Four in Sight!

Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson celebrates during Sunday’s semifinal victory. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Team Einarson one win from fourth straight Scotties title 

Kerri Einarson and her Team Canada crew are one win away from a record-tying fourth straight Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship. 

To get that victory they will have to defeat Jennifer Jones, who is seeking a record-breaking seventh Scotties title, and her Team Manitoba. The two teams will meet in today’s final at 6 p.m. PT. Team Jones earned its berth in the final with an 8-5 win over Northern Ontario’s Team Krista McCarville in Saturday’s Page 1-2 game. 

Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Brianne Harris, alternate Krysten Karwacki and coach Reid Carruthers earned their berth in the final with a hard-fought 7-5 victory over McCarville and Team Northern Ontario in Sunday afternoon’s semifinal. 

Team Canada will play for a fourth consecutive Scotties title. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

“It feels pretty amazing,” Einarson said of making a fourth straight Scotties final. “We’ve worked pretty hard all week to get here.” 

The reigning champions made the game more difficult than it should have been, although they did score three in the third end for a brief 3-2 lead. Einarson made two key shots, a tight double takeout and then a pick of Northern Ontario’s counter to get the three, one of only two multiple-point ends in the game. But Einarson herself struggled early, shooting a game-low 60 per cent through six ends and twice missing chances for multi-score ends. 

Einarson did made a pivotal draw to the button to score two in the eighth end for a 6-4 edge that she and her team massaged to victory. 

“Sometimes it’s not always pretty,” said Einarson, who made some key shots in the late ends and finished the game at 71 per cent. “We made some clutch shots when we needed it. I thought my teammates played pretty well. I struggled a little bit but I thought I made them when it really counted.” 

Northern Ontario skip Krista McCarville delivers her shot as teammates Ashley Sippala, left, and Kendra Lilly prepare to sweep. (Photo, Curling Canada/Andrew Klaver)

Both teams had opportunities to steal or score multiple point ends but except for three ends neither could capitalize on the chances.  

It was a disappointing loss for McCarville, third Kendra Killy, second Ashley Sippala, lead Sarah Potts and coach Rick Lang, who added to their medal collection at the Scotties while still pursuing a first gold. The team lost in last year’s final to Team Canada. 

“Again, once again close, but not quite there,” said McCarville.. “I’m proud of this team for battling and getting to the final day again in the Scotties. But of course very disappointed. One day we’re going to win, we just don’t know when.  

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