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Tirinzoni tops Einarson to claim Boost National women’s championship

NORTH BAY, Ont. — Silvana Tirinzoni captured her third career Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling title after her Swiss squad defeated Kerri Einarson’s Canadian club 7-3 during the Boost National women’s final Sunday at Memorial Gardens.

The team of Tirinzoni, fourth Alina Pätz, second Carole Howald and lead Briar Schwaller-Hürlimann ran the table — finishing undefeated at 7-0 — and collected $35,000 from the $300,000 event prize purse plus 12 Pinty’s Cup points.

“It has been so long since the last Grand Slam title we got, so it feels amazing,” Pätz said. “It’s like with a new team, we had to make sure we performed and we found a way.”

Tirinzoni’s previous championship wins in the series came at the Tour Challenge in 2015 and the Champions Cup in 2019. The BOOST National is her first among the four Grand Slam majors.

“It went by so fast, actually, but it’s the first major,” Tirinzoni said. “I’ve been to eight finals and this is the third win, so I really, really wanted to win this one. I would have been very disappointed if we lost again in the final, so I’m really happy.”

Although it’s the third for Tirinzoni and second with Pätz, it’s the back end’s first with Howald and Schwaller-Hürlimann, who both just joined the team full-time this season. Tirinzoni said she honestly thought they would need more time before they would find success in the series.

“They are such amazing players and just great teammates,” Tirinzoni said. “They fit right away. We said we don’t want to have the excuse of being a new team ever but … to work out that quickly was not what I expected.”

Pätz added: “It means a lot. We practised so hard with the new team in August and September. To win another Grand Slam so early is just great.” 

The Gimli, Man., team of Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Harris banked $20,000 and nine Pinty’s Cup points.

Tirinzoni opened with the hammer based on her superior record and capitalized to covert for a deuce in the first. Einarson misfired on a hit attempt and just ticked Tirinzoni’s lone rock in the house allowing Pätz to draw for two. Although it looked a little light, Tirinzoni jumped up to help sweepers Howald and Schwaller-Hürlimann to drag it into the rings.

“Hammer is always important, especially if you play against a very strong team,” Tirinzoni said. “It was a cheap deuce as we call it; she missed an open hit. Then they have to fight back, so that was for sure a key end.”

Einarson recovered in the second and was able to divide the house following a Tirinzoni miss to set the table for an open hit to get the equalizing two-score.

Pätz, who was a sharpshooter with a team-leading 96 per cent, drew for two again in the third end although this time she had to hit the paint in the four-foot circle to make it 4-2.

“She missed some easy shots at the beginning of the game, so that for sure helped,” Pätz said. “We just tried to as best as we could. We were in trouble in a couple of ends but we always found a way to come back.”

The teams went back and forth again, this time trading singles, as Tirinzoni re-established the two-point gap and then stole one to lead 6-3 after six ends.

Einarson, who shot 63 per cent, shook hands after the seventh end when her double attempt for a blank connected and took out one counter but was unable to eliminate the other.

“If it’s a tight game, anything can happen but then if you’re like two up or one up with hammer then you feel more comfortable and they have to take risks,” Tirinzoni said. “The second half actually, I felt like we’re not going to lose anymore but you never know.”

Canada’s Team Gushue goes up against Sweden’s Team Edin in the Boost National men’s final at 3 p.m. ET on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW (Canada) and Yare (international).

NOTES: The Boost National is the first of six events on the 2022-23 Pinty’s Grand Slam of Curling tour. The next stop is the HearingLife Tour Challenge, Oct. 18-23, at the Coca-Cola Centre in Grande Prairie, Alta. … The Pinty’s Cup is awarded to the men’s and women’s season champions in the series following the conclusion of the Princess Auto Players’ Championship in April with a $75,000 bonus for the winners.