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Dunstone bounces back into win column at Co-op Canadian Open


CAMROSE, Alta. — Matt Dunstone and his Winnipeg club brushed off a bad loss from the night before at the Co-op Canadian Open and rebounded with a victory Thursday afternoon.

Dunstone, who had one slip away during a 5-2 defeat to Team Korey Dropkin, bounced back with an 8-5 win against Team John Epping during Draw 10.

Team Dunstone climbed to a 2-1 record to reach the B-qualifiers of the triple knockout preliminary round. Teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the quarterfinals.

The Toronto-based Team Epping (1-2) dropped into the C-side and is now on the brink of elimination.

“Great to bounce back,” Dunstone said. “I think that’s something we’ve done awfully well this year. We haven’t put together strings of losses in a row, so it feels good to be doing that as well in the new year. Obviously, a big win and get two cracks at (qualifying) but hopefully, get it done in the first try tomorrow.”

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It was a good start for Team Dunstone securing the hammer to start in the draw-to-the-button and capped off the first end with an open hit to score three points.

Epping recovered counting a couple in the second, forced Dunstone to a single in the third and then pulled off a cross-house double takeout to score another deuce in the fourth to tie it 4-all heading into the break.

Dunstone took two right back in the fifth to regain the lead and then doubled his advantage by pirating a pair of points in the sixth. Epping was forced to draw for just a single in the seventh and conceded the match.

“Any time you can get buzzing out of the gates like that, great feeling,” Dunstone said. “No surprise, Johnny came back and tied it up. We knew going into this game between my game style and his game style, there’s going to be lots of rocks in play. Obviously, a good feeling out of the get-go but you knew there was going to be lots of rocks in play down the stretch.”

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Team Dunstone will now face off Friday against Scotland’s Team Ross Whyte with a playoff spot on the line. Whyte grabbed an 8-5 decision over Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell.

Italy’s Team Joël Retornaz and Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat also advanced to the B-qualifiers at 2-1 records with their opponents to be determined.

Retornaz defeated Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe 9-6 and Mouat picked up an 8-5 win over Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller.

Ramsfjell, Koe and Schwaller all slipped to the C-side at 1-2. While Ramsfjell awaits his opponent, Koe and Schwaller will clash with elimination on the line.

UP NEXT

The Co-op Canadian Open continues with Draw 11 at 6 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. local time with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet East and Ontario and streaming online at Sportsnet NOW.

NOTES: The Co-op Canadian Open is the fourth event of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world at Encana Arena. … Triple knockout action runs through to Saturday morning. The quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday afternoon followed by the semifinals in the evening. Both finals are set for Sunday.

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