NORTH BATTLEFORD, Sask. — Kerri Einarson is hoping it’ll be a busy Friday for her Gimli, Man., team at the Meridian Canadian Open in order to advance to the playoffs.
Team Einarson entered the day down in the last-chance C-side of the triple knockout winless at 0-2 and needing to win three games over the course of four draws on the day at the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling major event.
Consider it a case of one down and two more to go for Einarson following a decisive 7-2 victory over Team Elena Stern to stave off elimination and knock out the Swiss side.
Einarson was ecstatic and said it felt good to get into the win column.
“We had a really great game from lead to skip,” said Einarson, who shot a team-high 85 per cent. “We put a lot of pressure on them and really wanted to come out firing in this game.”
Indeed, Einarson took control after conceding a steal of one to start in the first by responding with a deuce in two, swiping singles in three and four and copping a couple in five to grab a commanding 6-1 lead. Stern, who captured the Tour Challenge Tier 2 title in November to earn a berth into this event, was limited to another single in the sixth and shook hands after Einarson put another point on the board in seven.
— Pinty's Grand Slam of Curling (@grandslamcurl) January 11, 2019
The Meridian Canadian Open is the only one of the seven Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tournaments to feature triple knockout — instead of round-robin pools — where teams must win three games before they lose three in order to qualify for the playoffs.
Team Einarson now have a draw off before they take on provincial rivals Team Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg in the C Event semifinals at 3 p.m. local time with the winner moving onto the C-finals immediately after. Einarson went down a similar path during last month’s Boost National needing to qualify out of a tiebreaker and win quarterfinal and semifinal match-ups all in the same day to reach the final.
“We did this in the last Slam where we played three straight,” said Einarson, who finished runner-up to Rachel Homan at the Boost National. “We know what to do and just go get some rest right away and be ready for 3 o’clock.”
Meanwhile, Edmonton’s Team Chelsea Carey is also aiming to live dangerously in the C Event scoring her team’s first win as well by bouncing Sweden’s Isabella Wrana 9-5. Carey (1-2) now takes on Winnipeg’s Team Darcy Robertson.
Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers climbed into the win column, too, ousting Saskatoon’s Team Rylan Kleiter 5-3 in the first round of the men’s C Event. Carruthers (1-2) clashes with Toronto’s Team John Epping in the 12th draw.
NOTES: The Meridian Canadian Open is the fifth event and third major of the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the globe. … Standard Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling rules apply: games are played to eight ends, the five-rock rule is in effect and teams receive 33 minutes of thinking time plus two, 90-second timeouts. … The combined purse is $250,000 with the winning teams earning $30,000 plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup.