Chelsea Carey shoots a stone during the eighth round-robin draw of the Humpty's Champions Cup on April 25, 2019, in Saskatoon. (Anil Mungal)

Carey escapes with win over Sinclair in Champions Cup

April 25, 2019, 8:43 PM

SASKATOON — Calgary’s Team Chelsea Carey pulled off the magic act again to escape with another win in the Humpty’s Champions Cup.

Carey stole two points in the eighth end for the second straight time to swipe a 5-4 victory from Team Jamie Sinclair of the United States during Thursday afternoon’s action at Merlis Belsher Place.

Team Carey (2-0) also rallied with late steals including two in the final frame to beat Sweden’s Team Isabella Wrana 6-5 Wednesday.

“It’s surreal because you don’t think you’re going to win those games never mind two in a row in that exact same situation,” Carey said. “We played pretty good ends in both cases but you still don’t expect to end up stealing two. We’ve been very fortunate, obviously, to do that.”

Carey’s crew has taken on the identity of never giving up and grinding out wins as evident this week.

“That we’ve gotten very good at so we stayed in a good headspace, we don’t get frustrated, we stay together as a team and are like, OK, let’s just keep making shots and see what happens,” Carey said. “The pressure’s off of you at that point, so it’s kind of easy to play loose and they tighten up because it’s theirs to lose now. You have to try and take as much advantage of that as you can.”

Worlds collided once more with the Scotties Tournament of Hearts winners facing the U.S. national champions. Sinclair blanked the first couple ends and her patience paid off with a hit to score three points in third with rocks all lined around the edge of the eight-foot circle.

The 2018 Players’ Championship winner Sinclair appeared to have a hold on the whole game never trailing and held the hammer coming home in the eighth end up by one. Disaster struck though as Sinclair wrecked on a guard with her first skip stone and redirected off a guard and into the centre with her last connecting with the two counters but was unable to remove them.

With a 2-2 record, Sinclair has wrapped up round-robin play a day early and is still in it awaiting the results of the remaining draws. It’ll be some much-needed rest as Sinclair is nursing a sore hip after falling on a rock last month at the world championship.

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Elsewhere, reigning world champions Team Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland defeated Russia’s Team Alina Kovaleva 6-2. Tirinzoni improved to a 2-1 record while Kovaleva is in the same boat as Sinclair finishing round-robin play at 2-2.

Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers downed world junior champions Team Tyler Tardi of Langley, B.C., 7-1 to get on the board. Carruthers, with fourth Mike McEwen calling the shots, now holds a 1-1 record while Tardi fell to 0-3.

Team John Shuster of the United States, with spare skip John Morris, punched the first men’s playoff ticket at 3-0 with an 8-4 win over Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson (0-3).

“We’re gelling pretty well,” Team Shuster second Matt Hamilton said. “We knew John, he’s a good guy and a good friend of ours, so we thought we’d have pretty good chemistry on the ice and I think we’re showing that we do. I’m happy to get a couple wins and focus on the next one and keep this momentum going, hopefully, into the playoffs.”

“Plus, he’s such a character,” he added. “He’s an absolute beauty, so it’s easy to have fun and enjoy it.”

Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin moved up to a 2-0 record by picking up an 8-5 victory over Team Brad Jacobs (1-2) of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. Both skips were sharp but Edin had the edge shooting a perfect 100 percent.

The action resumes at 10 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. CST. Watch on Sportsnet or online via Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Round-robin play runs through to Friday with the top eight teams overall in both divisions advancing playoffs. The quarterfinals and semifinals are set for Saturday with both finals scheduled Sunday.

Notes: The Humpty’s Champions Cup is the seventh and final Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of the season featuring 15 men’s teams and 15 women’s teams who won high-profile events over the course of the season to qualify. … The total purse is $250,000, split evenly between the men’s and women’s divisions, with the winners earning $40,000. … A new rule is being tested at the event where teams cannot perform tick shots on rocks sitting on the centre line during the eighth and extra ends.