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Einarson wins battle of Manitoba champs at Scotties Tournament of Hearts

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — It’s not a long-standing rivalry, but Chelsea Carey and Kerri Einarson played like it was Wednesday, with the current Manitoba champion knocking off her former provincial rival.

Einarson’s 11-7 victory in the afternoon draw at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts improved her Manitoba team to 4-3 while dragging Carey’s Alberta foursome from Calgary back a little closer to the pack at 7-2.

“It’s maybe like a little rivalry, I don’t know,” Einarson said of the competition with Carey, who moved to Alberta two years ago after winning the Manitoba championship. “But I knew Chelsea was going to come out shooting and I knew I had to, too.”

Both skips made some excellent, point-saving shots, but in the end it was a bad miss by Carey with her final stone in the 10th end that ensured the win for the East St. Paul team of Einarson, third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe, lead Kristin MacCuish, alternate Briane Meilleur and coach Patti Wuthrich.

Facing three Manitoba stones inside the four-foot, Carey’s last-shot freeze attempt came up short and Einarson scored three without having to throw her final rock.

“She just threw a little light,” Einarson said of Carey’s shot. “She got into that middle path and it wasn’t as fresh as the outside.”

Jennifer Jones of Team Canada (5-2; Winnipeg), meanwhile, executed a tough hit-and-roll to shot rock to score two in the eighth end and had a routine hit-and-stick for two in 10 to get past Jill Brothers of Nova Scotia (5-4; Halifax).

Newfoundland/Labrador skip Stacie Curtis enjoyed a two-win day on Wednesday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Newfoundland/Labrador skip Stacie Curtis enjoyed a two-win day on Wednesday. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Suzanne Birt of Prince Edward Island (3-4; Charlottetown) made an angle-raise takeout to score three in the eighth end and went on to a 7-6 win over Jolene Campbell of Saskatchewan (5-4; Regina).

Stacie Curtis and her Newfoundland-Labrador foursome (3-6; St. John’s) stole singles in the ninth and 10th ends to beat Jenn Hanna of Ontario (3-4; Ottawa).

Einarson scored three in the second end when Carey’s attempted double got only one, leaving the Manitoba skip to draw for the triple.

But Alberta battled back with deuces in the fourth and sixth ends to pull even at 5-5. Manitoba responded with two in the seventh and stole one in eight when Carey’s raise double attempt got only one of Einarson’s counters.

Alberta got a pair back in nine. But as they had all game, the Manitobans refused to back down, putting three counters in the house in 10 and leading to Carey’s costly miss.

“We definitely held our own and made some really great shots out there,” Einarson said of her team’s shotmaking, especially in the final half of the game.

Not playing in the afternoon draw were Krista McCarville of Northern Ontario (5-2; Thunder Bay), Marie-France Larouche of Quebec (4-3; St-Romuald), Karla Thompson of B.C. (1-6; Kamloops) and Sylvie Robichaud of New Brunswick (1-6; Moncton).

There’s one more draw today at 6:30 p.m. MT.

For ticket and other event information, visit http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/tickets/

For the complete schedule, go to http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/draw-schedule/

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at http://www.curling.ca/2016scotties/?lang=fr

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Scotties Tournament of Hearts.