Cotter chases Masters curling glory

Vernon skip Robbi Kuhn calls on her sweepers at the women’s regional curling playdowns Friday at the Vernon Curling Club. - Graeme Corbett/Morning Star
Vernon skip Robbi Kuhn calls on her sweepers at the women’s regional curling playdowns Friday at the Vernon Curling Club.
— image credit: Graeme Corbett/Morning Star

Vernon’s Jim Cotter advanced to the quarterfinals of the Rogers Masters of Curling with a 7-5 tiebreaker win over Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz Saturday morning in Brantford, Ont.

Starting with the hammer, Cotter blanked the first two ends before cracking a three-point third end. De Cruz responded with a deuce in four, but after blanking five, Cotter came right back with another three-ender in six.

The Swiss crew made it interesting with a triple in seven, but Cotter recorded a single in eight for the win.

The Cotter foursome – third Jason (Gunner) Gunnlaugson, second Ty Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky – started at 0-2, but reeled off an impressive four-game win streak to make the playoffs of the $100,000 event.

They faced Winnipeg’s Mike McEwan in the quarters Saturday afternoon.

McEwan grounded Cotter 5-3 in preliminary play Thursday.

In other quarterfinal play Saturday, it was Edmonton’s Kevin Martin battling Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton, Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.’s Brad Jacobs facing Saskatoon’s Steve Laycock, and Calgary’s Kevin Koe taking on the winner of the game between Halifax’s Jamie Murphy and Toronto’s Team Baldson.

Facing Toronto’s Mark Kean Friday morning, Cotter traded deuces and singles to sit tied 3-3 after four ends.

Cotter gave up a single steal in five, but responded with three points in seven, and a single steal in eight for the win.

Cotter counted a deuce in eight to upend Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue 6-5 later Friday.

Meanwhile, Vernon’s Robbi Kuhn was 0-2 heading into Saturday afternoon action in the women’s regional playdowns at the Vernon Curling Club.

Kuhn – supported by third Karla Thompson of Kamloops, second Michelle Ramsay of Surrey and lead Christen Wilson of West Kelowna – fell 8-7 in an extra end to Prince George’s Patti Knezevic Friday night. They bowed 5-2 to Vancouver’s Amy Gibson Saturday morning.

Kuhn led 6-2 over Knezevic through seven ends, but gave up four points in the eighth to let the Prince George skip back in the game.

Knezevic stole a single in the 11th end for the win.

There are three berths to provincials up for grabs. Action continues today with draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.


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