American skip Jamie Sinclair in action at the Humpty's Champions Cup in Calgary. (Anil Mungal)

Sinclair slips by Einarson & into Champions Cup playoffs

April 29, 2017, 1:48 AM

CALGARY — Jamie Sinclair was still trying to catch her breath moments after delivering the winning shot in the tiebreaker to qualify for the Humpty’s Champions Cup playoffs.

With less than 25 seconds left on the clock and trailing by one in the final end, the American skip came through in the clutch picking out Kerri Einarson’s counter and scoring a deuce to complete a 7-6 comeback victory Friday night at WinSport Arena.

Sinclair admitted it was a tad scary getting through that one.

“I’m not going to lie, I was a little terrified,” she said. “It was definitely a high-pressure situation, not a lot of time left and a tough shot. I was feeling the nerves for sure, but managed to get through it. I’m still shaking.”

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Sinclair is no stranger to the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling, however, it’s her first event in the series with third Alexandra Carlson, second Vicky Persinger and lead Monica Walker. Team Sinclair captured the U.S. national championship in their first year together to qualify for the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup.

“It’s amazing,” Sinclair said. “It’s our first Slam as a team so to qualify it’s huge for us. This was our goal so we’re super pumped. I’m just really proud of the girls.”

Einarson, of Winnipeg, just defeated Casey Scheidegger in the previous draw to reach the tiebreaker stage. After Sinclair opened with a single to start, the Boost National winner Einarson took control scoring a three-ender in the second and stealing a point in the third.

That’s when the momentum started to shift. Sinclair scored pairs of points in four and six while holding Einarson to singles in five and seven to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

“We had a rough second end, things didn’t look so good, but it was just another grind,” Sinclair said. “We managed to force them to one, get our deuce, force them to one, so slowly but surely coming home in a pretty good situation. We’re happy with that.”

Sinclair opened the tournament with two losses Wednesday and has now taken three consecutive must-win games to meet top-seed Alina Paetz of Switzerland in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones faces Ottawa’s Rachel Homan, Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland goes up against Jacqueline Harrison of Mississauga, Ont., and Edmonton’s Val Sweeting meets Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg in the other playoff matches.

Watch the women’s quarterfinals Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) or (international).