(by Jonathan Brazeau)
PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — Call it a tre kronor as Anna Hasselborg and her squad from Sundbyberg, Sweden, captured their third Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title.
Anna Hasselborg, Sara McManus, Agnes Knochenhauer and Sofia Mabergs celebrate with the Tour Challenge trophy on Nov. 10, 2019, in Pictou County, N.S. (Anil Mungal)
The reigning Olympic gold medallists took home the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge Tier 1 women’s championship with an 8-5 victory over Team Kerri Einarson of Gimli, Man., in Sunday’s final.
Hasselborg, third Sara McManus, second Agnes Knochenhauer and lead Sofia Mabergs collected $30,000, 12 Pinty’s Cup points plus a berth in the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup.
“It feels amazing,” said Hasselborg, who won her first couple GSOC titles back-to-back last season at the Elite 10 and Masters. “We’ve been playing a lot of close games this week, but I think we’ve had the learning mode being better for all of the games every time.
PICTOU COUNTY, N.S. — The latest episode of the “Battle of the Brads” exceeded expectations with a thrilling showdown in the KIOTI Tractor Tour Challenge Tier 1 men’s final.
In the end though it was Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., who emerged victorious 6-4 over Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., to successfully defend the championship.
Ryan Harnden, E.J. Harnden, Marc Kennedy and Brad Jacobs celebrate with the Tour Challenge trophy on Nov. 10, 2019 in Pictou County, N.S. (Anil Mungal)
Jacobs’s fifth GSOC title netted his squad $30,000, 12 Pinty’s Cup points and a berth into the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup.
Things are a little different this time around as Jacobs, second E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden are now joined by third Marc Kennedy. After parting ways with Ryan Fry over the off-season, the 2014 Olympic gold medallist Jacobs added the 2010 Winter Games champion Kennedy to his roster.
“It feels great,” Jacobs said. “I’d say we battled hard all week. We were a very resilient group. I’m really proud of Ryan, E.J. and Marc for hanging in there and just never giving up and always having faith and belief that we would somehow get the job done. They stuck behind me all week and that’s huge as a skip. They never lost faith in me even when I missed a few shots or whatever. I’m just really proud of the guys.
“It’s super cool to defend a Grand Slam title. We feel really grateful to be able to play this sport at this level and be out here entertaining people and playing on TV. We just love it. Hopefully, there’s lots more to come from our team. We’re just having a lot of fun, we enjoy one another’s company and we’re excited to step onto the ice every game.”