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Einarson Wins Re-Match, Second Scotties Title

Sunday Feb 28 2021
by Resby Coutts

Team Canada; Kerri Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard, and Brianne Meilleur won their second consecutive national Scotties Tournament of Hearts Sunday evening in Calgary. For the second year in a row, the Gimli foursome defeated Rachel Homan and Team Ontario. Homan stole a pair on the ninth to tie the score at 7-7 coming home but there was no mistake from the Manitoba team. With a near perfect home end, Einarson did not have to throw her final stone to mark up the 9-7 win.

It was the first back-to-back championship since 2014 when Homan defended the title her team had won the year before.

A year ago, as Team Canada, the Einarson foursome missed their world championship opportunity when the event in Prince George, BC was cancelled after the teams had arrived. This year, they could miss the Worlds opportunity again as the championship in Switzerland has already been cancelled although there are rumours that an announcement of a new location could be imminent.

Einarson, who was named the Scotties playoffs Sandra Schmirler MVP Award winner, says she'd be delighted to have the opportunity to represent Canada and carry the responsibility of earning Canada an Olympic berth. Even if it does not happen, she says the team is proud and honoured to be able to wear the Maple Leaf again. "We were definitely determined to try to win again this year. It will be amazing to be Team Canada again next year at the Scotties (in Thunder Bay)."

A great asset for the team may have been the game last Saturday which was postponed and played on Monday. Lead Brianne Meilleur said that experience of playing in an empty arena for the make-up game prepared them for the unique conditions of the Sunday evening final in the bubble.;

An obviously disappointed Homan, who had lost her third straight final, gave full credit to the Einarson team. "They played really well," she said. "I am proud of my team, we had a phenomenal week and we were in it right to the end."

Three members of the champion team were named the event All-Stars; Einarson, Sweeting and Birchard were joined as the first all-star team by Lisa Weagle, lead for Team Manitoba. The second all-star team included Homan, Selena Kaatz (Third for Wild Card Team Fleury-Carey), Team Manitoba second Jocelyn Peterman, and Team Ontario lead Joanne Courtney.

Also worth noting, lead Brianne Meilleur has now won two championships in two Scotties appearances. Over-shadowing that accomplishment is Shannon Birchard's three titles in three appearances, two with Team Einarson and one in 2018 as a replacement for Kaitlyn Lawes on the Jennifer Jones team.

**
(Sunday Afternoon) Einarson - Homan Final Game Re-Match: The national Scotties final game will be a repeat of the final game a year ago when Kerri Einarson's Gimli Team defeated Rachel Homan's Ontario foursome. Although tied with Einarson with 10-2 round-robin records, Homan's Team Ontario had the bye to the final thanks to a win over Team Canada. The reigning champ earned  the repeat game with an 8-3nd victory Sunday afternoon over Alberta's Laura Walker team, which inclouded former Manitoba champ Kate Cameron playing third. Einarson overcurled on a shot for six on the sixth end but came away with a three and a 6-2 lead. Three more on the eighth, ended the game.

Walker had won an earlier tiebreaker game, ending Jennifer Jones' chance to win a record seventh Scotties title. Team Manitoba led 4-1 after three ends and led 8-6 coming home but gave up a three for the 9-8 loss.

**
(Saturday Evening) Homan in the Scotties Final; Einarson Plays Tiebreak Winner: A Team Ontario win over Saskatchewan and a Team Canada loss 10-9 in an extra end to Team Manitoba has given Rachel Homan's Ontario team the bye to the Sunday evening Scotties final in Calgary. Homan and Kerri Einarson's Team Canada both finish with 10-2 records but Homan won their round-robin meeting to be awarded first place. Jennifer Jones and Team Manitoba earned a spot in a Sunday morning tiebreaker game with their win. Team Jones will play Alberta's Laura Walker team, who also won Saturday evening beating the Chelsea Carey skipped Wild Card Team Fleury. Winding up their first national Scotties, Wild Card Team Beth Peterson from Assiniboine Memorial won their final game over Quebec to  finish with a 7-5 record.

The Sunday schedule is Alberta (Walker) vs Manitoba (Jones) at 9am CST - winner plays Canada (Einarson) at 1:30pm CST - winner plays Ontario (Homan) at 7:30pm CST

FINAL STANDINGS
10-2 Ontario: Homan

10-2 Canada: Einarson 
9-3 Alberta: Walker
9-3 Manitoba: Jones
7-5 Wild Card 3: Peterson
6-6 Quebec: St-Georges
6-6 Saskatchewan: Anderson
6-6 Wild Card 1: Fleury-Carey

**
(Saturday afternoon) Einarson Alone as #1 at 10-1; Assured of Sunday Play: Six stolen points and four stolen ends gave Team Manitoba a 9-1 eight-end victory over Rachel Homan and her Ontario Team Saturday afternoon. Homan's record is now 9-2 and Ontario falls to second place inthe standings as Kerri Einarson's Team Canada defeated Quebec to improve to 10-1. At the same time, Alberta defeated Saskatchewan to improve their record to 8-3, tied with Manitoba. In the fourth game, the Wild Card Fleury-Carey team beat the Wild Card Peterson team.

At 10-1, Team Canada is assured of advancing to the Sunday playoff with their final placement to be determined tonight. Ontario (9-2) and Manitoba & Alberta (both 8-3) need wins on the last draw tonight. A Homan win over Saskatchewan will assure Ontario of a playoff spot, a loss means waiting to see the results of the other two games. Both Manitoba (vs Canada) and Alberta (vs Wild Card Fleury-Carey) MUST WIN tonight (unless they both lose)!

