Bruce Mouat shoots a stone during the Boost National men's quarterfinals on Dec. 15, 2018, in Conception Bay South, N.L. (Anil Mungal)

Mouat turfs Gushue on home turf at Boost National

December 15, 2018, 1:31 PM

CONCEPTION BAY SOUTH, N.L. — There’s something about the Boost National and/or playing against hometown heroes that brings out the best in Team Bruce Mouat.

The defending champions from Scotland turfed Team Brad Gushue 7-5 on the St. John’s crew’s home turf during Saturday’s quarterfinals at the sold-out CBS Arena.

It was the second victory in as many days for Mouat against Gushue. Mouat prevailed during their meeting in the final round-robin draw to finish first overall in pool play at 4-0. The 11-time Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title winner Gushue went 2-2 and needed a tiebreaker win Friday evening over Team Yannick Schwaller to qualify for the playoffs.

Team Mouat took the long road last year — ousting Team Brad Jacobs during a tiebreaker in the Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., club’s hometown — en route to their title win. Mouat also made history becoming the youngest men’s skip to claim a championship in the series at age 23.

The No. 1 seed Mouat opened with the hammer and never trailed converting with the hammer for a couple of points in the first.

Gushue took two right back in the second and Mouat drew for another deuce in three.

The difference-maker actually came in the fourth, the lone end to feature a single score, with Gushue forced to just one point and Mouat leading 4-3 at the break.

The teams potted pairs of points back and forth in five and six and Mouat blanked seven to retain the all-important hammer for the final frame where he tacked another single on the board.

Team Mouat advanced to the semifinals against Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe, who eliminated Winnipeg’s Team Jason Gunnlaugson 9-5.

Boost National: Scores & Playoff Brackets | Game Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

The other semifinal matchup sees Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., against Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson.

The 56-year-old Howard has still got it as his squad iced the red-hot Team Jacobs, 5-4 in an extra end. Howard is a winner of 14 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles including a record-tying four National championships.

Team Jacobs went 4-0 through round-robin play with Matt Wozniak subbing at second and E.J. Harnden moving up to third as Ryan Fry is taking a break due to personal reasons.

Paterson punted Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin 7-4.

Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., rode away on the steal train with a 12-0 rout to knock out Team Jamie Sinclair of the United States in the lone women’s tiebreaker to qualify for the playoffs. Einarson stole back-to-back four-enders in the opening two stanzas, pirated three in the third and one more in the fourth end for the baker’s dozen.

Team Einarson will play reigning Olympic gold medallists Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden in the women’s quarterfinals alongside Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones vs. Scotland’s Team Eve Muirhead, Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan vs. Toronto’s Team Jacqueline Harrison and Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni vs. Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa.

The women’s quarterfinals are at 3 p.m. NT / 1:30 p.m. ET (CBC; featuring Jones vs. Muirhead) with both semifinals at 7:30 p.m. NT / 6 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360). All playoff draws are also streaming online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Both finals are scheduled for Sunday.

NOTES: The Boost National is the fourth event and second major of the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season. … Winners of the Boost National collect $30,000 of the $250,000 total purse plus berths to the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale Humpty’s Champions Cup. … 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 in April. … All games are played to eight ends with 33 minutes of thinking time plus two, 90-second timeouts. The five-rock rule is also in effect.