Einarson edges Strouse to snag WFG playoff berth

Kerri Einarson and her foursome from Gimli, Man., scored a single in the eighth end to edge Delaney Strouse’s crew from Traverse City, Mich., 5-4 on Friday in the WFG Masters at Merlis Belsher Place.

With the win, Einarson extended her playoff streak in the Grand Slam of Curling series to 11 events following the final women’s round-robin draw Friday.

Einarson finished first among the nine teams tied with 2-2 records and earned the No. 5 playoff seed by virtue of a closest-to-the-button skills contest.

Elsewhere in Friday’s 15th draw, Winnipeg’sJennifer Jones edged Stefania Constantini of Italy 9-7 in an extra end, Winnipeg’s Kate Cameron beat Eun-Ji Gim of South Korea 5-4, and Tabitha Peterson from the U.S. topped Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa 8-6.

Jones and Gim, both at 3-1, are through to Saturday’s quarterfinals. Ottawa’s Rachel Homan and Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland wrapped up round-robin play in the morning draw and are also taking 3-1 records into the playoffs.

Only a total of three women’s games could be set for the Saturday morning tiebreaker draw as one tiebreaker game is guaranteed on the men’s side.

Sweden’s Isabella Wranå will play Fujisawa, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg will face Strouse and Kim will take on Peterson.

Cameron and Kaitlyn Lawes, also of Winnipeg, were both eliminated despite their 2-2 records as they had the worst shootout scores.

Tirinzoni, Jones and Homan will await the tiebreaker winners in Saturday’s quarterfinals, while Gim will go up against Einarson.

On the men’s side, Brad Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L. crew advanced to Saturday’s quarterfinals with a 3-1 record following a 5-4 win over Brendan Bottcher’s Calgary-based crew.

Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller also advanced with a 3-1 record after beating Ross Whyte of Scotland 7-4. And Magnus Ramsfjell of Norway advanced to the quarterfinals with a 3-1 record after edging Korey Dropkin of the U.S. 4-3.

Whyte will play Nicklas Edin of Sweden on Saturday morning in a tiebreaker.

In Friday’s late draw, James Craik of Scotland beat Kevin Koe of Calgary 7-5; Joel Retornaz of Italy defeated Edin 7-5 to improve to 3-1; Cameron Bryce of Scotland beat Reid Carruthers of Winnipeg 7-3, who finished 3-1; and Matt Dunstone of Winnipeg beat Bruce Mouat of Scotland 7-6 in an extra end to finish 3-1.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 15, 2023.

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