Kovaleva qualifies for GSOC Meridian Canadian Open playoffs

Team Jacobs and Team Einarson each pick up wins in the triple knockout format, to book their spots in the playoffs, as we recap Thursday's action in the GSOC Meridian Canadian Open.

YORKTON, Sask. — Russia’s Team Alina Kovaleva advanced to the Meridian Canadian Open women’s quarterfinals with a 7-3 victory over Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa during Friday’s morning draw at the Gallagher Centre.

Kovaleva (3-1) scored four points in the sixth end to take the lead for good and added a steal in the seventh to fend off Fujisawa in a B Event final.

The 2018 Winter Olympics bronze medallist Fujisawa (2-2) has one more opportunity to reach the playoffs sliding into the triple knockout C Event finals.

The Meridian Canadian Open is the lone Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event to use the triple knockout format where teams must win three games before they lose three games in order to qualify. Each loss drops teams to a lower bracket until they are eliminated. Two A-qualifiers (3-0 records), three B-qualifiers (3-1 records) and three C-qualifiers (3-2 records) reach the quarterfinals in both men’s and women’s divisions.

Elsewhere in Draw 10, Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones improved to a 2-1 record with an 8-3 win over Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey. Jones moves onto the B Event finals against Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead in Draw 12 later Friday.

Switzerland’s Team Elena Stern stole a point in the eighth end to swipe a 6-5 victory from Japan’s Team Sayaka Yoshimura. Stern (2-1) reached the B Event finals to face Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg.

Carey and Yoshimura, both with 1-2 records, will play each other in the C Event semifinals with elimination on the line.

Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni scored their first win of the tournament to climb to a 1-2 record and stay in the mix. Tirinzoni counted three in the seventh and stole two in the eighth to eliminate Edmonton’s Team Laura Walker 7-3.

South Korea’s Team Min Ji Kim (1-2) also got their first victory downing Edmonton’s Team Kelsey Rocque 8-2.

Tirinzoni takes on Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., and Kim goes up against defending champions Team Rachel Homan from Ottawa in the C Event semifinals during Draw 12.

The Meridian Canadian Open continues with Draw 11 at 1 p.m. ET / Noon CT with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet and online streaming at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: The Meridian Canadian Open is the fourth event and third major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … At stake is a $300,000 total purse, split equally between the men’s and women’s divisions, with the winners earning $35,000 plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup. … Also up for grabs: points for the Pinty’s Cup, which is the season title awarded following the conclusion of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April.

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