RIVERS, MANITOBA -- There’s a new Manitoba women’s provincial curling champion, and her name is Kerri Einarson.
The skip, out of the Gimli Curling Club, beat eight-time provincial champion Jennifer Jones 8-6 on Sunday night, claiming her second Manitoba Scotties title.
“It means so much,” said Einarson, moments after celebrating the win with third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, and lead Briane Meilleur. “I really wanted to do this for my teammates. We’ve been through a lot, Val’s been through a lot in her curling career. We really wanted this one, and we really buckled down and made the shots when they really counted.”
The game didn’t start well for the Einarson foursome, giving up a steal of two in the opening end. There would be three more steals in the game, including three for Einarson in the fifth, and two more for Jones in the seventh.
“I thought it was a fairly well-curled game,” said Jones. “A couple misses here and there, but all in all pretty good and fun to play. Kind of tough to lose that one, but we gave it a go.”
Einarson took a 7-6 lead into the tenth end, and made an impressive draw to the button with her final rock to sit one, putting the pressure on Jones to match the shot to win.
Jones was unable to match it, crashing on a guard, giving Einarson another steal and the provincial title.
“I’m so proud of my teammates for sticking in with that game,” said Einarson. “I struggled a bit with the draw weight. It felt quicker under foot than it did. But I knew I would come along and make a draw sometime, and I made it when it really counted.”
Einarson will now represent Manitoba at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in Moose Jaw, Sask., starting Feb. 15. Jones and fellow Manitoba skip Tracy Fleury will also make the trip to the national spiel, claiming both wildcard spots based on the Canadian Team Ranking System standings.