Niklas Edin shoots a stone during the ninth round-robin draw of the Canadian Beef Masters on Oct. 25, 2018, in Truro, N.S. (Anil Mungal)

Edin, Jones qualify for playoffs at Masters

October 25, 2018, 9:49 PM

TRURO, N.S. — Sweden’s Niklas Edin has flipped the script in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling.

After missing the playoffs at the season-opening Princess Auto Elite 10, as well as last year’s Humpty’s Champions Cup finale, Edin’s crew qualified for the quarterfinals at the Canadian Beef Masters.

The three-time GSOC title winners scored their third consecutive win to remain undefeated by beating Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 8-2 during Thursday’s evening draw at Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

“It’s been two Slams in a row now, the Champions Cup last year and the Elite 10 we didn’t qualify, so we’re not used to that,” said Team Edin third Oskar Eriksson. “It’s good to bounce back here and sitting good right now going into the playoffs.”

Don’t let the final score fool you as it was a tough matchup to start, as usual, between the two powerhouse squads. Edin opened with a deuce in the first and the teams alternated singles in two and three.

“They’re one of the best teams in the world, so you have to bring your A-game to have a chance against those guys,” said Eriksson, who curled a team-high 93 percent. “We saw that they’ve been struggling a little bit during the week, so we just said to each other we have to try and put some pressure on them and try to score more points.”

Jacobs, the 2014 Olympic gold medallist, was forced to another lone point in four and made Edin throw a tricky angle raise in six to avoid a steal and score one to reclaim the two-point advantage 4-2.

Edin poured on the pressure in the seventh though and Jacobs opted to play a runback that misfired completely, sending his own stone wide and leaving four counters behind to bring out the handshakes.

“He made a beauty tap there to force us into a tough shot in the sixth end. It could have been three or four if he misses that shot a little bit with Brad on his last,” Eriksson said. “I think he only missed one shot and it was his last in the seventh end. He has some tough shots to play but he made almost every one.”

While Team Edin climbed to a 3-0 record, Team Jacobs headed in the opposite direction to 0-3.

Canadian Beef Masters: Tickets | Scores | Standings | Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

Elsewhere in the ninth draw, Team Matt Dunstone of Regina are on the board with a 7-3 win over Team Jason Gunnlaugson of Morris, Man. Dunstone improved to a 1-2 record to stay in the mix while Gunnlaugson fell to 0-3.

Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., fought off the jet lag for another night to pull off a 5-2 victory over Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers in a repeat of Princess Auto Elite 10 final. Gushue, who grabbed his 11th career GSOC title last month, arrived to the Canadian Beef Masters straight from competing at the China Open and is now up 2-0 while Carruthers sits at 2-1.

Reigning world champions Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg also made the trek halfway around the world from Chongqing and appear unfazed by fatigue, too, as they qualified for the playoffs.

“We’re actually surprisingly not bad,” Team J. Jones second Jocelyn Peterman said. “As soon as we got off the plane, we convinced ourselves that we were on Truro time, so it’s been good.”

Jones earned her third straight win of the Canadian Beef Masters defeating Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead 5-3. Muirhead slipped to a 0-3 record.

“It’s great,” Peterman said. “It was good to come here after playing in China and get off to a good start.”

Gushue and Jones are the defending Canadian Beef Masters champions capturing the titles a year ago in Lloydminster, Sask., with unblemished 7-0 records.

Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man., wrapped up their round-robin set early with a 2-2 record and now have a day off to play the waiting game to determine where they land next. Fleury finished things off with a commanding 7-2 win over reigning world junior champions Team Kaitlyn Jones (2-1) of Halifax.

The Canadian Beef Masters is the second event and first major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 15 of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the world. Divisions are split into three pools for round-robin play during the week with the top eight overall qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals are set for Sunday.

Round-robin action continues Friday at 8 a.m. AT with broadcast coverage resuming at 11:30 a.m. AT (10:30 a.m. ET) on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: Winners take home $30,000 of the $250,000 total purse plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup in April. … Points are also on the line for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship.