Manitoba curling fans had to take the bad with the good Monday.
Quebec’s Laurie St-Georges upended the Winnipeg-based Fleury Wild-card No. 1 team skipped by Chelsea Carey 8-7 to vault into a tie for first in Pool B at the Scotties national women’s curling championship in Calgary Monday afternoon.
St-Georges and her team of Scotties rookies are 3-1, joining Fleury and P.E.I.’s Suzanne Birt, who walloped Newfoundland and Labrador’s Sarah Hill, 12-8.
Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson added to the misery, scoring two in the 10th to beat Manitoba’s Jennifer Jones 5-4. Jones fell 2-2 and sixth in Pool B while Anderson sits in fourth at 2-1.
"We made our goal honestly to have fun and make good shots and if the championship pool — (if) we saw ourselves there then that was great," Quebec vice-skip Hailey Armstrong told reporters. "We just want to work well as a team here at our first Scotties and just enjoy the experience."
In the lone morning game, Team Canada skip Kerri Einarson improved to 4-0 to lead Pool A after beating Kerry Galusha of the Northwest Territories 8-4 in the lone Monday morning game.
The Gimli sharpshooter did not trail in the game, which had been rescheduled from Saturday when an unnamed player from the Galusha team fell ill inside the bubble. The affected player was given another COVID-19 test but the game was rescheduled as a precaution.
Einarson is tied at 4-0 with Ontario’s Rachel Homan, who upended Nova Scotia’s Jill Brothers 8-3.
"I know going out there every team wants to beat Team Canada so it definitely puts a target on our back and every team has been playing really well against us and we know we need to play well if we want to win those games," said Einarson, who faces Nova Scotia in Tuesday’s afternoon draw.
Team Canada coach Heather Nedohin said Einarson’s crew has been stellar.
"I’ve been watching numerous games of theirs as a fan and this year having one of the best seats in the house," said Nedohin. "... The team is extremely entertaining, right from front (with) Briane (Meilleur) setting up the end, Shannon (Birchard) clearing the house, Val (Sweeting) making those finesse shots and then Kerri finishing. It’s an entertaining team that’s full of dynamic players and Kerri herself, she’s clutch."
Kerri Einarson, a rehabilitation assistant, is aiming to become the first skip to win back-to-back national titles since Ontario’s Rachel Homan accomplished the feat in 2013 and ‘14.
Though she was curling in Calgary, her heart was with those suffering at home during the pandemic.
"I see it in my residents’ faces every day when they can’t see their families and it’s extremely hard," said Einarson. "I try and be there for them as much as possible and give them those hugs that they don’t get to get from their families. Actually I had a resident ask me before I left if she could have my phone number so she could phone me and she phoned me the first day and she was just excited to see curling back on TV. I am so grateful for all their support."
During the evening draw, Wild-card No. 2 Mackenzie Zacharias of Altona dropped a 6-5 decision to Galusha of the Northwest Territories to fall to 1-3 overall while Wild-card No. 3 Beth Peterson of Winnipeg edged Alberta’s Laura Walker 6-4 to improve to 2-3 in Pool A.
The top four teams in each pool advance to the championship round.
Mike has been working on the Free Press sports desk since 2003.