Scotties final may end up all-Manitoba affair
Kelly Einarson’s 4-peat challenge is still alive and well, but Jennifer Jones is also one step away from breaking the Canadian women’s curling record.
Jones won Sunday’s six-time National Championship of Hearts as her Manitoba team defeated Northern Ontario’s Christa McCarville, 8-5, in Saturday night’s playoff game in Kamloops, British Columbia. I have booked an express ticket to the final.
Three-time Hearts winner Einarson avoided elimination in Saturday’s play-off contest with a 9-4 win over Nova Scotia’s Christina Black.
Einarson will face McCarville in Sunday afternoon’s semi-final, with the winner facing Jones for the title.
Jones will be in his 10th Hearts Final. The 46-year-old could become the first woman to win her seven-time Canadian Women’s Championship.
“It doesn’t change the mood because of it. It just changes the mood as we get closer to the end of our careers because you never know when it will end,” Jones said.
Jones has adopted a five-man rotation with his new team this season. For her teammate under the age of 25, Sunday’s victory marks her first Hearts crown.
Team Canada Skip Kelly Einarson shouts instructions to her teammates during the bronze medal match against Team Sweden at the CN Center at Women’s World Curling in Prince George, British Columbia, Sunday March 27, 2022 . Pan earned her eighth win at her Continental curling championship with her 9-3 defeat of Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa.Canadian Press/James Doyle
“I’m thrilled to help her reach that record, but it’s also a big one for us,” said Carly Burgess, number three. Winning my first Scottie in the best team in the world with me would be a great story.”
Jones recovered from giving up one steal to McCarville in each of the first three ends, by stealing two in the fourth end and one in the fifth and eighth ends.
Bonded home, Jones didn’t have to throw the final stone when McCarville was tied.
“We struggled for a long time, but we were lucky in the first three ends,” said McCarville. “I wasn’t throwing well. I knew I had to improve, but it didn’t work, and little by little I started to get better. But I need to regroup for tomorrow.”
It was a good rehearsal on Sunday that Jones’ young teammates waited patiently for when Manitoba lost, Skip said.
“I think it was big,” Jones said. character of tomorrow. ”
Jennifer Jones will be in her 10th Hearts Final. The 46-year-old could become the first woman to win her seven titles at the Canadian Women’s Championships on Sunday night. (Photo: Twitter @TSNCurling)
EINARSON NEEDS TWO WINS
Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Briane Harris need two wins on Sunday to become only the second team in history to win four in a row. Colleen Jones’ team was his first team from 2001 to his 2004.
The semifinal against McCarville is a rematch of last year’s championship game in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
Einarson’s foursome have recovered from a loss to Jones in the previous night’s playoff game — Einarson’s first loss in the tournament — in a dominating performance on Saturday.
Einarson also got more run support from her lineup than Black. Her vice-sweeting and the front end of Burchard and Harris outperformed their Nova Scotia counterparts by a few percentage points.
“My team played great,” Einarsson said. “They definitely overwhelmed the other teams and Cristina had some tough things she had to do just to score. She made them but we’re really comfortable I felt it.”
Sweepers can sway the outcome of the stones delivered, so Einarson also benefited from mainstay efforts by Sweeting, Burchard and Harris.
Harris is pregnant and due in June.
“She’s a champion, Holy Smoke,” Einarson said. “She has little things that motivate her to just push through. I don’t think I could have done that.
Einarson has come a long way towards winning at Thunder Bay last year.
Her team beat McCarville 9-6 in the sudden-death playoff game, semi-final and final game.
Team Canada at Scotty, 25/02/2023
“Our backs are against the wall, but with us, we never give up,” Einarson said.
“We’re going to keep refining it and keep playing the way we know we can. I feel like this is the best we’ve ever played.”
Nova Scotia hits a wall
Marathon in Nova Scotia, three game days Friday caught up with Saturday.
Black advanced to the Final 4 by taking points in overtime in back-to-back playoff games, including a tiebreaker. Black eliminated his three-time champion Rachel Homan of Ontario for his second win.
Nova Scotia then lost to McCarville and will face three-time champions Einarson on Saturday.
Black’s talent for difficult pressure draws was on display again on Saturday, but she made those shots simply to survive.
Nova Scotia didn’t produce a 2-point end on the final lock, but Einarson hammered deuces on the 3rd, 5th, 7th and 9th ends.
“I think the fatigue from the three games yesterday made the set today,” Black admitted. “Our throws were a little lighter than we wanted for some shots.
“They are a great team and they gave us a few chances but we didn’t take them. It doesn’t give you many chances.”
This report by the Canadian Press was first published on February 25, 2023.