TEAM EINARSON WINS THIRD SCOTTIES TITLE

(Sunday, 10PM, February 6) Kerri Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Brianne Meilleur won a pair of playoff games Sunday in Thunder Bay to win the Scotties Tournament of Heart. It is the third consecutive national championship for the Einarson team from Gimli – a record held by Jennifer Jones and Vera Pezer and surpassed only by Colleen Jones and her four consecutive.

Three-time Scotties champions (l-r) Kerri Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, Briane Meilleur – Photo: Curling Canada/Andrew Kalver

Team Canada enjoyed mid-game break leads in both games; 4-2 over Andrea Crawford (New Brunswick) in the semi-final and 6-2 over Krista McCarville (Northern Ontario) in the final.

They controlled the semi-final through the second half in an 8-4 victory. The final was different, however. The hometown team fought back to trail 7-6 playing the 8th end and forced Einarson to a single on the ninth. Trailing 8-6, McCarville missed her ‘slim chance’ runback attempt with her last rock to give Team Canada another steal and the 9-6 ‘three-peat’ win.

The entire Team Canada line-up earned first all-start team honours at the championship. Selena Njegovan, who came into the event as a third but skipped the first seven Team Fleury games, was the second all-star team skip!

(Saturday, 10PM, February 5) MCCARVILLE IN FINAL; EINARSON-CRAWFORD SEMI-FINAL: Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada eliminated Manitoba-Wild Card Tracy Fleury and Krista McCarville (Northern Ontario) advanced to the final with a win over Andrea Crawford (New Brunswick) – both with come-back wins Saturday.

Team Einarson: Photo-Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

In the afternoon Page 3-4 game, Einarson trailed 5-4 at the fifth end break but took control with a four on the sixth end, then stole two on the seventh to lead 10-5 in an 11-6 win over Team Fleury.

McCarville trailed Crawford 7-3 after seven ends but scored three on the eighth and two more coming home to force an extra end. The home town team stole one on the extra to advance to the Sunday 6PM (CST) final game.

Crawford drops to the semi-final against Einarson. That game goes at 11AM (CST).

(Friday, 10PM, February 4) BAD DAY FRIDAY FOR MANTIOBA’S SCOTTIES TEAMS: Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada (Gimli) and Tracy Fleury’s Manitoba Wild Card Team (East St. Paul) will meet Saturday in a Page Playoff game in the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay – but not the game most would have predicted.

Team Zacharias: Photo-Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

Both had earned playoff round byes and played Friday evening with a chance to advance to the top side of the Page Playoff draw – the game with two chances to reach the Sunday final.

Neither was able to win their game. Fleury and her team were blasted 8-3 by Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville team. Einarson fell behind 4–0 early and fought back to tie but had trouble scoring again as they trailed Andrea Crawford’s New Brunswick foursome 7-4 playing the ninth. They scored two on end nine and forced Crawford to a last rock draw coming home but saw her hit the four foot for victory.

Crawford and McCarville will meet in the Page Playoff 1-2 game while Fleury and Einarson will meet in the Page 3-4 elimination game.

Earlier in the day, Mackenzie Zacharias’ Team Manitoba (Altona) had lost their tiebreaker 8-6 to Kerry Galusha (NWT). Galusha then lost by the same score to McCarville. Crawford advanced to her game with Einarson by defeating Christa Black (NS) 11-8 in the first playoff game.

The Einarson-Fleury game is set for 1PM (CST) Saturday while the McCarville-Crawford game goes at 6PM

(Thursday, 10PM, February 3) EINARSON UNDEFEATED, ZACHARIAS IN TIEBREAKER: Mackenzie Zacharias did what they had to do to survive Thursday. They won one of their two games, and 10-7 win over Alberta, and ended with a 5W-3L record. The last game, however, was the one that got away. They scored a five on Kerri Einarson and Team Canada. However, they could not hold the lead – giving up five points over the next three ends and five more over ends 7 to 10. The final 10-7 Einarson win gave Team Canada a perfect 8W-0L record.

Zacharias finished with a 5W-3L record, tied with Christina Black (Nova Scotia) and Kerry Galusha (Northwest Territories). Nova Scotia earns second place thanks to round robin wins over both Manitoba and Northwest Territories. Zacharias and Galusha will meet in a tiebreaker on Friday morning.

