Friday is moving day at the Princess Auto Players’ Championship and Kerri Einarson appears to be in the driver’s seat en route to the playoffs.
Einarson and her team from Gimli, Man., rolled right past Team Min-Ji Kim of South Korea with a decisive 6-1 victory in six ends during the morning draw at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.
The reigning Players’ champion Einarson climbed to a 3-1 record with one group game remaining in the late afternoon draw against provincial rival Team Tracy Fleury of East St. Paul, Man.
Einarson started with hammer possession and finished the opening drive with a field goal picking up three points. Kim was limited to her lone point in the second and Einarson was off to the races from there matching with a single in three followed by back-to-back steals in four and five.
The team of Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur successfully defended the Scotties Tournament of Hearts in February to kick off the slate of events at WinSport Arena and will represent Canada in the world women’s curling championship to bookend the bubble schedule.
Elsewhere, Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni also cruised to a big win trumping Team Tabitha Peterson of the United States 10-3. Team Tirinzoni finished runners-up in the Humpty’s Champions Cup women’s final Monday to Team Rachel Homan and are now at a 3-1 record in the second event of the double bubble for the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling series.
Peterson is out of the playoff picture at 0-4 but will stick around in the bubble after her final round-robin game for the women’s worlds.
Team Matt Dunstone of Wadena, Sask., also made it a quick morning shift on a two-game day scoring an 8-2 rout over Toronto’s Team John Epping.
Dunstone stole half his points over the course of the first few ends. Epping cut the deficit in half with a deuce in four, however, Dunstone (3-1) came firing back with a score of four in the fifth and out came the waves and broom taps. The 2012 Players’ men’s champion Epping remains winless at 0-4 and has been eliminated from playoff contention.
Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., got by Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller with a single in the eighth end to win 6-5. The 11-time Grand Slam title winner Gushue also geared up to 3-1 while Schwaller is now level at 2-2.
Three more draws are on tap to wrap up pool play. Broadcast coverage resumes at 2 p.m. ET / Noon local time featuring Edmonton’s Team Brendan Bottcher against Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., on Sportsnet with online streaming at Sportsnet Now (Canada) or Yare (international).
NOTES: The Princess Auto Players’ Championship features 12 of the top men’s teams and 12 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Both divisions are split into two pools for round-robin play with the top six overall qualifying for Saturday’s quarterfinals. … The semifinals go down Saturday evening with both championship games scheduled for Sunday.