As a result of the afternoon draw, four teams (Wild Card Team Fleury-Carey, Wild Card Peterson, Quebec and Saskatchewan) are now eliminated from playoff contention, all with 6-5 records. Team Fleury-Carey and Quebec still have the 'spoiler' motivation. Team Canada can also spoil the day for Jennifer Jones and Team Manitoba.

10-1 Canada: Einarson 
9-2 Ontario: Homan 
8-3 Alberta: Walker
8-3 Manitoba: Jones
6-5 Quebec: St-Georges
6-5 Wild Card 3: Peterson
6-5 Saskatchewan: Anderson
6-5 Wild Card 1: Fleury-Carey

SATURDAY 7:30pm CST
Wild Card 1-Alberta
Canada-Manitoba
Saskatchewan-Ontario
Wild Card 3-Quebec

**
(Friday Evening) Homan & Einarson Tied #1 at 9-1: It was a fairly easy victory for Team Canada (9-3 over Wild Card Team Fleury-Carey) and a hard-fought stolen extra end victory for Ontario's Rachel Homan (8-7 over Quebec) but the result was the same. Team Einarson and Team Homan records improve to 9-1, two wins ahead of the third place teams - Team Alberta and Team Manitoba. Alberta and Manitoba are both at 7-3 after an Alberta 7-5 victory over Manitoba. The Wild Card Beth Peterson team kept faint hopes alive with a 10-9 extra end win over Saskatchewan. Team Peterson, Saskatchewan and Quebec all have 6-4 records. Only Team Fleury-Carey, with a record of 5-5, is officially eliminated from possible playoff action.

9-1 Ontario: Homan 
9-1 Canada: Einarson 
7-3 Alberta: Walker

7-3 Manitoba: Jones
6-4 Quebec: St-Georges
6-4 Wild Card 3: Peterson
6-4 Saskatchewan: Anderson
5-5 Wild Card 1: Fleury-Carey

SATURDAY 1:30pm CST
Ontario-Manitoba
Wild Card 1-Wild Card 3
Quebec-Canada
Alberta-Saskatchewan
**
(Friday Afternoon) Homan & Einarson Tied #1, Jones Alone in #3 Spot: Close calls but the favorites won the four games in today's first round of second stage play at the national Scotties in Calgary. Rachel Homan's Ontario team forced Chelsea Carey to throw a runback double kill with her final stone coming home and watched while Carey nearly pulled it off, leaving one of the two in the 12 foot circle - just slightly better than a Wild Card Team Fleury-Carey third counter. The steal gave Homan a 7-6 win as the Ontario team improved to 8-1, tied with Team Canada's Kerri Einarson who trailed Saskatchewan 4-1 after three ends but fought back for a 10-6 win.

The Wild Card Beth Peterson team led Jennifer Jones and Team Manitoba 8-7 coming home but Jones controlled the end and posted an 12-8 victory. Team Manitoba improves to 7-2, a win ahead of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Quebec after the Saskatchewan loss and an Alberta win (7-6) over Quebec.

8-1 Ontario: Homan 
8-1 Canada: Einarson 
7-2 Manitoba: Jones
6-3 Saskatchewan: Anderson
6-3 Quebec: St-Georges
6-3 Alberta: Walker
5-4 Wild Card 3: Peterson
5-4 Wild Card 1: Fleury-Carey

FRIDAY 7:30pm CST
Wild Card 3-Saskatchewan
Quebec-Ontario
Manitoba-Alberta
Canada-Wild Card 1

**
(Friday Morning)Four Manitoba Teams Among Eight Advancing: Four Manitoba teams are among the eight which have advanced to the next round of the national Scotties in the Calgary bubble. With a 7-1 record, Kerri Einarson's Gimli Team Canada has an advantage over the other Manitoba teams as they carry forward their records and then play the four teams which advance from the other Pool.  The Manitoba match-ups in the second round will be critical for all four teams in their hopes of advancing to the final three. The two Wild Card teams probably have to win at least three of their four games as a record of 8-3 would seem to be the minimum requirement and even that might not be good enough. The Team Canada-Manitoba game between Jones and Einarson does not happen until the fourth round and by then could be meaningless or could, in fact, dictate the playoff future as a MUST Win for both.

The Manitoba matchups are: Friday 1:30CST Jones vs Peterson; Friday 7:30pm Einarson vs Fleury-Carey; Saturday 1:30pm Fleury-Carey vs Peterson; Saturday 7:30pm Einarson vs Jones

7-1 Ontario: Homan 
7-1 Canada: Einarson 
6-2 Saskatchewan: Anderson
6-2 Manitoba: Jones
6-2 Quebec: St-Georges
5-3 Wild Card 3: Peterson
5-3 Wild Card 1: Fleury-Carey
5-3 Alberta: Walker

FRIDAY 1:30pm CST
Alberta-Quebec
Saskatchewan-Canada
Ontario-Wild Card 1
Manitoba-Wild Card 3

FRIDAY 7:30pm CST
Wild Card 3-Saskatchewan
Quebec-Ontario
Manitoba-A
lberta
Canada-Wild Card 1

SATURDAY 1:30pm CST
Ontario-Manitoba
Wild Card 1-Wild Card 3
Quebec-Canada
Alberta-Saskatchewan

SATURDAY 7:30pm CST
Wild Card 1-Alberta
Canada-Manitoba
Saskatchewan-Ontario
Wild Card 3-Quebec



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