Kerri Einarson (centre) releases her stone as sweepers Briane Meilleur (left) and Shannon Birchard (right) get to work during Draw 10 of the Canadian Beef Masters on Oct. 26, 2018, in Truro, N.S. (Anil Mungal)

Einarson stays in Canadian Beef Masters mix

October 26, 2018, 9:47 AM

TRURO, N.S. — Team Kerri Einarson is still in it to win it at the Canadian Beef Masters.

Einarson and her crew from Gimli, Man., edged out Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni 5-4 Friday to finish round-robin play with a 2-2 record and remain in contention.

Whether Einarson, who is ranked No. 1 on the World Curling Tour’s year-to-date standings, will play in a tiebreaker or go straight through to the quarterfinals will be determined following the conclusion of the remaining draws.

“We’re not sure what’s going to happen,” Team Einarson third Val Sweeting said, “but even if we have to play six tiebreakers we’re just happy that we’re still in it.”

Einarson didn’t hold the lead until the game was over stealing a single in the eighth end. After Einarson drew to lie three, Team Tirinzoni fourth Alina Paetz hit and rolled too far on her last.

“That was scrappy for sure,” Sweeting said. “We kind of overtook Kerri’s deeper than we wanted to on that last one so we were just hoping for a miss.”

Tirinzoni took two in the first and stayed one step ahead as the teams alternated singles in two and three and again in four and five. Einarson got a deuce in the seventh to finally knot it up heading into the final frame.

“It was a good game overall,” Sweeting said. “We didn’t feel too far off. In the first part of the game, we just weren’t quite getting our rocks in the spots we needed to, but I thought that we just really started to figure it out and hung in there.”

It was a repeat of last month’s Stu Sells Oakville Tankard final where Einarson earned her first of four tour titles already in a sparkling start to the season.

Team Tirinzoni, who finished runner-up at the Princess Auto Elite 10, went winless at 0-4.

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Elsewhere in Draw 10, Princess Auto Elite 10 champions Team Anna Hasselborg of Sweden improved to a 2-1 record with a 7-1 thrashing over American Team Jamie Sinclair, who was eliminated at 1-3.

Edmonton’s Team Chelsea Carey also climbed to 2-1 by scoring two in the eighth to top Winnipeg’s Team Darcy Robertson 6-4. Team Robertson (2-2) also await their fate as they stay in the mix.

In the lone men’s game, Scotland’s Team Ross Paterson (3-1) qualified for the playoffs scoring three in the seventh and stealing one in the eighth to hold on for a 7-5 victory over Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (0-3).

The Canadian Beef Masters is the second event and first major of the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season with 15 of the top men’s teams and 15 of the top women’s teams from around the world. Divisions are split into three pools for round-robin play with the top eight overall qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals are set for Sunday.

Round-robin action continues Friday at 11:30 a.m. AT (10:30 a.m. ET) on Sportsnet and online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: Winners take home $30,000 of the $250,000 total purse plus berths to the season-ending Humpty’s Champions Cup in April. … Points are also on the line for the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the overall season champions following the conclusion of the Players’ Championship.