Einarson opens Worlds with win
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Consecutive last-rock misses by stellar international skip Anna Hasselborg. Too much to ask for, right?
And yet, that’s exactly what happened Saturday as Kerri Einarson’s Gimli team literally stole a victory in its 2023 world women’s curling championship opener.
Down 4-2, Team Canada was forced to take a singe point in the eighth end but then stole two points on a botched draw by the Sweden skip in the ninth and then pilfered four more in the 10th in much the same fashion for an improbable 9-4 triumph over the host nation.
Hasselborg came up way light with her final stone that would have forced an extra end at the arena in Sandviken, Sweden.
“That was a huge win for us. We put pressure on them in nine and ended up stealing two. That was definitely a momentum shift,” Einarson told Curling Canada. “Then I had to make a couple of big ones in 10 for us to have a chance to win. I’m really happy with my team’s play. We still have more adjusting to do, though.”
It was the lone contest of the day for Canada, while Sweden fell to 1-1 after an earlier victory over New Zealand.
Einarson is joined on the team by third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Harris, alternate Krysten Karwacki and coach Reid Carruthers. The Manitobans won their fourth consecutive Scotties Tournament of Hearts crown last month in Kamloops, B.C.
Einarson had made a difficult double-takeout to pressure Hasselborg to draw against several red Canadian counters.
“I really zone in and know that if I make it it’s good and if I miss it you lose. I just kind of dial in on those shots when I need them,” said the Canadian skip.
“To get this win is really big for us.”
Canada (1-0) plays a pair of games Sunday, including a matchup with Tabitha Peterson of the United States at 3 a.m. CT and a battle with Norway’s Marianne Roervik at 1 p.m. CT
Team Canada’s games are all televised on TSN.
It’s a 13-team round-robin in Sweden, with six teams qualifying for the playoffs.
The Einarson squad is gunning for its first world title.
The 2020 tournament in Prince George, B.C., was cancelled due to COVID-19. A year later, Einarson finished sixth in Calgary’s curling bubble world championship, and then earned bronze in Prince George last year after defeating Hasselborg to reach the podium.