The calibre of rinks involved in tiebreakers on Friday evening at the Masters Grand Slam of Curling in Abbotsford was a testament to the incredible depth of the field.
On the men’s side, 2010 world champion Kevin Koe of Edmonton and reigning world champ Niklas Edin of Sweden needed to win do-or-die games to punch their tickets to the quarter-finals. Koe scored three in the seventh end to knock off John Epping 5-3, while Edin prevailed 6-2 over Sven Michel of Switzerland. All four rinks had finished at 2-2 following the round robin portion of the event.
On the women’s side, another current world champ – Scotland’s Eve Muirhead – had to weather a tiebreaker, and she did so in dominant fashion, beating Sherry Middaugh’s Ontario rink 7-1 in five ends.
Muirhead and Middaugh were among five women’s rinks tied at 2-2. On the other side of the tiebreaker bracket, Chelsea Carey of Winnipeg eliminated Russia’s Anna Sidorova by a score of 6-5 and will play Rachel Homan – the defending Masters and Scotties Tournament of Hearts winner – at 9 a.m. Saturday morning for the right to move on to the quarter-finals.
Other quarter-final qualifiers on the women’s side included Margaretha Sigfridsson (4-0), Heather Nedohin (3-1), Mirjam Ott (3-1), Stefanie Lawton (3-1), Jennifer Jones (3-1) and Ji-Sun Kim (3-1).
Men’s qualifiers, in addition to Koe and Edin, were Glenn Howard (4-0), Kevin Martin (3-1), Rasmus Stjerne (3-1), David Murdoch (3-1), Jeff Stoughton (3-1) and Rui Liu (3-1).
Men’s quarter-finals get underway at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre, while the semis run at 4 p.m.
The women’s quarters go at 12:30 p.m., and the semis are at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday’s finals are set for 10 a.m. (men) and 3 p.m. (women).