John Epping in action during the Canadian Beef Masters men's quarterfinals on Oct. 27, 2018, in Truro, N.S. (Anil Mungal)

Epping, Edin & Mouat move onto Masters semifinals

October 27, 2018, 1:28 PM

TRURO, N.S. — Toronto’s John Epping channelled his inner Steph Curry to advance to the Canadian Beef Masters men’s semifinals.

Epping scored a trio of three-enders — and nothing but — during his club’s 9-5 victory over Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson in Saturday’s quarterfinal draw at Rath Eastlink Community Centre.

Team Epping will now play Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin for an opportunity to reach the championship game. It’ll be a rematch from the round-robin portion where Epping earned a decisive 6-1 win.

“They looked like they played quite well today,” Epping said. “I was peeking over on their sheet and it looks like those guys were making everything. Maybe we just caught them off on a bad day yesterday. Hopefully, we can be sharp tomorrow against them.”

Team Edin third Oskar Eriksson admitted just as much to explain for their lone loss but is looking forward to Round 2.

“We were a little off in that game against Epping and didn’t get a good start,” he said. “We were already in the playoffs, we just didn’t burn more energy than needed, but that was a bad game by us, so we need to step it up.

“Those guys have been playing really good, scoring lots of three-enders, so we’ve just got to be careful without the hammer, try to force them or give up two and try to get a deuce back.”

After giving up a steal to start, Epping was on target chipping out Paterson’s counter to score his first trey in the third end.

Paterson was forced to a single in four and went deep on his last in five allowing Epping to draw for another three-ender and hold a 6-2 advantage.

Epping had a couple misfires in the sixth end, which allowed Paterson to count three points of his own and claw back within one. However, Epping added his final score in the seventh and ran Paterson out of rocks, and out of the tournament, in the eighth.

It was deja vu from earlier in the week where Paterson and Epping had a wild round-robin game that also featured four sets of three-enders, although that game resulted in an 8-7 win for Paterson.

“We played solid early and a little blip there in six to give up that three. Just a couple bad misses by me, actually,” Epping said. “It’s funny, that’s the second game in a row against them we’ve had four threes in the game. Lots of scoring but that’s the five-rock [rule] too, a little miss here or there and you get an opportunity to score three.”

Speaking of rematches, but not a repeat, Edin ousted Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 4-2. Gushue topped Edin during last year’s Masters final in Lloydminster, Sask.

“It’s awesome to win over Gushue,” Eriksson said. “We played a really good game and put the pressure on them early. We got a two-point lead after four and just tried to defend that lead. It’s really tough with the five-rock rule but we managed to force them in the fifth and kept the hammer all the way to the eight end. It’s a big win for us.”

Edin opened with the hammer and was forced to draw for a single against three counters in the second end. Gushue looked to convert with the hammer in the third, but tapped Edin’s counter too light and the shooter rolled away. The measuring stick came out and went around a few times before Gushue was awarded the one point on his other stone.

The fourth end turned out to be the deciding factor as Gushue’s first skip stone possibly picked and allowed Edin to lie three. Gushue doubled out two of them but left Edin an opportunity to draw for a deuce and a 3-1 lead.

Edin maintained control of the game forcing Gushue to another single in five, blanked back-to-back ends to retain the hammer coming home and then drew into the four-foot circle while facing two counters to move on.

“It’s huge to get a two-point lead over any team here,” Eriksson said. “It’s very important. It’s tough to be behind, you have to take a little bit more extra risk to get back into the game and sometimes it’s run over. This time it was really close but we’re happy to get the draw to the four-foot for the win.”

Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat reached the semis defeating reigning Olympic gold medallists Team John Shuster, from the U.S., 9-3.

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Mouat’s opponent is still TBD as he faces the winner between No. 1 seed Team Kevin Koe of Calgary and Team Matt Dunstone of Regina.

Dunstone had to play in a late tiebreaker during the men’s quarterfinal draw eliminating Halifax’s Team Jamie Murphy 7-3 to qualify. Koe clashes with Dunstone during the following draw adjacent to the women’s quarterfinals.

The women’s quarterfinals are set: Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg; Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., vs. Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man.; Halifax’s Team Kaitlyn Jones vs. Edmonton’s Team Chelsea Carey; and Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan vs. Winnipeg’s Team Darcy Robertson.

Watch the women’s quarterfinals at 3 p.m. ET / Noon PT on CBC with online streaming at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or Yare (international).

The semifinals and finals are set for Sunday.

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.