EINARSON VS Manitoba: Win 10-7
EINARSON VS NWT: Win 8-5
EINARSON VS Yukon: WIN 6-4
EINARSON VS BC: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Alberta: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Quebec: WIN 8-5
EINARSON VS Nova Scotia: WIN 6-3
EINARSON VS Ontario: WIN 12-5

ZACHARIAS VS Canada: LOSS 10-7
ZACHARIAS VS Alberta: WIN 10-7
ZACHARIAS VS Quebec: WIN 4-3
ZACHARIAS VS Nova Scotia: LOSS 7-6
ZACHARIAS VS NWT: LOSS 8-6
ZACHARIAS VS Ontario: WIN 8-7
ZACHARIAS VS Yukon: WIN 12-3
ZACHARIAS VS British Columbia: WIN 6-5

FINAL ROUND-ROBIN STANDINGS:
8-0: Team Canada (Einarson)
5-3: Team Nova Scotia (Black)
5-3: Team Northwest Territories (Galusha)
5-3: Team Manitoba (Zacharias)
4-4: Ontario (Duncan)
3-5: Team Alberta (Walker)
3-5: Team Quebec (St-Georges)
3-5 British Columbia (Arsenault)
0-8: Yukon (Birnie)

(Thursday, 6PM, February 3) ABSOLUTELY FLEURY SHOULD PLAY – AND SHE DID, VERY WELL: There was a social media debate Thursday. Tracy Fleury was out of Covid protocol and ready to play. But should she – they asked. Or should she let Selena Njegovan continue to throw last – they asked.

She played and threw last – and even if they had lost, that was absolutely the right decision. First, the game was not critical as they had already confirmed a playoff berth. Obviously the win was important but they could play on if they lost. And second, it was logical to give Tracy the full chance to test herself. If there were unidentified implications of the several days off – better to learn them today so an informed decision could be made for tomorrow’s game.

So she played – and shot 85%, outscoring Krista McCarville by a fully 20 percentage points.

They’ll go into the Friday playoff round as the top team in the pool so they earn a bye to the 6PM draw, awaiting the winner between McCarville (Northern Ontario) and Christina Black (Nova Scotia).

Team Fleury finished with a 7W-1L record while Andrea a (New Brunswick) finished 6W-2L and McCarville finished third in the group with a 5W-3L record.

FLEURY VS Northern Ontario: WIN 8-6
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Nunavut: WIN 8-2
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Nfld-Labrador: WIN 8-3
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Saskatchewan: WIN 9-4
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Ontario: WIN 11-9
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Prince Edward Island: WIN 9-1
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Saskatchewan: WIN 9-7
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS New Brunswick: LOSS 6-5

FINAL ROUND-ROBIN STANDINGS:
7-1: Wild Card-Manitoba (Fleury/Njegovan)
6-2: Team New Brunswick (Crawford)
5-3: Northern Ontario (McCarville)
4-3: Saskatchewan (Barker)
4-4: Wild Card-Ontario (Homan/Miskew)
4-4: Wild Card – Saskatchewan (Carey)
4-4: Prince Edward Island (Birt)
2-6: Newfoundland-Labrador (Hill)
0-8: Nunavut (MacPhail)

(Wednesday 9PM, February 2) EINARSON, FLEURY WILL ADVANCE, ZACHARIAS MUST WIN THURSDAY: Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada and the Selena Njegovan skipped Tracy Fleury Team Wild Card have, with games to play Thursday, already assured themselves of advancing to the next round at the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay. Mackenzie Zacharias and Team Manitoba won their only game Wednesday to stay firmly in the chase for one of the three spots to advance from their pool.

Team Fleury/Njegovan: Photo Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

The Manitoba Wild Card team of Tracy Fleury won a pair of games on Wednesday to improve to 6W-1L. That record assures them of advancing to the next round with a game to play on the afternoon draw Thursday against Northern Ontario. New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford is also assured of advancing, also with a 6W-1L record. Northern Ontario’s Krista McCarville is at 5W-2L and can grab the third ‘next round’ berth with a win over Team Fleury. If Fleury/Njegovan win, then Saskatchewan can also improve to 5W-2L by beating the Emma Miskew-skipped Ontario Wild Card team.

FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Nunavut: WIN 8-2
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Nfld-Labrador: WIN 8-3
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Saskatchewan: WIN 9-4
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Ontario: WIN 11-9
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Prince Edward Island: WIN 9-1
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Saskatchewan: WIN 9-7
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS New Brunswick: LOSS 6-5

STANDINGS AFTER WEDNESDAY:
6-1: Team New Brunswick (Crawford)
6-1: Wild Card-Manitoba (Fleury/Njegovan)
5-2: Northern Ontario (McCarville)
4-3: Saskatchewan (Barker)
3-4: Wild Card-Ontario (Homan/Miskew)
3-4: Wild Card – Saskatchewan (Carey)
3-4: Prince Edward Island (Birt)
2-5: Newfoundland-Labrador (Hill)
0-8: Nunavut (MacPhail)

Team Canada is still perfect at 7W-0L following an 8-5 win over Northwest Territories (Kerry Galusha) in their only game of the day Wednesday. She ends the round robin, assured of advancing, with one game Thursday. That game will be on the evening draw – against Mackenzie Zacharias and Team Manitoba.

