The defending champions are one win away from advancing to the 1-1 page playoff game at the Provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts for the fourth straight year.
Kerri Einarson, Selena Kaatz, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCuish handed Michelle Englot of the Granite her first loss of the week on Friday at the 2017 Provincial Scotties in Winnipeg.
The East St. Paul foursome stole two in the fourth end and one in the fifth en route to a 7-3 victory over Englot, Kate Cameron, Leslie Wilson and Raunora Westcott.
“We just caught onto the ice and we had our draw weight and our rock placement was really well,” said Einarson who improved to 5-1 and will finish in first place in the Red Group with a win over Darcy Robertson of the Pembina on Saturday morning. “We put some pressure on them and got a few misses and then we capitalized on their misses.”
The atmosphere was electric at the Eric Coy Arena as the top two teams in the Red Group put on a show Friday afternoon.
“It was awesome,” said Einarson. “All the energy coming from the crowd was just amazing and we definitely needed that to pump us up. We went out there and played really well. If we can keep improving, even off that, I'm really looking forward to making the playoffs.”
Englot will advance with a win over Cathy Overton-Clapham of Fort Rouge or if Einarson wins her last game against Robertson who is still in the playoff hunt.
“I struggled with draw weight and I think that was the difference in the game,” reflected Englot on her first loss of the Scotties. “We need to find that for tomorrow. We're still in control of making the playoffs so we need to come out strong tomorrow and win that one.”
Jennifer Jones has clinched top spot in the Black Group.
The seven-time Manitoba champion defeated Briane Meilleur of Fort Rouge 9-5 and improved to 6-0.
“First mission was making the playoffs and it's kind of an added bonus to be in the 1-1 game,” said Jones. “I felt like we kind of started a little shaky there but ended that game really solid. Really happy with how we ended that game.”
Still in the playoff hunt are Cheryl Reed of Brandon and Shannon Birchard of St. Vital who have 4-2 records and Briane Meilleur who is 3-3.
2017 Provincial Scotties Tournament of Hearts
@ the Eric Coy Arena in Winnipeg
Saturday, January 28th
Draw #13 8:30 a.m.
Darcy Robertson, Pembina 10 Kerri Einarson, East St. Paul 5
Cathy Overton-Clapham, Fort Rouge 8 Michelle Englot, Granite 4
Beth Peterson, Assiniboine Memorial 6 Lisa Menard, Dauphin 3
Meghan Armit, West Kildonan 10 Tiffany McLean, Portage 1
Draw #14 12:15 p.m.
Jennifer Jones, St. Vital 8 Shannon Birchard, St. Vital 6
Joelle Brown, Assiniboine Memorial 9 Briane Meilleur, Fort Rouge 2
Jennifer Briscoe, Thompson 7 Cheryl Reed, Brandon 6
Christine MacKay, Fort Rouge 10 Colleen Kilgallen, East St. Paul 5
Tie-breakers 4 p.m.
Robertson 12 Einarson 3
Birchard 11 Reed 4
Playoffs 7:45 p.m.
1-1 Page Playoff Game
Englot 9 Jones 5
2-2 Page Playoff Game
Robertson 7 Birchard 6
Reed & Birchard 4-3
Meilleur, Brown, MacKay & Briscoe 3-4
Englot, Einarson & Robertson, 5-2
Overton-Clapham & Peterson 4-3
Armit & McLean 1-6