Brad Gushue delivers a stone during the opening draw of the WestJet Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Players’ Championship Live: Gushue clashes with Koe

April 14, 2017, 3:34 PM

TORONTO — It’s the final round-robin draw in the men’s division at the WestJet Players’ Championship.

Calgary’s Kevin Koe defeated Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., 4-2 in a Brier final rematch. The two teams finished with 3-2 records and will face off again Saturday in the quarterfinals.

Team Gushue lead Geoff Walker left the game during the third end due to a rib injury.

Watch on Sportsnet, online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or gsoc.yaretv.com (international)

Koe drew for two in the second end and Gushue knotted it up with a single in three and a steal in five when Koe faced a pair and clipped the top counter. Third Marc Kennedy had to join sweepers Scott Pfeifer and Brent Laing to drag in Koe’s draw and score a single by an inch in six.

Gushue sat four after his first skip stone in seven, but Koe was able to draw into the button. Gushue looked to run back one of his own, but only chipped Koe’s counter, which caught a rock in the back to slow down and stay for shot. Koe ran Gushue out of rocks in eight.

Pfeifer is filling in again this week for injured lead Ben Hebert.

Gushue topped Koe to win his first career Canadian men’s championship last month in his hometown and went 13-0 en route to gold at the worlds in Edmonton.

Elsewhere, Peter de Cruz of Switzerland needed an extra end to edge Scotland’s Kyle Smith 8-6. De Cruz and Smith are also through with 3-2 records.

Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., wrapped up a 4-1 record cruising past Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock 8-3. Jacobs made a double takeout to score four in the first and stole in the second to jump out of the gate with a five-point lead. Laycock couldn’t close the gap as the teams alternated singles in three and four. Laycock took two in five and Jacobs matched with a deuce in six.

Laycock (2-3) will play in a tiebreaker this evening against an opponent to be determined.

Sweden’s Niklas Edin (3-2) fended off Toronto’s John Epping 6-5. Edin scored three in the third and stole one in three to hold a 4-0 lead. Epping (0-5) cut the deficit in half with a deuce in four. Edin got a single in five and stole in six to reclaim the four-point advantage and Epping scored another deuce in seven to narrow the gap again. Edin got in there for second shot with his last coming home in eight to concede a point but secure the victory.

Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., defeated Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., 7-6 in an extra end. Flaxey took two in the sixth and stole one in seven to lead 6-2, but Scheidegger scored four in the eighth to force the extra.

Flaxey (2-3) will play in a tiebreaker while Scheidegger (3-2) is into the quarterfinals.

Round-robin action at the WestJet Players’ Championship wraps up Friday evening at 7 p.m. ET. Watch Draw 13 exclusively online at Sportsnet NOW.

NOTES: The WestJet Players’ Championship is the fourth major and sixth event of the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season and runs through to Sunday at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre. … The Rogers Grand Slam Cup will be awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the WestJet Players’ Championship. … Winners of the WestJet Players’ Championship will earn berths to the Humpty’s Champions Cup running April 25-30 in Calgary.

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