CHESTERMERE, Alta. — Team Isabella Wranå advanced to the playoffs for the first time in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling at the Boost National.
Team Wranå and Team Anna Hasselborg from Sweden plus Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque booked their berths to the women’s quarterfinals Friday through the B brackets of the triple knockout stage with 3-1 records.
Wranå won 7-4 over Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones, the defending champions Team Hasselborg doubled up on Team Corryn Brown of Kamloops, B.C., 8-4, and Rocque rolled past Team Hollie Duncan of Woodstock, Ont., in a 9-1 rout.
“It feels so good,” said skip Isabella Wranå, who missed the playoffs in her first eight GSOC appearances. “We have tried many times at the Slams now to qualify for the playoffs, so it was a really big goal for us to come to the quarterfinals this time.”
Wranå missed an in-turn tap in the first to give up a single steal, but the 2017 world junior champion didn’t make the same mistake twice and pulled it off for a count of three in the second. That kept Jones chasing and the nine-time GSOC title winner hit to score two in the seventh end. Wranå held the hammer coming home in eight up 5-4 and tacked another two points on the board.
The victory came a day after Wranå stole in the extra end to edge Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan. Wranå said it means a lot for her team to defeat Homan and Jones back-to-back.
“These are two very good teams that we’ve looked up to for many years, so it’s really nice to be able to go out and compete against them and get some wins sometimes as well,” Wranå said/ “It’s really fun and we’re feeling like we’re getting somewhere.”
Jones, Brown and Duncan (all at 2-2) have one last chance to advance through the evening C-qualifiers.
Duncan faces Homan, who hit for the winning single in the eighth end to edge Team Min-Ji Kim from South Korea 4-3 in the C semifinals.
Jones faces Team Alina Kovaleva from Russia and Brown will play Edmonton’s Team Laura Walker.
Kovaleva dispatched Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 6-3 and Walker eliminated two-time reigning Players’ champions Team Kerri Einarson 6-5 during the morning draw.
TRIPLE KNOCKOUT EXPLAINED
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.
NO TICK ZONE
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 boost.goigniter.com.