On a day slated full of playoff action for Toronto sports teams, hometown favourites Team John Epping took to the stage first on Saturday, against Team Kevin Koe, at the historic former Maple Leaf Gardens.
Much to the dismay of Team Epping and the fans, Team Koe won 5-4, ending the hopes of John Epping winning another Players’ Championship title.
Koe curled with precision finishing at 92 per cent while Epping finished at 85 per cent.
With the house full and final stone in hand to begin the first end, Team Koe only laid one stone. Skip Koe then played a beautiful hit and stick to lay two, taking the early lead, one they never relinquished.
The fans in the arena shared the disappointment over the course of the match. They wanted something to cheer about but were never given a reason to raise their voice.
Epping almost pulled off a double takeout for four points but just missed resulting in a steal of one for Koe.
The 2018 PyeongChang Olympic curlers squad were unrelenting and mistake-free.
With Team Epping sitting three, Koe executed a hit and roll to perfection to get one point. Once again preventing Epping from scoring multiple points.
In other quarterfinal action:
It was early handshakes in this one as Team McEwen beat Team Gunnlaugson in convincing fashion, 10-3, after six ends.
World Men’s Championship silver-medalist Team Gushue beat Team Mouat 6-2 after seven ends.
Team Edin, reigning World Men’s Championship gold-medalists, beat Team Smith 6-3 after seven ends.
Semifinal action is set to begin Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for both the men’s and the women’s teams.