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Dunstone dumps top-ranked Bottcher at Grand Slam's Tour Challenge

Matt Dunstone Matt Dunstone - The Canadian Press

NIAGARA FALLS, Ont. — Italian skip Joel Retornaz remained undefeated at the Grand Slam's HearingLife Tour Challenge with an 8-2 dismantling of defending Olympic champion Niklas Edin on Thursday.

Retornaz opened strong with four points in the first end, and a steal of two in the fourth gave his team an 8-1 lead.

Edin's Swedish foursome only managed to get one back in the fifth before conceding and seeing its record drop to 1-2.

Retornaz was tied atop the men's standings at 3-0 along with Ross Whyte of Stirling, Ont., who scored two in an extra ninth end in an 8-6 win over Japan's Riku Yanagisawa.

In other Draw 11 results, reigning world champion Bruce Mouat of Scotland dropped to 0-3 with a 5-4 loss in nine ends to Calgary's Kevin Koe (2-1). And Winnipeg's Reid Carruthers scored three in the seventh end in a 7-3 win over American John Shuster. Both teams were at 1-2.

In Thursday's early men's draw, Matt Dunstone defeated Brendan Bottcher 7-1 in a battle of Canadian skips.

Dunstone, from Kamloops, B.C., scored three points in the fourth end and added three more in the sixth for the victory.

Bottcher, from Spruce Grove, Alta., threw a game-low 75 per cent. His team recently moved into top spot in the men's world rankings.

In other early games, Brad Gushue of St. John's, N.L., dropped a 6-5 decision to Switzerland's Yannick Schwaller in an extra end.

Norway's Magnus Ramsfjell edged Wouter Gosgens of the Netherlands 7-6 and Aaron Sluchinski, of Airdrie, Alta., topped American Korey Dropkin 5-4.

Winnipeg's Kaitlyn Lawes was the lone Canadian skip in action in Draw 10. Her team scored a deuce in the seventh end in a 6-3 win over American Tabitha Peterson.

South Korea's Eun Ji Gim beat Sweden's Isabella Wrana 8-3 and Norway's Marianne Roervik edged Scotland's Rebecca Morrison 7-6. Switzerland's Silvana Tirinzoni topped Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa 4-2.

In Draw 12, Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., defeated South Korea's Seungyoun Ha 7-5.

Einarson's squad used a four-point sixth end to climb out of a 4-1 deficit before a deuce in the eighth broke a 5-5 tie to win it.

Defending champion Rachel Homan of Beaumont, Alta., suffered her first loss, falling 8-7 to Italy's Stefania Constantini. Homan knotted it at 7-7 with a five-point seventh end before dropping the game in the eighth and final end.

In other action, Jennifer Jones handed fellow Canadian Kate Cameron a 6-2 loss, while Sweden's Anna Hasselborg earned a 5-4 win over Clancy Grandy of Coquitlam, B.C.

Play continues through Sunday at the Gale Centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 19, 2023.