Team Einarson, Team Lawes clinch playoff berths in WFG Masters
Oakville, Ont. — Team Kerri Einarson and Team Kaitlyn Lawes maintained their momentum in the WFG Masters on Thursday night to secure their spots for the playoffs.
Einarson, from Gimli, Man., doubled up on Vancouver’s Team Clancy Grandy 8-4 while Team Lawes, with Selena Njegovan skipping the Winnipeg club, downed Team Eun-Jung Kim of South Korea 9-3 during Draw 12 round-robin action at Sixteen Mile Sports Complex.
Both Team Einarson and Team Lawes clinched playoff berths with unblemished 3-0 records and one round-robin game remaining each Friday.
Ottawa’s Team Rachel Homan also locked down their place in the quarterfinals at 3-0 earlier Thursday with a 7-5 win over Team Silvana Tirinzoni from Switzerland.
Einarson set the tone early against Grandy by pulling off one of her patented cross-house double takeouts in the opening frame to score a deuce.
Grandy, who is originally from nearby Burlington, was forced to a single in the second and wrecked on her own guard in the third allowing Einarson to easily draw for three points and a 5-1 hold on the match.
Although Grandy (1-2) recovered with a deuce in the fourth to cut the deficit in half, Einarson was on her game and fired a runback double to count another trey in the fifth that all but put the game out of reach.
The reigning HearingLife Tour Challenge Tier 2 champion Grandy grabbed another single in the sixth and then shook hands.
Meanwhile, Team Lawes were limited to a single in the first against Team Kim but were able to build a 3-0 lead thanks to back-to-back steals in the second and third.
With Team Lawes up 4-1 after five, Kim scored a deuce in six but couldn’t completely close the gap. Team Lawes completed an open draw for three in the seventh to make it 7-3.
Kim (0-3) opted to continue for the eighth end but was unable to get the equalizing four points and instead handed over two more to Team Lawes.
Njegovan, who normally throws third, is skipping the squad this week with Lawes away on maternity leave. Laura Walker is subbing at third.
Elsewhere in Draw 12, Team Tabitha Peterson from the United States improved to a 2-1 record with a 7-3 victory over Japan’s Team Satsuki Fujisawa (1-2).
Winnipeg’s Team Jennifer Jones also climbed to 2-1 by holding off Team Raphaela Keiser of Switzerland 5-4. Keiser dropped to a 0-3 record and has been eliminated from contention.
The WFG Masters resumes Friday with Draw 13 at 8 a.m. ET. Tickets are available at the door or online at masters.goigniter.com.
Broadcast coverage picks up again with Draw 14 at 11:30 a.m. ET / 8:30 a.m. PT on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).
The WFG Masters is the third event of the 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling season featuring 16 of the top men’s teams and 16 of the top women’s teams from around the world. … Round-robin play runs through to Friday as teams play four games against opponents outside of their pools. … The top eight teams overall advance to Saturday afternoon’s quarterfinals. The semifinals are set for Saturday evening with both finals on tap for Sunday.