John Morris at the WestJet Players' Championship in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Players’ Championship Live: Morris, Carruthers clash in tiebreaker

April 15, 2017, 10:44 AM

TORONTO — John Morris and his Vernon, B.C., team collide with Winnipeg’s Reid Carruthers in the tiebreaker draw Saturday morning at the WestJet Players’ Championship.

Carruthers stole two in the seventh to pull ahead and held on in eight swiping a couple more to win 9-5.

After Team Morris fourth Jim Cotter missed the angle on a runback in the second, Carruthers capitalized with an open draw for three. Morris bounced right back with Cotter easing his last into the paint for three to draw level. Cotter made a great hit and roll to lie shot in four and Carruthers flashed the blank attempt to give up a steal.

Morris extended his lead in five as Carruthers clipped his own to hand over another steal. Carruthers counted two in the sixth to bring things even again. The steal show continued as Carruthers sat two across the house to force the draw and Cotter was light on the delivery.

Cotter clipped a guard in the eighth end and that was handshakes.

Carruthers faces top-seed Mike McEwen of Winnipeg in the men’s quarterfinals. The other three playoff matches were set with Brad Jacobs vs. Kyle Smith, Brad Gushue vs. Kevin Koe and Niklas Edin vs. Peter de Cruz.

Catlin Schneider filled in for injured Team Morris lead Rick Sawatsky. Schneider is throwing second stones with Tyrel Griffith moving over to lead. Morris was unable to surpass Laycock in the CTRS points race with a guaranteed berth to the Olympic Trials on the line.

Carruthers crushed Laycock 11-3 in the first round of tiebreakers Friday night.

It’s the final event of the season as a whole for Team Carruthers as their skip, along with Team Homan’s Joanne Courtney, will represent Canada later this month at the world mixed doubles championship. Carruthers will miss out on defending the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup, however, the other three will move up in the lineup and new alternate/adviser Craig Savill is planning to make his debut with the team at lead.

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Meanwhile Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg drew for a single in the extra end to eliminate Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., 5-4.

It was a rebound after Hasselborg hit and rolled out in the eighth to give up a steal to require the extra.

Hasselborg takes on top-seed Tracy Fleury in the women’s quarterfinals. The other three playoff games are Rachel Homan vs. Val Sweeting, Jennifer Jones vs. Eve Muirhead and Silvana Tirinzoni vs. Casey Scheidegger.

The men’s quarterfinals are Saturday at 3 p.m. ET (CBC) with the women’s quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. ET (Sportsnet 360). Watch both draws online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or (international).

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.