Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe climbed into the Humpty’s Champions Cup semifinals with a 5-3 victory over Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., during Sunday’s quarterfinals at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.
Koe will now take on reigning Canadian champions Team Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton in a rematch of last month’s Brier final that happened right in that very same rink.
Although Koe opened with the hammer, Jacobs stole a point in the first frame to open the scoring. Koe regrouped quickly with a three-ender in the second and remained one step beyond.
Jacobs was in chase mode from there and couldn’t close the gap with singles back and forth in three and five. After Jacobs was held to another lonely point in six, Koe blanked the seventh to retain the hammer coming home and tacked another point on the board.
Team Jacobs won their third consecutive Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling men’s title at the Meridian Canadian Open in January 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of last year’s remaining events and postponed the start of this season to April.
Speaking of rematches, there was one that wasn’t a repeat as Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat stole a point in the seventh and another in the eighth to eliminate Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin 6-5.
Edin defeated Mouat 10-5 exactly one week ago to earn his record fifth world championship and third in a row. Although Edin held the hammer coming home, Mouat forced him into making a tricky angle raise with little-to-no time left on the clock and just didn’t connect the runback in the right spot and sent it sideways.
Mouat will play Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., in the semifinals. The No. 1 seed Gushue completed an undefeated 4-0 run through pool play with a thrilling 7-4 win Saturday night over Mouat.
Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan hit for the winning single in the eighth end to oust Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 5-4. Homan, who gave birth to daughter Bowyn three weeks ago, has now won four consecutive games after losing 6-3 in Thursday’s opening draw to Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man.
The teams will square off once more in the semifinals with Einarson earning a bye undefeated at 4-0. It’s also a rematch of the past two Scotties Tournament of Hearts finals where Einarson was victorious both times as well.
Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland kept their women’s title defence alive with an 8-7 extra-end victory over Russia’s Team Alina Kovaleva.
Fourth Alina Pätz scored the winner although her final shot bumped Kovaleva’s shot rock but rolled back in to bite just enough of the button. The measuring stick came out and determined it was Team Tirinzoni’s rock for the shot.
Tirinzoni will now go up against Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man. Fleury earned a bye to the semis with an unblemished 4-0 record.
The series is testing a new rule at the Humpty’s Champions Cup called the no tick zone. A rock touching the centre line, in the free guard zone, may not be moved off the centre line by the opposing team until the sixth rock of the end.
The championship games are on tap for Monday. There’s no rest for the world’s best with the Princess Auto Players’ Championship set to begin Tuesday. Both events are closed to the general public.