Bottcher, Laycock, McEwen advance to playoff round at Canadian Open

By The Canadian Press
January 6, 2017 - 9:15am

NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — The men's quarter-finals are set at the Canadian Open.

Edmonton's Brendan Bottcher, Saskatoon's Steve Laycock and Winnipeg's Mike McEwen grabbed the final three spots in the playoff round of the triple-knockout Grand Slam event by winning their C-bracket finals on Friday.

Bottcher beat Calgary's Kevin Koe 5-4, Laycock toppled Edmonton's Charley Thomas 7-3 and McEwen, a two-time Canadian Open winner, downed Saskatoon's Bruce Korte 7-1 to round out the eight skips on the men's side that have moved on to the next round.

Earlier in the day, Brad Gushue of St. John's N.L., John Morris of Vernon, B.C., and American John Shuster advanced to the playoff round from the B-bracket.

Gushue, who won the event in 2015, downed McEwen 6-4, Morris got past Koe 6-2 and Shuster beat Thomas 7-4.

Brad Jacobs and his rink from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., and Sweden's Niklas Edin were the first two skips to advance on the men's side when they won their A-bracket finals on Thursday.

The men's playoffs begin Saturday afternoon. Edin plays Bottcher, Morris faces Shuster, Jacobs is against McEwen and Gushue battles Laycock.

Five of the eight playoff spots on the women's side are secured, with the final three on the line in Saturday morning's C-bracket draws.

Sweden's Anna Hasselborg, Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones and Allison Flaxey, from Caledon, Ont., moved on by winning the B-bracket finals Friday afternoon.

Hasselborg doubled up Winnipeg's Michelle Englot 4-2, Jones downed Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont., 8-4 and Flaxey, from Caledon, Ont., beat Edmonton's Kelsey Rocque 7-3 to join Edmonton's Val Sweeting and Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni in the quarters.

Ottawa's Rachel Homan, last year's women's champion, faces Harrison, Tracy Fleury of Sudbury, Ont., plays China's Bingyu Wang and Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., is up against Rocque in Saturday's C-Bracket finals. The winners will qualify for the playoff round in the afternoon.

Eight teams on both the men's and women's side had to qualify for the playoffs through a triple-knockout format where they had to win three games before they lost three in order to avoid elimination.

The finals are scheduled for Sunday.


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