© Jason Simmonds/Journal Pioneer
Margaretha Sigfridsson calls a shot in Thursday afternoon’s game against Sherry Middaugh in the 2014 Players’ Championship at Eastlink Arena.
SUMMERSIDE – Margaretha Sigfridsson, Eve Muirhead and Mike McEwen maintained perfect records at the 2014 Players’ Championship on Thursday afternoon.
Sweden’s Sigfridsson and Scotland’s Muirhead are in a first-place tie atop the women’s standings with Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni. All three rinks are 3-0.
McEwen came through with a pressure shot to edge Jeff Stoughton 5-4 in an all-Winnipeg clash to move into top spot in the men’s standings with Brad Gushue, who is back on the ice playing Kevin Koe in the 5 p.m. draw. McEwen and Gushue are both 3-0.
“Jeff was kind of biting a good quarter of the button, and he had one in front,” said McEwen in setting up his game-winning shot. “It was either a make a really tough double for one, or draw to the pin. I made a nerve-racking draw to the pin for the victory.”
Sigfridsson handed Sherry Middaugh her third straight loss with a 5-3 decision in Draw 7, and Muirhead took advantage of the hammer to count three deuces in a 7-4 win over Canadian women’s champion Rachel Homan (2-1).
“It was a good game (against Middaugh),” assessed Sigfridsson. “Both teams played well, and we played a little better.
“We missed a few key shots, so it was unnecessarily tight. The main thing is to win the game.”
Jennifer Jones won 5-3 over Val Sweeting to up her record to 2-1, setting up a key game against Sigfridsson in Thursday’s 8:30 p.m. draw. Sweeting, who plays Tirinzoni at the same time, is 1-2.
A key end in the McEwen-Stoughton game was the seventh. McEwen explained: “They had a really big end setting up, but Jeff narrowly missed a shot for three or four. We were a little fortunate.
“We made a good shot to make him play a really tough one to score, and he only got one in seven (to tie the score 4-4) and that kind of put the ball back in our court. It was a good game, and lots of chances back and forth.”
Sigfridsson said the Players’ Championship, the final Grand Slam of Curling event of the season, marks the end of a long season. Both the men and women are each playing for $100,00 in purse money.
“We played a real good tournament last year at the Players’,” said Sigfridsson. “We have had a really tough season, but we are tired and are trying to make this a fun event.
“We are trying to enjoy it, and it is a really fun event to play.”