The team skipped by Kerri Einarson (Manitoba) won the WIld Card berth into the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Friday defeating Chelsea Carey’s team from Calgary 7-4 in Penticton at the South Okanagan Events Centre. Kristi Patton/Western News

Einarson captures Scotties berth in wild card game

Three teams from Manitoba contend for curling national championship in Penticton

By Matthew Abrey

Special to the Western News

Kerri Einarson and her Winnipeg rink don’t need to worry about lugging home their luggage just yet after winning the Wild Card spot at this year’s Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Penticton.

“We definitely packed for staying 10 days, and now I just have to make arrangements for my children,” said Einarsson. “We’re stoked to be here, and we’re looking forward to the rest of the tournament now.”

Related: A closer look at the Scotties field

Einarsson (Manitoba) faced off against 2016 Scotties champion Chelsea Carey (Alberta) in the tournament’s first ever Wild Card game, to determine which team would receive the 16th and final spot in the competition. The pair were the top two ranked teams on the Canadian Team Ranking System that did not qualify through their respective provincial championships.

Carey jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after the first end, but Einarson clapped right back in the second to tie it up at 2-2.

The third end was blanked, allowing Carey to keep the hammer. The fourth end, however, featured a jam-up in the house, with Einarson laying four stones closest to the bullseye leading into skip Chelsea Carey’s final shot. Carey needed to make a an extremely difficult roll-in shot to even have a chance at clearing the house, and made as good of a shot as anyone could’ve asked, but ultimately Einarson still stole two. A measurement was required to determine that Einarson really had indeed stolen the second point, and the difference between the red and yellow rocks appeared to come within mere millimetres.

The fifth also featured an incredible jam-up, with a staggering nine rocks in the rings, and another 4 staggered up high above the rings, acting as a minefield of guard stones. Carey once again needed to make a roll-in shot to prevent Einarson from stealing another point, but completely missed the intended rock, putting Einarson’s lead at 5-2.

Chelsea Carey’s struggles continued in the sixth, as she fumbled what appeared to be an easy shot, allowing Einarson to steal yet another point.

The Calgary-based rink appeared to bounce back in the seventh, easily taking two in the end to cut Einarson’s lead to 6-4.

The comeback bid by the 2016 Scotties champ fell short, however, as Einarson managed to blank the eighth end, and score one in the ninth to make it a 7-4 final score, and clinch their place in this year’s tournament.

“It’s hard” said Carey, visibly disappointed after the loss.

“It’s a one game event, and it’s against a really good team, so it’s a toss-up all the time. You need to put your best game forward and hope it works out for you, and this time it just didn’t.”

Einarson and her Manitoba rink will play the New Brunswick rink, skipped by Sylvie Robichaud Saturday evening at 7 p.m. at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The win means three teams from the province will continue on in the tournament with Einarson, third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristan MacCuish join two Winnipeg based teams: Manitoba champion Jennifer Jones and Team Canada skipped by Michelle Englot, who as runner-up at the 2017 Scotties replaces Olympic-bound Rachel Homan’s Ottawa-based rink, which won the 2017 Scotties, as Team Canada.

Just Posted

Bowser residents protest marine sewage outfall plan

Veenhof and staff endures harsh criticisms at public information meeting

Qualicum Beach society goes to bat for insect eaters

Two bat houses built to monitor population in Heritage Forest

Parksville reopens portion of wetland

City undertakes review, remediation of liability concerns

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Rachel Notley to skip premiers conference to focus on pipeline deal

Kinder Morgan has ceased all non-essential spending on the Trans Mountain pipeline project until it receives assurances

B.C. tech company will power Uber Elevate

Moli and Uber announce research and development partnership.

Olympian sues USA Swimming, saying it failed to protect her

Ariana Kukors Smith alleges her former coach Sean Hutchison began grooming her for sexual abuse at the age of 13

Defence minister thanks troops for B.C. flood relief work

Harjit Sajjan says not only was military response quick, support from locals has been ‘tremendous’

Still no sign of missing father in Cowichan Valley

Search group for Ben Kilmer now stands 40 SAR volunteers and another 100 friends and concerned community members

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

UPDATE: Woman dies in ocean accident near Tofino hours before daughter’s wedding

“We are so thankful to everyone who helped our mom.”

Most Read