homan in the fourth end as the 12-time Grand Slam women’s champion attempted a double takeout but didn’t connect hard enough with the second counter to concede a stolen single and fall behind 5-0.

Team Homan broke the shutout with a single in the fifth, but Team Tirinzoni tacked two more points on the board in the sixth and out came the handshakes.

The loss eliminated Homan (2-3) from the tournament and put her bid to complete a career Grand Slam on hold.

Meanwhile, Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa qualified for the playoffs at 3-2 following a 9-4 win over Casey Scheidegger’s Canadian club (1-4). Scheidegger and second Jessie Haughian were both away on maternity leave and Chelsea Carey and Jamie Sinclair subbed in. Carey had to return home early though and the team played their final game as just a trio.

Fujisawa will face Canada’s Kerri Einarson (3-2) in the quarterfinals. It’ll be a rematch of January’s Co-op Canadian Open women’s final where Team Fujisawa made history by becoming the first Asian-based club to capture a major title in the series.

South Korea’s Eun-Ji Kim and Sweden’s Isabella Wranå, both at 4-1, hold the byes to the semifinals.

In men’s play, Norway’s Magnus Ramsfjell (2-3) ended on a high note after escaping with a 4-3 win over Canada’s Brendan Bottcher (2-3). Ramsfjell was forced to a single in the seventh end to tie it but stole the winning point in the eighth as Bottcher missed on a runback double attempt.

Ross Whyte (3-2) held on to win 6-5 over reigning world men’s champion Bruce Mouat (0-5) in a Scottish derby.

Whyte will play Canada’s Matt Dunstone (3-2) in the lone men’s tiebreaker. The winner will clash with Canada’s Kevin Koe (4-1) in the quarterfinals.

Sweden’s Niklas Edin (3-2) and Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller (4-1) meet in the other quarterfinal matchup.

Italy’s Joël Retornaz and Canada’s Brad Gushue, both at 4-1, await the winners of the quarterfinals in the semis.


Tiebreakers are set for Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

The quarterfinals (3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet One) and semifinals (7:30 p.m. ET / 4:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet) are also on tap later Saturday.

Both finals are scheduled for Sunday.

Tickets are available at the box office and online at


• Dunstone vs. Whyte
• Tirinzoni vs. Grandy


• Koe vs. Tiebreaker winner
• Edin vs. Schwaller
• Peterson vs. Tiebreaker winner
• Einarson vs. Fujisawa


• Gushue vs. TBD
• Retornaz vs. TBD
• Gim vs. TBD
• Wranå vs. TBD