Manitoba's Kerri Einarson plays Chelsea Carey of Alberta as the top 2 non-qualified CTRS teams for the final berth into the 2018 Scotties.
Carey, joined by Cathy Overton-Clapham, Jocelyn Peterman and Laine Peters come into the Scotties Tournament of Hearts hot off of winning the Meridian Canadian Open last Sunday in convincing fashion over Michelle Englot and looks to be a strong favourite in tonight's game. Their 46-16 record on the season has them ranking 2nd on the Canadian Team Ranking System (behind only Jennifer Jones) scoring 8.68 points for per (10 end) game while giving up only 5.89 points against per game.
Carey's Canadian Open win, along with her runner-up finishes at the Olympic Trials and GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2 event and semifinal finishes at the BOOST National, Curlers Corner Autumn Gold and Prestige Hotels Classic show they've been very consistent on the season and belong in this year's Scotties main-event.
All doom and gloom for Einarson? Not so fast would say the feisty Manitoba team who have posted an equally strong 51-23 record on the season scoring 8.56 points for per (10 end) game and allowing 5.80 points against per game.
Einarson with Selena Kaatz, Liz Fyfe and Kristin MacCusih come in with early season wins at the Spider Performance Icebreaker and the GSOC Tour Challenge Tier 2 event where they beat Carey 7-4 in the final. While Carey may be the hot team coming in, but Einarson has the upper hand head to head with a 10-4 career record dating back to 2008 including the last 7 meetings.
Both teams profile out very similarly in how they scoring with both posting a hammer efficiency (scoring 2 or more with hammer, blanks excluded) while Einarson has a slight advantage posting a 17% steal defence over Carey and their 19% steal defence. Without the hammer Einarson has a slight advantage as well, posting a 59% force efficiency (holding opponent to single point when they score) to Carey's 56% overall force efficiency with Einarson also out-stealing Carey 34-31%.
All looks great for Einarson until you dig a little deeper into the numbers. For Einarson, the overall profile is great but they've struggled this season when up 1 without the hammer, with their force efficiency sinking to a paltry 37% in 52 ends played this season which has held them back.
We're going to see a great game tonight where we expect to see the teams trade some deuces throughout the match, both with high profile scoring prowess, though Carey has been better a limiting scoring in those tight games and a well-timed force by Carey could be the difference tonight to overcome their 7-game losing streak.
Game goes tonight at 6:30pm Pacific, 9:30pm Eastern on TSN.