Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland celebrate after winning the inaugural Pinty's GSOC Tour Challenge title in Paradise, N.L. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Tirinzoni stuns Homan to win Tour Challenge

September 13, 2015, 1:18 PM

PARADISE, N.L. — It was a dream come true for Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni as she earned her first career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title in stunning fashion.

Tirinzoni came from behind to score a deuce in the seventh and steal two in the final end to upset Rachel Homan 6-5 and win the inaugural Tour Challenge during a foggy Tier 1 women’s final at the Paradise Double Ice Complex.

Homan led by one coming home but faced two and her final shot rolled just wide of the mark.

“I was dreaming about this for such a long time,” Tirinzoni said. “Now that it actually came true it’s just a great, great feeling. It’s hard to believe, actually. It was a tough week and not always easy ice conditions but we just found a way to win and we are so happy.”

The rink of Tirinzoni, Manuela Siegrist, Esther Neuenschwander, and Marlene Albrecht — along with coach Gerry Adam of Yorkton, Sask. — also qualified for the second new Pinty’s GSOC event of 2015-16, the season-ending Champions Cup, running April 26 to May 1, 2016, in Sherwood Park, Alta.

“When we set up our schedule we already put it in so we said, ‘Okay we have to win a Grand Slam this year,’” Tirinzoni said with a smile. “We’re just happy that we won the first one so we now know we can go.”

Homan scored a three-ender in the second, held Tirinzoni to one in the third, and hit and stuck for a point in four to lead 4-1 at the break. Tirinzoni was forced to another single in five. Homan looked to score two in the sixth but her last rock overcurled, hitting a guard, and she had to settle for one. She struggled again in seven and Tirinzoni got her two points to close the gap to one before the dramatic finale.

Team Tirinzoni went 2-2 through the round robin. The rink knocked off Edmonton’s Kelsey Rocque in the quarters and topped Tracy Fleury, of Sudbury, Ont., in the semifinals.

Team Homan, from Ottawa, posted a 4-0 record in the round robin to top the leaderboard, defeated Scotland’s Eve Muirhead in the quarterfinals and beat EunJung Kim of South Korea in the semis. Homan is a two-time Masters champion on the Pinty’s GSOC circuit.

Silvana Tirinzoni, Manuela Siegrist, Esther Neuenschwander, and Marlene Albrecht celebrate with the Pinty’s GSOC Tour Challenge title. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Einarson rolls through Tier 2


Kerri Einarson, Selena Kaatz, Liz Fyfe, and Kristin MacCuish celebrate after winning the inaugural Pinty’s GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2 title. (Photo: Anil Mungal)

Winnipeg’s Team Kerri Einarson completed an undefeated 7-0 run through the Tier 2 women’s division with an 8-2 victory over Team Chantelle Eberle of Regina.

It was the first championship for the the rink of Einarson, Selena Kaatz, Liz Fyfe, and Kristin MacCuish.

“It’s just an amazing feeling to finally win a final after so many years of losing a lot of finals and a lot of quarterfinals and semifinals,” said Einarson, who has finished runner-up at the past two Manitoba provincials. “To finally win one is great.”

Team Einarson also earned a spot to the Masters event, running Oct. 27 to Nov. 1 in Truro, N.S., where they will compete against the elite.

“It’s usually as we qualify, it’s like pressure is off of us but we just kept it on us and we’re like, ‘No, we’re going to go for everything,’” Einarson said. “We wanted to be in Nova Scotia with those top teams so it’s awesome. It’s going to be a fabulous time.”

Einarson scored two in the opening end and stole one in the second to jump out 3-0. The rinks alternated singles through three and four as Einarson maintained the three-point advantage. Team Eberle, skipped by spare Amber Holland, settled for one point in five and Einarson got three in the sixth after a close measurement. Holland faced three with her final shot in seven but hit and stuck to give up one and they shook hands.

Holland, the 2008 Players’ Championship winner, filled in at the Tour Challenge for Eberle, who sustained an ACL injury over the summer.

The inaugural Pinty’s GSOC Tour Challenge concludes with the men’s finals featuring home-province hero Brad Gushue of St. John’s against Calgary’s Kevin Koe in the Tier 1 and Jim Cotter, of Vernon, B.C., versus Mark Kean, of Stoney Creek, Ont., in the Tier 2. Watch live on Sportsnet at 6 p.m. NT (4:30 p.m. ET).