Epping captures Masters crown in Truro

Kevin Koe’s buzzer-beater double takeout to win the semifinal might have been the most talked about shot of the weekend at the Grand Slam of Curling’s Canadian Beef Masters in Truro, N.S., but John Epping’s short runback to win the final was the shot that mattered most.

John Epping (Curling Canada/Michael Burns photo)

Calgary’s Koe made the highlight reel with an impossibly thin double as his time clock was about to expire to defeat Scotland’s Bruce Mouat in the semifinal. After choosing to allow a steal in the seventh end to retain the hammer, the circus shot scored him three points, and an appointment with Toronto’s Epping in the final. Epping, however, was also on a roll having defeated Brad Gushue (St. John’s) and Niklas Edin (Sweden) on his way to the final. Up one with the hammer, Epping had a short runback to put the game away after Koe’s last rock seemed to pick. Team Epping (Mat Camm, Brent Laing, Craig Savill) earned $30,000 for their victory, and 85.836 points on the Canadian Team Ranking System. Koe pocketed $18,000 and 62.946 points. In the women’s final, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg defeated Ottawa’s Rachel Homan by taking three in the eighth end, overcoming a two-point deficit. Reigning Olympic champion Hasselborg (with Sara McManus, Agnes Knochenhauer, and Sofia Mabergs) also earned $30,000 for the win, while Homan took home $18,000. Edmonton’s Chelsea Carey and Lethbridge, Alta.’s Casey Scheidegger were bounced in the semifinals and each earned a $12,000 paycheque. In other World Curling Tour events, Ottawa’s John Willsey took home the top prize at the Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic in Sarnia, Ont. After qualifying through the B-draw, he beat Ian Dickie (Newmarket, Ont.) in the quarter-final, Mark Bice (Sarnia, Ont.) in the semi, and USA’s Mark Fenner in final. The win earned him $5,200 and 34.664 points. In Whitby, Ont., the Gord Carroll Curling Classic was won by Toronto’s Chelsea Brandwood. She ran through the competition unbeaten, and defeated South Korea’s Un-Chi Gim in the final, earning $4,500. At the Kamloops Crown of Curling, Kelowna, B.C.’s Sean Geall defeated Vancouver’s Josh Barry in the final to take home the men’s title and $5,000. Barry earned $3,000 for his runner-up finish. In the women’s event, Sarah Wark (Chilliwack, B.C.) beat Kim Slattery (Vernon, B.C.) in the final, earning $4,200 for the win.