Team Einarson's Briane Meilleur, Shannon Birchard, Val Sweeting and Kerri Einarson captured the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard title Sunday at the Oakville Curling Club. (Jonathan Brazeau)

Einarson shuts out Tirinzoni to win Stu Sells Oakville Tankard

September 9, 2018, 6:45 PM

OAKVILLE, Ont. — Two tournaments into the season and Team Kerri Einarson is already in the winner’s circle.

The all-new Gimli, Man., squad shut out Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni in a 6-0 match Sunday to capture the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard at the Oakville Curling Club.

Einarson joined forces for this Olympic cycle with former skips Val Sweeting at third, Shannon Birchard at second and Briane Meilleur at lead.

Even Einarson was surprised the group won a tournament so quickly into their tenure together.

“I definitely didn’t expect it,” Einarson said. “We went out to just play and throw like we can. We didn’t want to expect too much and put too much pressure on ourselves. We were just going out and having some fun and enjoying it.”

Team Einarson, who missed the playoffs at their season-opener two weeks ago in Winnipeg, finished the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard with an impressive 7-1 record. The crew won seven consecutive games after sustaining their lone loss in their first to Switzerland’s Team Elena Stern, which they avenged during the B-qualifiers of the triple knockout stage to advance to the playoffs.

“I’m so excited to win with these girls and in our second spiel together,” Einarson said. “It’s pretty awesome. We just played so well all week.”

Tirinzoni entered the event as the double defending champion although her team also underwent a roster revamp during the summer with former skips Alina Paetz and Melanie Barbezat joining the club. The two-time world champ Paetz now throws fourth stones, with Tirinzoni sliding over the third and calling the game, while Barbezat is in at lead.

Team Tirinzoni (5-1) was undefeated through the tournament until running into trouble against Einarson, who didn’t even need to hold the hammer once during the final taking the express route on the steal train. Einarson swiped singles in the first and third ends plus pairs of points in the fourth and fifth to bring out the early handshakes.

Pirating points was the name of the game for Team Einarson all week as they stole a whopping 15 ends and 27 points in total during the tournament.

“We stole a lot of points. We weren’t very nice that way,” Einarson said with a laugh. “We put a lot of pressure on them. We put our rocks in good spots and really controlled that front. I think that was a big key to our success.”

Team Yannick Schwaller of Switzerland earned the men’s title defeating Team Wayne Tuck Jr. of Strathroy, Ont., 8-3.

Elsewhere on the World Curling Tour, Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., defeated Russia’s Team Alina Kovaleva 6-4 to take the HDF Insurance Shoot-Out title in Edmonton.

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