Paterson punts Epping to punch Players’ Championship playoff ticket

Ross Paterson in action at the 2019 Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

TORONTO — Team Ross Paterson is clear through to the Players’ Championship men’s playoffs while Team Reid Carruthers is off to a good start to a potential Saturday marathon.

Team Paterson, the Boost National champions from Scotland, punted local favourites Team John Epping 5-2 during the morning tiebreaker draw to advance to the quarterfinals at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

Team Carruthers cruised by Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland 7-2, however, the Winnipeg club will have to play in a second tiebreaker during the following draw against Team Peter de Cruz of Switzerland for the final men’s playoff berth. It doesn’t end there as the men’s quarterfinal draw takes place later in the afternoon with the semifinals in the evening.

The Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams based on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date standings. It’s no surprise then there was a mess of tiebreakers with the best-of-the-best from the year colliding as only Regina’s Team Matt Dunstone (0-5) had been eliminated on the men’s side following the conclusion of round-robin play.

Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., finished pool play with 4-1 records while Team Niklas Edin of Sweden, Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher, Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., and Calgary’s Kevin Koe all clinched spots at 3-2. Edin battles Bottcher and Howard clashes with Koe in the quarters at 4 p.m. ET (Sportsnet NOW) while Jacobs and Gushue’s opponents will be determined after the final tiebreaker game.

The women’s quarterfinals are set for Noon ET: Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg goes up against Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa, Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones faces Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul takes on Team Kerri Einarson in an all-Manitoba match and Team Robyn Silvernagle of North Battleford, Sask., meets Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey.

Broadcast coverage resumes with the women’s quarterfinals on CBC and Sportsnet ONE with online streaming at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Both men’s and women’s semifinals are at 8 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360) with the finals scheduled for Sunday.

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