Kevin Koe at the WestJet Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Players’ Championship Live: Koe, Gushue clash in quarters

April 15, 2017, 3:09 PM

TORONTO — The WestJet Players’ Championship title defence continues for Brad Gushue.

The St. John’s, N.L., native is through to the semifinals after cruising to a 6-1 victory over Calgary’s Kevin Koe in Saturday’s quarters.

Koe rubbed just enough of a guard with his first skip stone in the second end to open the door for Gushue to split the rings. After Koe hit and rolled, Gushue bumped it out to score his deuce.

Gushue stole a point in the third as Koe attempted a double with his shooter hitting off one, but it rolled under the other. Koe had an opportunity to make a difficult double for a deuce, but jammed the first to concede another one.

Facing two staggered, Koe popped them both loose but his shooter rolled into the rings and didn’t have enough gas to go out as it stayed for a single. Gushue, who threw 95 percent, tacked on another two in the sixth and out came the handshakes.

Koe clipped Gushue on Friday to finish the round robin. Team Gushue lead Geoff Walker left the match during the third end with a rib injury, but was back in the lineup for the playoffs.

Walker may not be feeling 100 percent, but he threw at a 100 percent clip in the quarterfinal game.

Gushue topped Koe just over a month ago in the Brier final to win his first career Canadian men’s curling championship and then went on to capture gold at the worlds with a perfect 13-0 record in Edmonton.

WestJet Players’ Championship: Tickets | Scores | Playoff Brackets | Draw Schedule | TV Schedule

Gushue will go up against, who Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen won his fifth consecutive game of the tournament eliminating cross-city rival Reid Carruthers 4-2.

Scotland’s Kyle Smith made a double takeout with his last to scoring the winning single and eliminate Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 7-6.

Smith plays Sweden’s Niklas Edin, who edged Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 4-3.

Watch the women’s quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet 360 with Rachel Homan vs. Val Sweeting, Tracy Fleury vs. Anna Hasselborg, Jennifer Jones vs. Eve Muirhead and Silvana Tirinzoni vs. Casey Scheidegger.

The semifinals are set for Sunday at 11 a.m. ET (Sportsnet).

NOTES: The WestJet Players’ Championship is the fourth and final major of the season. It’s also the penultimate event of the 2016-17 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with the winners earning berths to the year-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup. … The Rogers Grand Slam Cup, awarded to the overall season champions, will also be awarded following the conclusion of the WestJet Players’ Championship.