Mike McEwen delivers a rock during the men's quarterfinals of the Players' Championship in Toronto on April 14, 2018. (Anil Mungal)

McEwen slams Gunnlaugson in Players’ Championship quarterfinals

April 14, 2018, 2:22 PM

TORONTO — The Players’ Championship is down to the final four in the men’s division.

Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen raced into the semifinals of the pinnacle Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournament with a 9-3 Saturday thumping on city rival Jason Gunnlaugson at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

McEwen was already ahead by a point after two ends when he dropped a gem in the third counting a five-ender. Gunnlaugson took two in the fifth, but shook hands before McEwen could even throw his last in the sixth already sitting a pair.

Team McEwen, who earned their seventh title in the series last month at the Princess Auto Elite 10, clash with Kevin Koe’s crew from Calgary in the semifinals. Koe, who defeated McEwen in December’s Olympic Trials to represent Canada at the Pyeongchang Winter Games, clipped Toronto’s own John Epping 5-4 in the quarterfinals.

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The other semifinal match sees a rematch of the world championship final between Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L.

Defending Players’ champ Edin beat Scotland’s Kyle Smith 6-3 and Gushue got past Scotland’s Bruce Mouat 6-2.

Edin topped Gushue 7-3 for his third career world title this past Sunday in Las Vegas.

Also on the line at the Players’ Championship is the $75,000 Bonus Cup, awarded to the season champion with only Gushue and McEwen remaining in the mix on the men’s side. Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones already clinched the Bonus Cup for the women’s division.

The 26th running of the Players’ Championship continues at 3:30 p.m. ET with the women’s semifinals featuring Jones versus Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa. Also in action are Scotland’s Eve Muirhead meeting Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni, American Nina Roth going up against Winnipeg’s Kerri Einarson and Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg facing American Jamie Sinclair.

Stream the Players’ Championship playoffs online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare TV (international).