OLDS, Alta. — Call it the Team Kerri Einarson Revenge Tour.
The Gimli, Man., squad entered Saturday outside of the playoff picture at the KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup and won three consecutive games with elimination on the line in the Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season finale to extend their campaign for another day and secure their spot in Sunday’s women’s final.
Einarson edged South Korea’s Team Eun-Jung Kim 7-4 in the lone tiebreaker, defeated defending champions Team Rachel Homan of Ottawa 5-3 in the quarterfinals and then capped the marathon with a 6-4 victory over Sweden’s Team Anna Hasselborg.
It was a rematch, but no repeat, of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship women’s final from three weeks ago as Einarson flipped the script and called checkmate on the match by making one of her trademark double takeouts to run Hasselborg out of rocks in the eighth end.
The three-time Grand Slam champion Einarson will take on South Korea’s Team Eun-Ji Gim, who eliminated Switzerland’s Team Silvana Tirinzoni 5-4 and look to become the first Asian-based team to capture a top-tier title in the series.
Min-Ji Kim, who now plays third on the squad, skipped her previous team to the Tour Challenge Tier 2 title in 2019 and used her promotion to reach the Meridian Canadian Open final in 2020, finishing runner-up to Hasselborg.
Gim defeated Einarson 7-6 during pool play Friday.
Meanwhile, Team Brad Gushue of St. John’s, N.L., will clash with Calgary’s Team Kevin Koe in the men’s final.
Gushue outduelled Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin 6-5 in an extra end while Koe clipped Team Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., 4-3.
It was the final game for Team Jacobs with their skip deciding to take a hiatus from men’s curling next season.
For Gushue, it was also a matter of revenge as he finally solved Edin this season following five consecutive defeats. Likewise, Koe beat Gushue earlier this week during pool play to snap an eight-game losing skid against the 12-time Grand Slam men’s champion.
The three-time reigning world champions Team Tirinzoni also bid farewell to lead Melanie Barbezat and second Esther Neuenschwander as both players are stepping back from the sport.
The men’s final opens Championship Sunday at 12 p.m. ET / 10 a.m. local time with coverage on Sportsnet 360 followed by the women’s final at 3:30 p.m. ET / 1:30 p.m. local time on Sportsnet. Stream both finals online at Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).
Tickets are available at the Olds Sportsplex box office and online at champions.goigniter.com.
The KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup is the fourth and final Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling event of the 2021-22 season featuring 12 men’s teams and 12 women’s teams who have won top tour titles in order to qualify. … A combined $210,000 prize purse is up for grabs with the winning teams earning $25,000 plus berths to next year’s KIOTI Tractor Champions Cup. … The 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling campaign kicks off with the Boost National, Oct. 4-9, at Memorial Gardens in North Bay, Ont. Full-event passes are now available for all six events for next season, visit thegrandslamofcurling.com/tickets for more information.