For the second weekend in a row, Tracy Fleury has beaten Kerri Einarson in a high stakes game.
After a massive comeback victory in the Manitoba Scotties final last week, Fleury topped Einarson in the first women’s semi-final Saturday at the TSN All-Star Curling Skins Game in Banff, Alberta.
"We always have tight games with Team Einarson, so we expected it to come down to the wire. This was a back and forth game with a pretty exciting finish.” Fleury told TSN.ca.
Einarson opened the draw with the hammer and took the opening skin after Fleury's last rock crashed into her guard.
After a second end carryover, an Einarson miss opened the door for Fleury to steal and pickup a skin of $2,500. Einarson evened the score at $2,500 in the fourth end by playing a double to remove both Fleury's stone and her own, and using two other counters to secure the skin.
Fleury couldn't draw close enough with the hammer in the fifth end, causing a carryover. With the last rock of the sixth, Einarson delicately bounced up on her own stone to score the deuce and win $5,0000.
Fleury closed out the seventh with a fantastic finesse tap, forcing a carryover and setting up a dramatic final end. Einarson's last rock of the eighth was a routine hit and stick that barely held on for the carryover, setting up heavy drama with a draw to the button for a place in the final.
Fleury landed a near-perfect draw to the top edge of the button, and Team Einarson lead Briane Meilleur's shot went heavy, sending Fleury to the final with a $13,500 to $7,500 win.
“We were okay with the carryover in the eighth,” explained Fleury after the game. “We felt like we had pretty good draw weight, so we were prepared if it had to go to the shootout. We're really loving this event, it's a great experience for us. We're excited for the final!"
Einarson said she felt they played well enough to win, but will now turn their attention to the Scotties Tournament of Hearts Wild Card game, slated to take place Feb. 15 in Sydney, NS.
"We played really well and should have won that game. I thought we got our rocks in some really good spots and put some pressure on them. We were thinking we could either steal in the seventh, or hold them, and get our two in the last end. But the draw to the button determines the winner, even if the other team out-curled them,” said Einarson. “Now we're focused on the wild card game. Win one game and we're in. We'll treat it like it's any other final."
Team Fleury will play the winner of the Jennifer Jones and Casey Scheidegger semi-final.