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Dunstone survives Retornaz in The Soo; more international success in mixed doubles

Matt Dunstone Matt Dunstone - The Canadian Press

Matt Dunstone is in the winner's circle for the first time this season and his Winnipeg-based foursome did it in dramatic fashion. 

Dunstone's rink captured the first ever Soo Curlers Fall Classic on Sunday with an 8-7 extra-end win over world No. 2 Team Joel Retornaz of Italy. 

In the fourth end, Dunstone made a soft takeout to put up a three-spot and grab a 4-2 advantage. Retornaz came right back and scored a deuce in the fifth to tie it at 4-4 before Dunstone scored his second three-point end of the game in the sixth to take a commanding lead with just two ends to play. 

The Italians scored a pair in the seventh end before stealing a single in the eighth to send the game to an extra end.  

The 28-year-old Dunstone won the game with an open takeout in the extra, shooting against four counter stones from Retornaz.

Dunstone, third B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Lott and lead Ryan Harnden won all six of their games over the four-day bonspiel at the YNCU Curling Centre in Sault Ste. Marie Ont., highlighted by wins over Team Mark Kean in the quarter-final and Team Tanner Horgan in the semifinal. 

Team Dunstone, who dropped the Brier final last year to Team Brad Gushue, had yet to win this season prior to the Soo Curlers Fall Classic with a loss in the PointsBet Invitational final and quarter-final defeats at the ATB Okotoks Classic and last week's Tour Challenge on the Grand Slam circuit on their card. 

This was the first year for the event which was organized by Team Dunstone lead Harnden, who is a native of Sault Ste. Marie. The 21-team bonspiel had an impressive purse of $90,000. 

Team Retornaz, who jumped up to No. 2 in the world rankings after topping Team Brendan Bottcher in the final of the Tour Challenge last week, were 5-0 before running into Dunstone's rink. They defeated Team Trent Skanes in the quarters and Team Glenn Howard in the semis. 

The rinks led by John Shuster and Karsten Sturmay also made the playoffs, but lost it the quarter-final round. 

Team Reid Carruthers, winners of the PointsBet Invitational in September, missed the playoffs after dropping three straight games to Dunstone, Sturmay and Shuster.


Brown gets first win

Dunstone wasn't the only Canadian curler to pick up their first bonspiel win of the season this weekend as Corryn Brown captured the Kamloops Crown of Curling with an undefeated run. 

The team of Brown, third Erin Pincott, second Jennifer Armstrong and lead Samantha Fisher won all seven of their games in their hometown, including a close 6-5 victory in the final over Team Kim Dennis. 

Despite not winning a bonspiel prior to Kamloops, Team Brown have had a very strong 2023-24 season with qualifications in all five of their events played, including a final appearance in Vernon earlier this month. 

Team Brown are attempting to get back to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts this season after losing a heartbreaking provincial final last year to Team Clancy Grandy that would have sent them to the Canadian championship as Team BC in their hometown.

On the men's side, 2000 Brier and world champion Brent Pierce defeated Kyler Kleibrink in the final, 7-3, for his second win of the season. 


More international success on Mixed Doubles Super Series

For the third straight event, a team from outside of Canada has won on the Mixed Doubles Super Series. 

This time it was the duo of Tori Koana and Go Aoki getting the better of Chiaki Matsumura and Yasumasa Tanida, 11-4, in an all-Japanese final in Moose Jaw. 

Both duos were undefeated heading into the championship final with Koana and Aoki having eliminated Canadian curling stars in Jennifer Jones-Brent Laing in the quarters and Laura Walker-Kirk Muyres in the semis. 

Matsumura and Tanida won a Mixed Doubles Super Series event in Sherwood Park earlier this month, beating Walker and Muyres in the final. 

More recently, Estonia's Marie Kaldvee and Harri Lill won two weekends ago in Chilliwack, B.C. 

The next Mixed Doubles Super Series event takes place in Winnipeg from Nov. 30-Dec. 3. 


Constantini perfect in Kemptville

Olympic mixed doubles gold medalist Stefania Constantini and her Italian side posted a perfect 6-0 record to win the North Grenville Women's Curling Classic in Kemptville, Ont., this weekend. 

Team Constantini defeated Team Kristy Watling in the quarterfinal and Team Danielle Inglis in the semis before routing Team Hailey Armstrong in the final, 10-1. 

Thunder Bay's Team Krista McCarville were in Kemptville as well, but lost in the quarters while Team Kerry Galusha missed the playoffs. 


Other winners on Tour


Challenge Nord-Ouest Air Creebec/Agnico Eagle - Yannick Martel
Grand Prix Bern Inter Curling Challenge - James Craik
Saville Grand Prix - Ryan Jacques
Sundbyberg Open - Mikkel Krause


Superstore Lady Monctonian - Abby Burgess
Saville Grand Prix - Selena Sturmay
Sundbyberg Open - Xenia Schwaller