VIRDEN, Man. – Third time’s the charm: in her third visit to the Manitoba Scotties final, Chelsea Carey came to take it all.
The Fort Rouge Curling Club skip claimed her first provincial curling championship in a tense 6-2 victory over East St. Paul’s Kerri Einarson, who had rolled undefeated through the tournament until the final.
After Einarson scored a single in the first, Carey blanked the second and the third. She set the fourth end up and was lying three when Einarson’s last shot killed one, and then rolled out; Carey could have taken three there, but her draw came in too light, sticking in the red paint on the top of the 12. Still, she took a deuce out of the end and with it, a 2-1 lead.
She would get the extra point back in the very next end, on a miss from her opponent.
It’s a throw Einarson would probably like to take back, the hammer rock of the fifth. It struck another on an angle and rolled on out, handing Carey a steal of one, and suddenly the game turned: after the break, Einarson picked up another single, but trailed 3-2 with three ends to play. Carey blanked the seventh and eighth.
For almost 120 minutes, it was a slow and blankey game. Then Carey pounced.
In the ninth end she seized her chance, holding the hammer and pulling her team together for a fabulous end: second Kristen Foster hurled a bang-on double takeout to clear the house, which opened the door for Carey to set up for a triple. She made it and rose to a 6-2 lead. In the final end, all the Carey team had to do was run Einarson out of rocks, and that’s exactly what they did. Carey’s final stone blew Einarson’s rock out of the house and with that sealed her trip to Montreal next month for the national Scotties Tournament of Hearts.