March 5, 2022

Einarson beats Fleury to advance to Scotties semifinals | CBC Sports

Kerri Einarson’s dream of a three-peat remains alive at the Canadian women’s curling championships.

The Team Canada skip made a takeout in the sixth end to score four points, then stole two more in the seventh for a 11-6 win over Tracy Fleury’s Wild Card 1 in a playoff game at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay, Ont., Saturday afternoon.

The team of Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Bichard and lead Briane Meilleur advanced to Sunday morning’s semifinal game.

They will face the loser of Saturday’s night’s game between Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville and Andrea Crawford of New Brunswick.

The winner between McCarville and Crawford head directly to Sunday night’s final.

The battle between Fleury and Einarson turned in the sixth when Fleury missed on a chip shot.

With her last stone, Einarson calmly took out Fleury’s rock for the four points and an 8-5 lead. It was the 14 time during the tournament Team Canada scored three or more points in an end.

In the seventh, Fleury missed on a chip-and-roll with her first shot. Facing four Team Canada stones, Fleury managed to remove just two with her final shot. That gave Einarson a commanding 10-5 lead.

Fleury went up 3-1 lead in the third end. Einarson was heavy on her last shot, allowing Fleury to draw for three. Team Canada answered in the fourth with Einarson scoring three of her own with a takeout.

In the fifth Fleury was laying three when Einarson used a feather touch on a draw to sit shot. Fleury answered with a takeout to score two for a 5-4 lead.

Einarson looking to win 3 consecutive titles

Einarson’s team from Gimli, Man., were a perfect 8-0 during the round robin before losing 8-6 to Crawford in a playoff game on Friday.

They are looking to join an elite group of rinks to win three consecutive titles.

Saskatchewan’s Vera Pezer won three titles between 1971 and 1973 while Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones won championships between 2008 and 2010. Collen Jones of Nova Scotia won four consecutive titles beginning in 2001.

Fleury’s team of third Selena Njegovan, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish from the East St. Paul Curling Club in Manitoba finished first in Pool A during the round-robin with a 7-1 record. They lost 8-3 to Northern Ontario in a playoff game Friday night.

Fleury didn’t play her first game of the championship until Thursday after being forced to isolate following a positive COVID-19 test before the tournament. Njegovan took over the skipping duties for the team that leads both the Canadian and world rankings.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, the round-robin portion of the tournament was held in an empty Fort Williams Gardens without fans or media in the building. About 150 people were in the stands for Saturday morning’s game after a limited number of volunteers registered for the competition and junior curlers from the area were allowed to attend the playoffs.

The Scotties champion will represent Canada at the 2022 Women’s Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C., from March 19-27.

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