MOUAT AND MUIRHEAD QUALIFY FOR PLAY-OFFS AT CHAMPIONS CUP
Bruce Mouat’s men completed their big scalp collection by beating the World and European champions to top their pool and qualify for the play-offs at the season ending Grand Slam of Curling (GSOC) Champions Cup (24-29 April), at the WinSport Arena, in Calgary.
The Mouat rink, which qualified for the event by winning a Grand Slam title at the Boost National Championship on a previous visit to Canada this season and has previously beaten all the other teams in the world’s top five, claimed an impressive 6-1 lead by the third end against number one ranked Team Edin and despite the Swedes securing a four at the next, the Scots were able to recover their early momentum in the closing stages to secure a 10-7 win.
Grant Hardie said after their victory: “We came into that game with a lot of energy and intensity and made a lot of shots in the first three ends to get a good lead. We let it slip a bit but thankfully rebounded to finish the game strong and it was a very good team performance.
“We are delighted to finally get a win against these guys (Team Edin) having played them three times in the last five weeks and felt we should have got a result earlier on but we are pretty happy with this result,” he said.
“The week off we had after the Players Champs and the Worlds before that has meant we have much more energy this week. Plus we are able to rest up much better in between games and it has shown in our three wins so far. Hopefully we can finish the week and the group stages strong and rest again to prepare for the play-offs and come out sharp.”
Commenting on the Slam experience, Hardie added: “We love playing at the Slams, with the energy, the atmosphere and the crowds and the more we seem to enjoy it the better we seem to play, so we just need to keep doing that.”
Mouat’s men play Team Pfister before the knockout stages, while in the women’s competition European champions Team Muirhead also claimed their third victory of the tournament when they beat Switzerland’s Team Paetz 8-3 to top their pool and advance to the weekend play-offs with one round robin game still to play.
Muirhead’s rink play Team Carey in their final round robin match and the team’s second, Vicki Adams expressed satisfaction at the way they have maintained their level right to the end of the season.
“After a relaxing week off with some training and sightseeing we were excited to start the Champions Cup event,” she said.
“So far we’ve managed three wins out of three, building on our performance each game and having already secured our qualification spot with one game still to play, we’ve qualified in all events this season apart from one which is proof of our hard work and consistency. Now we just want to finish the season with a top podium spot! “
Team Mouat v Team Bottcher 9-8
Team Mouat v Team Flasch 7-1
Team Mouat v Team Edin 10-7
Team Muirhead v Team DeJong 8-2
Team Muirhead v Team Fujisawa 8-2
Team Muirhead v Team Paetz 8-3
Coach Alan Hannah
Please click here for more information on the Champions Cup
Photos: Perthshire Picture Agency - Graeme Hart