Chelsea Carey delivers a stone during round-robin play at the Players' Championship on April 11, 2019, in Toronto. (Anil Mungal)

Carey clips Einarson at Players’ Championship

April 11, 2019, 2:57 PM

TORONTO — Team Chelsea Carey scored two in the eighth end to edge Team Kerri Einarson 6-4 during round-robin action Thursday afternoon in the Players’ Championship.

Carey, from Calgary, is now trending in the right direction at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre with a 2-1 record. Einarson, from Gimli, Man., dropped to 1-2.

“We’ve definitely been getting better with each game,” skip Chelsea Carey said. “It’s been a battle for sure and we know what kind of team they are and we know we’re going to have to play really well to have a chance. I bet it was pretty fun to watch because there were a lot of good shots made. It was fun to be a part of.”

Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling have short round-robin schedules and although the Players’ Championship adds an extra fifth preliminary game to the card, that still doesn’t leave a lot of breathing room for errors.

“We know that we’ve got [Anna] Hasselborg in our last game too so you’re aware of that as well and you want to put yourself in as a good a spot,” Carey said. “Not that we can’t beat them, we’ve come awfully close, we’ve had some close games against them but they’re one of the best teams in the world. We know we want to be in a pretty good spot going into that last game, hopefully.”

Carey started with the hammer and capitalized in the second end to open the scoring with a deuce. Einarson had attempted a thin hit and roll to freeze out the other opposite rock but didn’t quite get it allowing Carey to draw into the four-foot circle for two.

A single in three put Einarson on the board and a steal in four tied it 2-2. Carey tried to make a raise double takeout, however, she jammed Einarson’s counter at the back of the 12-foot circle to concede the point.

Einarson missed a runback double in the sixth that allowed Carey to draw and pot another pair of points. The lead was short-lived though as Carey rolled heavy on her last in seven and Einarson matched with a deuce to knot it up again heading into the final frame.

Carey said patience was key to allow her to prevail in the end with a hit for two in the eighth.

“We had lots of good stuff going on but they were making great shots too,” Carey said. “It looked like we had something set up and then they’d make a great one. You had to take your medicine and take your single point or whatever.

“We gave up that steal, then got two back and looked like we were going to give three or four back. I had a chance to force them and then that goes deep, so it was a roller coaster but that’s what happens when you play really good teams. We’re used to it. We just hung tough and then were able to make some key at the end of that eighth.”

Team Casey Scheidegger of Lethbridge, Alta., moved up to a 3-0 record and in good standing to qualify for the playoffs although nothing is official just yet. Scheidegger slid past Japan’s Team Sayaka Yoshimura 5-3.

It’s been about seven weeks since Scheidegger last hit the ice as the Wild Card team at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts and is pretty happy with her crew’s performance here so far.

“It’s always a little iffy coming back from that long break because we didn’t play in worlds, obviously, so our break was a little longer,” skip Casey Scheidegger said. “It feels good out there. I think the ice is fantastic. We feel really fortunate to play on some great ice, so we’re excited.”

“The pressure’s always there,” she added. “We’ve been playing really well, so we’re happy with our performance so far.”

Team Scheidegger blanked the first, converted for a deuce in the second end and never trailed as it was only single points back and forth from there. Scheidegger said maintaining the hammer in the even ends was the key to victory.

“They made a lot of shots and we missed a couple that really needed to be made like that one in the sixth, my first one, that hit and roll,” she said. “Leaving them the double was obviously not good there. It would have been nice if we got a few more deuces with the hammer but maintaining that hammer in the evens was key.”

Team Hasselborg, from Sweden, joined Scheidegger at the top of the table scoring their consecutive win by defeating Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa 7-3. Both Yoshimura and Fujisawa fell to 0-3 records.

Only one of Scheidegger and Hasselborg will remain undefeated as they face off in the evening draw.

In men’s action, Winnipeg’s Team Reid Carruthers defeated Team Glenn Howard of Penetanguishene, Ont., 4-2 and Team Ross Paterson topped Team Bruce Mouat 7-5 in a matchup of Scottish clubs. Carruthers and Howard hold 2-1 records, Paterson improved to 1-2 while Mouat slipped to 0-3.

Players’ Championship: Tickets | Live Scores/Results | Standings | Draw Schedule | Broadcast Schedule

Teams are split into two pools for round-robin play with the best eight overall qualifying for the weekend playoffs.

Round-robin action continues at 4 p.m. ET with broadcast coverage on Sportsnet ONE and online streaming at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

Notes: The Players’ Championship is the sixth event and fourth major of the 2018-19 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tour featuring 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams in the world. … A combined purse of $300,000 is up for grabs with the winning teams cashing in $30,000 each. … Also on the line is the Pinty’s Cup, which is awarded to the season men’s and women’s champions and includes a $75,000 bonus for the winners. Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan has already clinched the women’s title.