THUNDER BAY – Krista McCarville had a chance with her final shot to extend the Scotties Tournament of Hearts championship.
The long angle raise just didn’t work out as planned.
Trying to move Kerri Einarson’s stone sitting on the button, her shot rattled a few rocks around the four-foot, but not the Team Canada stone.
Needing two to force an extra end, instead Team McCarville gave up a steal of one and Team Canada’s Kerri Einarson claimed a 9-6 win, and more importantly, her third straight Scotties Tournament of Hearts title, joining the likes of Jennifer Jones and Colleen Jones in the back-to-back-to-back club.
It’s not the ending McCarville, third Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala and lead Sarah Potts were hoping to write for the hundreds of fans cheering them on at Fort William Gardens on Sunday night, hoping to erase the disappointment of another runner-up finish six years ago against Alberta’s Chelsea Carey.
“It was not really the shot I was expecting to have to have the chance to tie it, but that’s just kind of how that end went,” a dejected McCarville said. “Nothing seemed to really go our way in that end, but that was the only shot I had for the chance to tie. It was kind of a Hail Mary and it just didn’t work.”
It was a bittersweet week for Team Northern Ontario, who finished 5-3 in the round robin, defeated Nova Scotia in their opening playoff game, dispatched Tracy Fleury’s wild card team to the 3-4 Page Playoff in their second and knocked off New Brunswick’s Andrea Crawford, the eventual bronze medallists, in the 1-2 Page Playoff to secure the berth in the Scotties final.
“It’s disappointing. We’ve been here before and you don’t know when you’re ever going to get back. It was six years for us, so to lose it in the final is tough, for sure. We wanted to win this so bad and we love the game. We tried so hard and I feel like we worked really hard day in and day out and just coming a week bit short is tough,” McCarville said.
Einarson, who won it all in 2020 and 2021, it’s a chance to seek a little redemption at the Women’s World Curling Championship in Prince George, B.C. next month.
Her team made the playoffs last year in Calgary, but lost to Sweden in the qualification game. A year earlier the event, also scheduled for Prince George, was cancelled because of the pandemic.
Team Canada was clearly the team to beat in Thunder Bay, given their Scotties pedigree – not to mention their 8-0 run through the round robin.
A loss to New Brunswick in the qualification round made their path to title No. 3 a little tougher, but they got the job done.
“It feels absolutely amazing. To win once is really hard. To do it three times, back-to-back-to-back is extremely hard. I’m so proud of my teammates. They’ve been unreal all week and they definitely made my job easy,” said Einarson, skip of the Gimli, Man.-based foursome, which includes third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur
The two teams traded points in the first and second end, Einarson starting with the hammer.
Team Canada scored a deuce in the third when McCarville played a hit-and-roll, but left a straight hit for the pair.
Northern Ontario got one back in the fourth with a draw to the four-foot, facing three, but Einarson struck back with three in the fifth and took a 6-2 lead to the break.
McCarville, who roared back from four down against New Brunswick the night before, got two back in the sixth and two more in the eighth, but was down two with the hammer coming home and with front half of the rings clogged up, couldn’t manufacture two more to extend the match.