Hasselborg, Koe qualify for GSOC Tour Challenge playoffs

Peter Steski sits down with GSOC Masters champs Matt Dunstone and Braeden Moskowy, to discuss all the range of emotions from winning their first Grand Slam event, and how they celebrated the huge feat.

PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — It’s the final day of round-robin action at the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge and the playoff picture is taking shape.

Team Anna Hasselborg clinched their spot in the Tier 1 women’s quarterfinals Friday morning by completing a 6-5 comeback over Team Robyn Silvernagle. The reigning Olympic gold medallists from Sweden wrapped up round-robin play with a 3-1 record.

Hasselborg opened the scoring with a deuce in the second, but Silvernagle took control with a three-ender in the third followed by a single steal in the fourth.

After getting just a point in five, Hasselborg stole two in six to regain the lead and stayed one step ahead of Silvernagle from there as the teams exchanged singles in seven and eight.

Team Silvernagle, from North Battleford, Sask., dropped to a 1-2 record but have another group game remaining to stay in contention.

Elsewhere in Draw 10, Team Nina Roth from the United States completed a perfect run through pool play holding on for a 7-6 win over Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man. Roth is not playing as she’s expecting a child and third Tabitha Peterson has moved up to skip in the interim.

A deuce in the first and a steal of three in the second gave Team Roth an early 5-0 lead. The world No. 1 Team Einarson rallied right back taking two in the third and adding back-to-back single steal in the fourth and fifth to close within one.

After Peterson was limited to a single in six, Einarson potted a pair of points in seven to erase the deficit. Peterson held the hammer coming home though and tacked on the winning single.

Team Einarson dropped to a 1-2 record with one more group game Friday.

Sweden’s Team Isabella Wrana doubled up on Team Chelsea Carey of Calgary 8-4. Wrana (1-2) picked up her first win to remain in the mix and eliminated the reigning Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion Carey (0-3) in the process.

Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., scored two in the seventh and stole one in the eighth end to escape with a 5-4 win over Team Elena Stern of Switzerland. Scheidegger is out of the lineup as she’s expecting her second child and 2008 Players’ Championship winner Amber Holland is subbing at skip.

Team Scheidegger is still in it with a 1-2 record while Stern has been eliminated from contention at 0-3.

Reigning Pinty’s Cup champions Team Kevin Koe of Calgary climbed to a 3-0 record in the Tier 1 men’s division to clinch a playoff spot following a 6-4 victory over Team Peter de Cruz of Switzerland.

Eleven-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner John Morris is filling in for Team Koe third B.J. Neufeld (pat leave). De Cruz, who defeated Koe for bronze in the 2018 Winter Olympics, finished winless in the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge at 0-4.

The Tier 1 divisions, featuring 15 of the top teams from around the globe based on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit, are split into three pools for round-robin play with the top eight overall qualifying for the weekend playoffs.

The Tier 2 divisions consist of 16 teams including the next 10 ranked teams on the World Curling Tour’s Order of Merit and six teams from within the event’s region.

Both quarterfinals and semifinals are scheduled for Saturday with the finals set for Sunday.

Up Next

Round-robin action continues at Noon AT / 11 a.m. ET at the Pictou County Wellness Centre with broadcast coverage — featuring Team Jacobs vs. Team Dunstone — on Sportsnet. Online streaming is available via Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Notes

The KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge is the second of six events on the 2019-20 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling schedule. … Winners of the Tier 1 divisions earn $30,000 and berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup. … Also up for grabs in the Tier 1 only are Pinty’s Cup bonus points. The leaders following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship in April will capture the Pinty’s Cup with additional prize money awarded. … Winners of the Tier 2 divisions earn $10,000 and promotions to face the world’s best at the 2020 Meridian Canadian Open.

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