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Undefeated Fleury, Tirinzoni qualify for Boost National playoffs

CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Team Tracy Fleury and Team Silvana Tirinzoni slid through the A brackets of the triple knockout stage at 3-0 to advance to the Boost National playoffs.

Fleury, from East St. Paul, Man., fended off Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones and Tirinzoni topped Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg by identical 5-4 scores during Draw 12 action Thursday night at Chestermere Recreation Centre.

Both Team Fleury and Team Tirinzoni have Friday off to prepare for the women’s quarterfinals Saturday afternoon. Team Jones and Team Hasselborg dropped into the B brackets with 2-1 records.

“We’re really happy,” said Alina Pätz, who throws last rocks for Team Tirinzoni. “We struggled a bit in the first game but brought our ‘A’ game against (Kerri) Einarson and continued that today. So we’re feeling confident and happy we made it to another quarterfinal.”

Team Fleury, who are ranked No. 1 in the world, have maintained their Masters momentum after winning the opening event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season a week-and-a-half ago in Oakville, Ont.

“Definitely gives us a lot of confidence,” skip Tracy Fleury said. “We’ve been trying to build this season to get ready for the (Olympic) trials, which is hard to believe is two weeks away. I feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”

Coincidentally, Fleury topped Jones in an extra end during the Masters women’s final and the repeat was another close matchup.

Starting with the hammer gave Fleury the edge as she was practically perfect on the draw-to-the-button shootout with her rock only 0.1 cm away from the pinhole. That set the pace and Fleury converted with the hammer to start drawing for a deuce in the first frame.

Jones responded taking two right back in the second to tie it and it was binary code through the remainder of the game with only singles back and forth. Fleury held the hammer in the final frame tied 4-all and made an open hit for the winning single.

“It was really back and forth and lots of good shots by both teams,” said Fleury, who shot an in credible 95 per cent. “It’s always a close game with them and we’re happy to come out with the win.”

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It was also evenly matched between Team Tirinzoni and Team Hasselborg and a preview of the Winter Olympic Games with both clubs already booking their tickets to Beijing.

Team Tirinzoni fourth Alina Pätz drew to the four-foot circle to score three in the third end and they led 4-2 after six until Hasselborg had an open draw to score a deuce in the seventh end to bring things level.

The two-time reigning world champion Tirinzoni held the hammer coming home in eight and Pätz pulled off the high-pressure draw to bite a piece of the button.

“It was a tough game,” Pätz said. “I think we played pretty strong, but you can’t just feel safe against Team Hasselborg. It was a tough game, but I’m really happy we came out with the win.”

Meanwhile, Edmonton’s Team Laura Walker is still in the mix after thumping Switzerland’s Team Irene Schori 9-3 in the C brackets.

Things didn’t start out so good for Walker (1-2) as Schori scored a deuce in the first and stole one in the second for an early 3-0 hold. Walker erased the deficit and then some in the third end. Schori missed on both of her skips stone allowing Walker to score four and jump ahead.

Walker continued to tack on points as Schori struggled giving up stolen singles in the fourth and fifth ends, two in the sixth and one more in the seventh.

Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa (1-2) also remained afloat in the C-side scoring three in the seventh and stealing one in the eighth end to shade Team Un-Chi Gim from South Korea 6-4.

Schori and Gim are now out of the tournament finishing with 0-3 records.


The triple knockout stage continues Friday with Draw 13 at 8 a.m. MT. Broadcast coverage resumes with Draw 14 at 2 p.m. ET / Noon MT on Sportsnet, 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