A win Wednesday, 4-3 in an extra end over Quebec, kept Team Manitoba’s hopes very much alive. However, Zacharias faces a very tough day Thursday. On the early draw, they play Alberta’s Laura Walker team and then finish the preliminary round with the game against Team Einarson. With a record of 4W-2L, Zacharias and her Altona team need at least one win, and may need to win both, to have advance.

EINARSON VS NWT: Win 8-5
EINARSON VS Yukon: WIN 6-4
EINARSON VS BC: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Alberta: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Quebec: WIN 8-5
EINARSON VS Nova Scotia: WIN 6-3
EINARSON VS Ontario: WIN 12-5

ZACHARIAS VS Quebec: WIN 4-3
ZACHARIAS VS Nova Scotia: LOSS 7-6
ZACHARIAS VS NWT: LOSS 8-6
ZACHARIAS VS Ontario: WIN 8-7
ZACHARIAS VS Yukon: WIN 12-3
ZACHARIAS VS British Columbia: WIN 6-5

STANDINGS AFTER WEDNESDAY:
7-0: Team Canada (Einarson)
4-2: Team Northwest Territories (Galusha)
4-2: Team Manitoba (Zacharias)
4-2: Team Nova Scotia (Black)
3-3: Team Alberta (Walker)
3-4: Ontario (Duncan)
2-4: Team Quebec (St-Georges)
1-5 British Columbia (Arsenault)
0-6: Yukon (Birnie)

(Tuesday 10PM, February 1) TOUGH TUESDAY FOR ZACHARIAS; EINARSON STILL PERFECT Mackenzie Zacharias and her Team Manitoba had a tough day Tuesday at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. A pair of losses has dropped their record to 3W-2L. In both games, Team Zacharias mounted strong comebacks but were unable to overcome early deficits. On the morning draw, they trailed Kerry Galusha (NWT) by 4 after two ends and 7-2 after six but fought back to trail 8-6 loss coming home. On the evening draw Christina Black (NS), they again trailed by 4 after two ends and 6-2 after six but fought back to trail 7-5 coming home.

Kerri Einarson and her Team Canada won a pair of games Tuesday to improve their perfect record to 6W-0L with two games to play. On the morning draw, a four on the third end was the base for a 10-5 win over Mary Anne Arsenault (BC) They opened the evening draw against Hailey Birnie (Yukon) with a 4 ender and went on to a 6-4 victory.

EINARSON VS Yukon: WIN 6-4
EINARSON VS BC: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Alberta: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Quebec: WIN 8-5
EINARSON VS Nova Scotia: WIN 6-3
EINARSON VS Ontario: WIN 12-5

ZACHARIAS VS Nova Scotia: LOSS 7-6
ZACHARIAS VS NWT: LOSS 8-6
ZACHARIAS VS Ontario: WIN 8-7
ZACHARIAS VS Yukon: WIN 12-3
ZACHARIAS VS British Columbia: WIN 6-5

STANDINGS AFTER TUESDAY:

6-0: Team Canada (Einarson)
4-1: Team Northwest Territories (Galusha)
3-2: Team Manitoba (Zacharias)
3-2: Team Nova Scotia (Black)
3-2: Team Alberta (Walker)
2-3: Team Quebec (St-Georges)
2-4: Ontario (Duncan)
1-5 British Columbia (Arsenault)
0-5: Yukon (Birnie)

Meanwhile, Selena Njegovan continues to skip Team Fleury and continues to lead them to victory. Tuesday’s one game was against the Saskatchewan Wild Card entry skipped by Chelsea Carey. They improved to a 4W-1L record with a 9-4 win, although the somewhat unflattering score for Carey included a stolen three coming home when Carey had to ‘go for it’ but simply had no shot with her final stone of the game. Team Fleury plays two games Wednesday, against Nfld-Labrador and Nunavut.

FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Saskatchewan: WIN 9-4
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Ontario: WIN 11-9
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Prince Edward Island: WIN 9-1
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Saskatchewan: WIN 9-7
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS New Brunswick: LOSS 6-5

STANDINGS AFTER TUESDAY:

5-0: Team New Brunswick (Crawford)
4-1: Wild Card-Manitoba (Fleury/Njegovan)
3-2: Northern Ontario (McCarville)
3-2: Saskatchewan (Barker)
3-3: Wild Card-Ontario (Homan/Miskew)
2-3: Wild Card – Saskatchewan (Carey)
2-3: Newfoundland-Labrador (Hill)
2-4: Prince Edward Island (Birt)
0-6: Nunavut (MacPhail)

(Monday 5PM, January 31) A PERFECT MANITOBA MONDAY AT THE SCOTTIES: Manitoba’s three team won their only games of the day on the first two draws Monday – in three distinctly different manners. In their pool, Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada dominated Alberta’s Laura Walker, scoring two three’s and two deuces in an 8-end victory, while Mackenzie Zacharias and Team Manitoba gave up a three point lead and had to go an extra end in beating Ontario’s Hollie Duncan. The two lead the way in their pool: Team Canada is perfect at 4W-0L while Team Manitoba has already had their bye and are also perfect at 3W-0L.

EINARSON VS Alberta: WIN 10-5
EINARSON VS Quebec: WIN 8-5
EINARSON VS Nova Scotia: WIN 6-3
EINARSON VS Ontario: WIN 12-5

ZACHARIAS VS Ontario: WIN 8-7
ZACHARIAS VS Yukon: WIN 12-3
ZACHARIAS VS British Columbia: WIN 6-5

Both teams will play two games Tuesday. Current standings:

4-0: Team Canada (Einarson)
3-0: Team Manitoba (Zacharias)
2-1: Team Nova Scotia (Black)
2-1: Team Northwest Territories (Galusha)
2-2: Team Quebec (St-Georges)
2-2: Team Alberta (Walker)
1-3 British Columbia (Arsenault)
0-3: Yukon (Birnie)
0-4: Ontario (Duncan)

In the other pool Selena Njegovan is proving her ability to move back to the tee, if/when the future time comes when that becomes necessary. After the close (6-5 loss) opening draw loss to still undefeated Andrea Crawford and her Nova Scotia team, Njegovan has skipped the Tracy Fleury team to three consecutive victories with their bye on Monday evening.

FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Wild Card-Ontario: WIN 11-9
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Prince Edward Island: WIN 9-1
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Saskatchewan: WIN 9-7
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS New Brunswick: LOSS 6-5

The Njegovan led Fleury team has one game Tuesday. Group standings:

4-0: Team New Brunswick (Crawford)
3-1: Wild Card-Manitoba (Fleury/Njegovan)
2-1: Northern Ontario (McCarville)
2-1: Saskatchewan (Barker)
2-2: Wild Card-Ontario (Homan/Miskew)
1-2: Wild Card – Saskatchewan (Carey)
1-2: Newfoundland-Labrador (Hill)
1-3: Prince Edward Island (Birt)
0-4: Nunavut (MacPhail)

(Sunday 10PM, January 30) STRONG SCOTTIES START FOR MANITOBA’S TEAMS: The three Manitoba teams had a strong opening weekend at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Thunder Bay.

Playing in the same pool, Kerri Einarson’s Team Canada has marked up three wins to lead the way. Mackenzie Zacharias and her Team Manitoba had their bye on the opening weekend but won the two games they played.

EINARSON VS Quebec: WIN 8-5
EINARSON VS Nova Scotia: WIN 6-3
EINARSON VS Ontario: WIN 12-5

ZACHARIAS VS Yukon: WIN 12-3
ZACHARIAS VS British Columbia: WIN 6-5

As a result of opening weekend play, the two Manitoba teams top the standings in their pool.

3-0: Team Canada (Einarson)
2-0: Team Manitoba (Zacharias)
2-1: Team Nova Scotia (Black)
2-1: Team Quebec (St-Georges)
2-1: Team Alberta (Walker)
1-1: Team Northwest Territories (Galusha)
0-2: Yukon (Birnie)
0-3 British Columbia (Arsenault)
0-3: Ontario (Duncan)

In the other pool, the Wild Card Manitoba entry of Tracy Fleury has an impressive 2W-1L start. After losing their opener to New Brunswick, who are the only unbeaten team in the group after three games, the East St. Paul team won two games on Sunday. Selena Njegovan has had to skip the team with Fleury being in covid-protocol isolation after a positive test result.

FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Prince Edward Island: WIN 9-1
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS Saskatchewan: WIN 9-7
FLEURY/NJEGOVAN VS New Brunswick: LOSS 6-5

The two Team Fleury wins have them squarely in the top half of the pool standings after the opening weekend.

3-0: Team New Brunswick (Crawford)
2-1: Wild Card-Manitoba (Fleury/Njegovan)
2-1: Wild Card-Ontario (Homan/Miskew)
2-1: Northern Ontario (McCarville)
1-1: Saskatchewan (Barker)
1-1: Wild Card – Saskatchewan (Carey)
1-1 Prince Edward Island (Birt)
0-2: Newfoundland-Labrador (Hill)
0-3: Nunavut (MacPhail)