Wild Card Einarson beats Nova Scotia’s Arsenault in Scotties semifinal

PENTICTON, B.C. — Two Manitoba-based skips will compete for the Scotties Tournament of Hearts title.

Wild Card Kerri Einarson defeated Nova Scotia’s Mary-Anne Arsenault 12-9 in Sunday morning’s semifinal, booking her spot in the late afternoon title match against Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg.

Jones, the Olympic champion from the Sochi 2014 Games, earned her spot in the final by beating Einarson Saturday night in the 1-2 Page playoff.

“It’s pretty cool to have both Manitoba teams in the final,” said Einarson of Selkirk, Man. “We’re really looking forward to tonight’s game.

“I’m super excited and I can’t wait to get out there for the final.”

Einarson, who is appearing in her first Canadian national championship final, scored four points in a big fifth end against Arsenault and led Nova Scotia 10-6 after six.

Einarson scored four using her last rock to tap her guard into the house, while the other rock rolled in. That opportunity was opened up when Arsenault had a hog line violation with her last rock.

“It’s just crappy that basically a hog line violation cost us the game,” said Arsenault, who has won five Scotties. “My bad. It would have been interesting had they only gotten two that end instead of four.”

Arsenault says that her shot felt good and didn’t realize she had crossed the hog line.

“That’s unfortunate, it’s tough to have that,” said Einarson of the violation. “When we had our opportunity we capitalized on that.”

On her shot that scored four, Einarson said she had that planned a few shots back and knew exactly where she needed to hit the rock.

With hammer in the 10th, Einarson added a single to seal the win.

Arsenault said her team had some ups and downs and weren’t as strong throughout the lineup as they were in previous games. Although she is pleased with going as far in the tournament as they did.

“I think it will give us lots of confidence going forward and it’s great development for our team and hopefully a good warm-up for next year,” said Arsenault. “The girls are really excited to finish top three. It’s a big accomplishment.”

Kristin MacCuish led Team Wild Card with a 93 shooting percentage. Jennifer Crouse topped Nova Scotia at 91.

Einarson earned her spot in the Scotties by beating Chelsea Carey’s Calgary rink in the play-in game on Day 1 of the tournament.

Jones is going for her sixth Canadian women’s curling title.

The champions of the Page Playoffs receives $18,000, runner-up, $13,000. Third receives $8,000 and fourth, $4,000.

Emanuel Sequeira, The Canadian Press

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