Bottcher, Mouat win A finals, advance to playoffs at Canadian Open
Women's A finals to be played later Thursday
Edmonton's Brendan Bottcher and Scotland's Bruce Mouat advanced to the playoffs at the Grand Slam of Curling's Canadian Open by winning their A finals on Thursday.
Bottcher remained unbeaten at 3-0 with a 9-5 win over Switzerland's Peter De Cruz.
After De Cruz picked up a steal of one in the seventh to close the gap to 6-5, Bottcher's rink put the game away with three in the eighth.
Mouat also improved to 3-0 when his team scored two points with the hammer in the eighth end in a 4-3 win over Glenn Howard of Penetanguishe, Ont. The deuce from Mouat's Stirling-based foursome followed three blank ends.
De Cruz and Howard drop down to the B finals in the triple-elimination tournament, giving them another chance to qualify for the playoffs. De Cruz will take on Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., on Friday. Gushue advanced to the B final with a 5-3 win over Scott McDonald of Kingston, Ont.
Howard will face Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., after Jacobs toppled Winnipeg's Braden Calvert 7-6. Calvert will face McDonald in a C semifinal.
Calgary's Kevin Koe beat Regina's Matt Dunstone 5-2 to reach the men's B final, where he will face Sweden's Niklas Edin. The Swedish skip topped Toronto's John Epping 8-4.
Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers next faces elimination in a C quarterfinal against Saskatoon's Rylan Kleiter on Friday morning.
The C brackets are the last chance for teams to qualify for the playoffs and once a team loses in the C brackets they are eliminated from the tournament.
In women's action, Ottawa's Rachel Homan and Scotland's Eve Muirhead won their A finals draws to advance to the playoffs.
Homan downed Robyn Silvernagle of North Battleford, Sask., 8-3 for her spot while Muirhead beat Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa 8-5.
Friday's B finals will see Switzerland's Sylvana Tirinzoni against Silvernagle, Edmonton's Laura Walker versus Fujisawa and Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Sask., against American Nina Roth.