Bottcher and Einarson each win 2019 Players Championship

Brendan Bottcher (Wikimedia Commons)

Brendan Bottcher of Edmonton, Alberta and Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Manitoba both skipped their teams to a curling title at the 2019 Players Championship from the Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario on Sunday. It was the first grand slam title victory for Bottcher on the World Curling Tour. Meanwhile, it was Einarson’s second grand slam win as she also won the 2017 National from Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario.

In the final, Bottcher defeated his Alberta provincial rival Kevin Koe of Calgary, Alberta, 6-1. Bottcher was leading Koe 2-1 heading into the eighth end when Bottcher’s team put Koe’s team under immense pressure and stole four points for the convincing victory. In the women’s final, Einarson needed an extra end to beat reigning Olympic gold medalist Anna Hasselborg of Sweden 5-4.

In the men’s competition in Toronto, Bottcher finished in third place in Pool B with a record of three wins and two losses. He was behind Canadian Olympic gold medalists Brad Jacobs of Sault. Ste. Marie, Ontario and Brad Gushue of St. John’s, Newfoundland, who each posted records of four wins and one loss. In the pool play, Bottcher beat reigning Olympic bronze medalist Peter de Cruz of Switzerland 6-5, Matt Dunstone of Saskatchewan 7-6 and John Epping of Ontario 7-1. He also lost to Jacobs 7-4 and Gushue 8-3. In the quarterfinals, Bottcher beat four-time world champion Niklas Edin of Sweden 7-5 in the quarterfinals and Ross Paterson of Scotland 7-4 in the semifinals.

In the women’s competition in Toronto, Einarson actually had a losing record in Pool B at two wins and three losses. She beat Satsuki Fujisawa of Japan 6-4 and Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alberta 7-2, while lost 5-2 to Hasselborg, 6-4 to Chelsea Carey of Calgary, Alberta and 5-4 to Sayaka Yoshimura. Einarson then qualified for the final after beating Tracy Fleury of Manitoba 6-4 in the quarterfinals and Robyn Silvernagle of Biggar, Saskatchewan 7-4 in the semifinals.

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