Stoughton tops Ulsrud at Players’ Championship

Jeff Stoughton won the National Grand Slam of Curling title in January.

TORONTO — Winnipeg skip Jeff Stoughton scored a three-ender and two deuces to defeat Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 7-4 in Draw 11 of the Players’ Championship at the Mattamy Athletic Centre on Friday.

The win improved Stoughton’s record to 2-1 in the tournament.

Ulsrud, who finished the round-robin at 2-2, scored two in the first end to open the game.

Stoughton blanked the second to retain the hammer for the third. Ulsrud couldn’t pull off a double takeout and Stoughton eased his final shot into the house to pick up three points.

Ulsrud blanked the fourth but was forced to settle for a single in the fifth to tie it up 3-3.

Stoughton reclaimed the lead with a deuce in the sixth.

Ulsrud could only manage to score one in the seventh and turned over the hammer to Stoughton for the final end where the reigning National Grand Slam of Curling champion earned another deuce.

McEwen 5, Kean 4

Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen (3-0) eased his final rock into the house to score two in the eighth end and won 5-3 against Toronto’s Mark Kean (0-4).

McEwen’s final shot of the second brushed a guard and Kean’s team picked up a steal of one to open the scoring. McEwen bounced back and earned a deuce in the third.

Kean then picked up two points in the sixth end to grab the lead.

Epping 7, Frans 6 (EE) 

Toronto’s John Epping kept his hopes of defending the Players’ Championship title alive with a 7-6 win in extra ends over Joe Frans.

The Bradford, Ont., rink held the hammer but Frans’ final shot bumped a guard and gave Epping the steal of one and the victory.

Frans fell to 1-3 while Epping capped the round-robin portion at 2-2.

Tirinzoni 8, Sigfridsson 5 

In the women’s division, Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni (2-2) handed Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson her first loss of the tournament with an 8-5 win in seven ends.

Sigfridsson (3-1) pulled ahead with a three-ender in the second but Tirinzoni earned a huge four score in the fifth end to grab the lead.

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