World Curling Tour review: Epping claims top spot at Stu Sells Tankard

Covering the walls of the Oakville Curling Club are a number of championship banners sporting the name “John Epping.” Until this weekend, however, it had been a long time since he’d won an event in that building, on that ice.

John Epping and his new lineup featuring vice-skip Ryan Fry had a successful debut event at the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, defeating Matt Dunstone in the final. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

That changed Sunday, as Toronto’s Epping, Ryan Fry, Matt Camm, and Brent Laing defeated Regina’s Matt Dunstone in the final of the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard. 

Epping and his team won $8,000 and earned 72.343 points on the Canadian Team Ranking System (CTRS) and World Curling Tour Order of Merit, after finishing the weekend with a 7-1 record. His only loss was in pool play to Sam Mooibroek (Cambridge, Ont.). 

Dunstone ran the table in his pool, only to suffer his only loss in the final. His team took home $5,000 and 53.051 CTRS points.  

Two more Ontario teams rounded out the semifinals with Scott McDonald (Kingston, Ont.) and Pat Ferris (Grimsby, Ont.) each earning $3,000. 

The international entries included European and world champions – Bruce Mouat (Scotland), Thomas Ulsrud (Norway), and Peter de Cruz (Switzerland) – but they all bowed out in the quarterfinals.

On the women’s side, the international teams fared much better. Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg knocked off Russia’s Anna Sidorova in the final, her team $8,000 to Sidorova’s $5,000.

Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque skipped the sole Canadian team in the semifinals and reigning world champion Silvana Tirinzoni claimed the last spot in the final four. Both teams earned $3,000.

Otherwise, the Canadian women struggled against the world field. Only five of the 12 playoff spots were won by Canadians, while teams from Scotland, Sweden, Russia, Switzerland, Japan, and South Korea filled out the championship draw.

In mixed doubles action, Katie and Shawn Cotrill (Belgrave, Ont.) defeat Emilie and Robert Desjardins (Chicoutimi, Que.) to win the Goldline Boucherville Mixed Doubles event in Boucherville, Que. The Cotrills scored one in the extra end to claim top prize at the 16-team event.