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PHOTO GALLERY: Team Epping storms to victory in men's final


Curling squad from Ontario beats Alberta opponents Team Kevin Koe 7-4 in the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Masters

Ontario’s Team Epping claimed a handy victory in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters men’s final.

Their 7-4 victory over Team Kevin Koe won them a $30,000 cash prize, a slot in the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup in Saskatoon and 12 points towards the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the season’s winners following the conclusion of April’s Players’ Championship.

“We just played really solid, we did not make too many mistakes, we got some breaks and were able to close the deal,” said winning captain John Epping. “Playing well [under] some pressure is always big.”

The five-time Grand Slam title winner Team Koe struggled with their draw shots sliding straight through the rings in the fourth round to give up a point, and they  dropped two more in the fifth when he was light.

However, Koe’s team fought back in the sixth to close within two. Epping fell into a bit of trouble in the seventh and the score by that point was 5-4.

Team Koe’s luck ran out in the eighth, as their throw veered off target. Epping fired one of his typical angle raises to kick out the counter, notching up two more points to win the championship.

“These events are so hard to win, even making a final or the semifinals is hard. It’s the best teams in the world,” said Epping in an earlier release. “It’s just great to build on. It feels like it’s coming together for us, and while we still have lots of work to do, it’s nice to play well as a team in big games.”

Speaking after the game, Epping said that his team planned to take two weeks off before entering the Tour Challenge.

He added that he enjoyed his visit to Truro and the culinary delights on offer.

“We took in all the restaurants,” said Epping. “The people in the East Coast are so friendly.”

The next event of the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season is the Tour Challenge, which kicks off on Nov. 6 at the Tournament Centre in Thunder Bay, Ontario. The third of seven events on the Grand Slam calendar, the Tour Challenge will feature 30 elite men’s and women’s teams divided into Tier One and Tier Two competitions.

With files from Sportsnet

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