Jim Cotter delivers a rock at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters in Lloydminster. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)

Jim Cotter delivers a rock at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters in Lloydminster. (Anil Mungal/Sportsnet)

Cotter off to Olympic Pre-Trials

Jim Cotter has quickly put the Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling Masters cashspiel behind him.

Jim Cotter has quickly put the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling Masters cashspiel behind him. Next up are the Road to the Roar Olympic Pre-Trials starting Monday in Summerside, PEI.

Cotter, with John Morris of Calgary, Catlin Schneider of Saskatchewan and Ty Griffith of Kelowna in support, went 0-4 at the Masters at the Centennial Centre in Lloydminster.

Cottr opened with a 5-3 loss to Niklas Edin of Sweden before falling 7-1 to Kevin Koe of Calgary, giving up three in the fourth end. The teams shook hands after six ends

They then bowed 7-4 to Jason Gunnlaughson of Winnipeg and lost 7-3 to Toronto’s John Epping.

“We just weren’t clicking at that one,” said Cotter. 43. “The four of us can’t get on the same page yet. When one guy is on, another guy isn’t. We’re just a little bit off.”

Cotter throws skip rocks but Morris calls the game. Cotter has appeared in seven Brier national tournaments.

There will be two pools of seven rinks at the Pre-Trials at Credit Union Place.

The top two teams advance to the Olympic Trials, Dec. 2-10, in Ottawa.

The PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games go Feb. 9-25 in South Korea.

Brad Gushue (St. John’s) and Jennifer Jones (Winnipeg) captured the Masters titles.

Team Gushue collected their ninth Grand Slam title Sunday afternoon with an 8-4 victory over defending Masters champion Edin to pocket $30,000 of the $125,000 men’s purse.

“It’s nice to win the original ones,” said Gushue. “It was a good week and we had fun. We obviously built as the week went on. We weren’t necessarily playing really well, but last night against Kevin (Koe) and today against Niklas (Edin), I felt like we played really well and that’s a good sign.”

In women’s action, 2014 Winter Olympic gold medallist Team Jones captured their first career Masters title following a 6-5 win over Tour Challenge Tier II champion Team Einarson (Winnipeg).

Along with the title, Team Jones collected $30,000 of the $125,000 women’s purse and secured a spot in the Humpty’s Champions Cup in Calgary.

“It feels amazing. We just love playing in the Slams and felt we had a really great event, so it was nice to end with a win,” said Jones, 43. “The events are so hard so I was really happy with how we performed. We had a couple rocky moments, but came through with a big shot when we needed it. All-in-all, I’m pretty happy and it’s nice to qualify for the Champions Cup.”

The next event of the 2017-18 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season is the Boost National, which opens Tuesday, Nov. 14 at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont.

The third of seven events on the Grand Slam calendar, the Boost National will feature 30 top tier men’s and women’s teams.

Jones booked her ticket to Sunday’s final following a 10-3 win over Team Hasselborg (Sundbyberg, Sweden). Gushue advancd to the final after a 7-1 victory over Ko. The series expanded from five to seven events for the 2015-16 season. Total prize money for the Pinty’s Grand Slam events increased to $2 million for this season.

Vernon Morning Star

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