Einarson forms new team with Sweeting, Birchard & Meilleur

Kerri Einarson delivers a stone during the 2018 Meridian Canadian Open in Camrose, Alta. (Anil Mungal)

Kerri Einarson has completed her roster for the next Olympic cycle joining forces with three former skips.

The all-new Manitoba-based team announced their lineup for 2018-19 on social media Friday with Einarson calling the shots, Val Sweeting at third, Shannon Birchard at second and Briane Meilleur at lead.

“With a new quadrennial approaching, this team assembled with the hopes of qualifying for and succeeding on the Grand Slam Circuit, making a strong run in the 2019 Manitoba Scotties, and building towards the ultimate goal: the 2022 Olympics,” the team wrote in a Facebook post. “After skipping their respective teams, Val, Shannon, and Briane are ready for the challenge of a new position and look forward to joining up with Kerri.”

Even though this season doesn’t wrap up until late April with two more Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling women’s tournaments to follow, teams have already started moving forward on plans for next year.

Einarson’s club from East St. Paul earned the silver medal as the wild-card team at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts earlier this month. They announced Monday they were splitting off with third Selena Kaatz, second Liz Fyfe and lead Kristin MacCuish sticking together and now searching for a new skip.

Edmonton’s Team Sweeting, winners of three Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling titles, revealed they were breaking up Wednesday.

Meilleur and Birchard, both from Winnipeg, previously skipped their own squads on tour as well.

Birchard captured the Scotties Tournament of Hearts filling in for Kaitlyn Lawes on Manitoba’s Team Jennifer Jones. Lawes was preparing for the Olympic mixed doubles curling tournament in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and captured the gold medal for Canada with John Morris.

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