Team Einarson (Team Canada)
Photo Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

Manitoba teams skipped by Kerri Einarson (Team Canada), Tracy Fleury (Wild Card #1), and Mackenzie Zacharias (Team Manitoba) are in Thunder Bay for the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts which begins play this evening. For at least the round-robin session, there will be no fans in the building as Curling Canada implements aggressive protocols to meet current health regulations.

Team Zacharias (Team Manitoba)
Photo Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver

Einarson and Zacharias are in the same pool of nine teams. They will not meet until the final round-robin draw on Thursday evening. Team Fleury will begin play with Selena Njegovan moving up to skip as Tracey Fleury misses the opening games due to a positive test and therefore starting the event in the Covid protocols.

Team Canada seeks to join Jennifer Jones and Vera Pezer as consecutive three-time champions and continue a chase to join Colleen Jones as the only consecutive four time champion.

Team Fleury and Team Zacharias are chasing their own form of Manitoba curling history. Since 1982 (40 years ago), when Scott Paper became the sponsor, only three Manitoba skips have won the Canadian Scotties championship. Connie Laliberte achieved legendary status. Jennifer Jones has already achieved legendary status and continues to write her story with her appearance in the next couple of weeks at the Olympics, and Kerri Einarson could begin to approach legendary status with her third consecutive win.

Zacharias, with her entire World Junior Champion team intact, and Fleury, ranked #1 in the world but with that disappointing final game loss in the Trials, would become just the fourth Manitoba skip to win a Canadian Scotties title. And it would be just the ninth Team Manitoba to win (Laliberte 1984, 1992 & 1995; Jones 2008, 2015 & 2018; Einarson 2020 & 2021) but Jones, of course, also won back-to-back as Team Canada in 2009 & 2010.

Team Fleury was seeded #1 while Einarson was #3 (behind #2 Laura Walker-Alberta) while Zacharias was ranked in the top third of the field at #6.

The draw for Team Einarson (Team Canada) is:

DRAW 2 (Saturday)1:00 PMOntario (Duncan)
DRAW 4 (Sunday)8:00 AMNova Scotia (Black)
DRAW 6 (Sunday)6:00 PMQuebec (St-Georges)
DRAW 8 (Monday)1:00 PMAlberta (Walker)
DRAW 10 (Tuesday)8:00 AMBritish Columbia (Arsenault)
DRAW 12 (Tuesday)6:00 PMYukon (Birnie)
DRAW 14 (Wednesday)1:00 PMNorthwest Territories (Galusha)
DRAW 18 (Thursday)6:00 PMManitoba (Zacharias)

The draw for Team Zacharias (Team Manitoba) is:

DRAW 2 (Saturday)1:00 PMBritish Columbia (Arsenault)
DRAW 6 (Sunday)6:00 PMYukon (Birnie)
DRAW 8 (Monday)1:00 PMOntario (Duncan)
DRAW 10 (Tuesday)8:00 AMNorthwest Territories (Galusha)
DRAW 12 (Tuesday)6:00 PMNova Scotia (Black)
DRAW 14 (Wednesday)1:00 PMQuebec (St-Georges)
DRAW 16 (Wednesday)8:00 AMAlberta (Walker)
DRAW 18 (Thursday)6:00 PMCanada (Einarson)

The draw for Team Fleury (Wild Card #1) is:

DRAW 1 (Friday)6:00 PMNew Brunswick (Crawford)
DRAW 3 (Saturday)6:00 PMSaskatchewan (Barker)
DRAW 5 (Sunday)1:00 PMPrince Edward Island (Birt)
DRAW 7 (Monday)8:00 AMWild Card #3 (Miskew)
DRAW 11 (Tuesday)1:00 PMWild Card #2 (Carey)
DRAW 13 (Wednesday)8:00 AMNewfoundland and Labrador (Hill)
DRAW 15 (Wednesday)6:00 PMNunavut (MacPhail)
DRAW 17 (Thursday1:00 PMNorthern Ontario (McCarville)