NORTH BAY, Ont. — Kaitlyn Lawes picked up her first win in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series with her all-new Winnipeg-based team on Wednesday night at Memorial Gardens.
Team Lawes doubled up on Daniela Jentsch’s German squad 6-3 in Draw 8 of the Boost National to even out their record at 1-1.
You could also call it a case of “Even Stevens” for Team Lawes. After giving up a steal of three in the eighth end to lose 8-5 to Raphaela Keiser’s Swiss side Tuesday, a steal of three also proved to be the difference-maker during the victory over Jentsch.
“I thought we had a great first game and unfortunately I missed my last shot to win, so it was nice to bounce back,” Lawes said. “I felt like we started a little slow but were patient, hung in there and found a way to win.”
Trailing 3-1, Lawes tied it up with a deuce in the fourth and then swiped the decisive three points in the sixth end. Jentsch blanked the seventh end to retain the hammer coming home, but Lawes ran her opponent out of options by running her out of rocks.
“We had a really good sixth end and she didn’t have much of a shot to draw against three right on the button,” Lawes said. “We were really fortunate that we were able to go up three and we maintained the lead.”
Lawes, who won Canadian junior titles in 2008 and 2009 as a skip, returned to her roots this year after 12 seasons playing third for Jennifer Jones where she won Olympic gold, a world championship and six Grand Slams. Coincidentally, Memorial Gardens played host to the 2018 women’s worlds where Lawes captured the title.
“It’s so fun playing in North Bay,” Lawes said. “The world championship in 2018 was probably one of the best events I’ve ever played in with the crowd being so into it. It was so much fun and again, the Slam a couple of years after that. It’s just so special to be back here and they’re so supportive of all of the teams.”
Elsewhere, Anna Hasselborg also drew level — quite literally — to a 1-1 record as the Swedish skip made a high-pressure draw shot to bite the back of the button and secure a 6-4 victory over Chelsea Carey’s Winnipeg club.
Both Jentsch and Carey are now in the danger zone sliding to 0-2 records and must win their two remaining round-robin games in order to avoid missing the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Keiser and Swiss compatriots Team Silvana Tirinzoni climbed to 2-0 records in the draw.
Keiser took two in the eighth end to top Team Eun-Ji Gim (1-1) of South Korea 7-6 and Tirinzoni counted three points in the fifth end during a 6-3 victory over Team Tabitha Peterson (1-1) from the United States.
The Boost National resumes Thursday with Draw 9 at 8:30 a.m. ET.
Round-robin play runs through to Friday as teams play four games against teams outside of their pool. The top eight overall, regardless of pools, advance to Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Saturday evening and both finals are on tap for Sunday.
The Boost National is the first of six events on the 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling calendar and features 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … A combined $300,000 purse, split equally between the men’s and women’s divisions, is on the line. The winning teams receive $35,000 and invitations to the season-ending Kioti Tractor Champions Cup. … Points are also up for grabs in the race for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the 2022-23 season champions with a $75,000 bonus for the winning teams.