PEI’s Team Birt, and Manitoba’s Team Zacharias with Islander Lauren Lenentine advance to Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials playoff round

The six women’s teams at the 2021 Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials, presented by New Holland, that remain on the path of chasing their Olympic dreams are confirmed.

Team Birt’s Michelle McQuaid, Suzanne Birt and Meaghan Hughes (left) and Mackenzie Zacharias (Curling Canada photos by Michael Burns)

In Pool B, Team Sherry Anderson (4-2, Martensville, Sask.) finalized the playoff picture with its 9-4 win against Team Danielle Inglis (3-3; Mississauga, Ont.). Team Inglis was in a must-win situation to force a four-way tie for the final playoff spot, with the tiebreakers falling in favour of the team. However, an Inglis miss and wreck on a centre guard in the eighth end provided Anderson with a draw for five and controlled the game.

With that result, Team Anderson, Team Suzanne Birt (4-2; Montague and Cornwall, P.E.I.) and Team Mackenzie Zacharias (4-2; Altona, Man.) all finished with the same record and were one win and one loss in games played against each other. Last stone draw distances broke the tie, with Team Birt claiming the top seed, Team Zacharias in second and Team Anderson in third.

Now, Team Birt will play Team Harrison, and Team McCarville faces Team Zacharias in the crossover 1 vs. 2 games at 1:30 p.m. (all times AT) on Saturday. The winners will advance to the A-qualifier final, while the losers will play third-placed teams, Anderson and Brown, in the B-side bracket. 

In Pool A, Team Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay, Ont., finished the round-robin with five wins and one loss after defeating Team Penny Barker of Moose Jaw, Sask., by a score of 7-5 on Friday night at Queens Place Emera Centre in Liverpool, N.S. Barker was in a must-win situation but fell to fourth overall with three wins and three losses.

The teams traded a few single-point ends with each other, but McCarville mastered the power of the crooked number, scoring the first deuce of the game in the fourth end and taking control in the seventh end by stealing two after Parker’s draw was light and tight.

The win by McCarville, vice-skip Kendra Lilly, second Ashley Sippala, lead Sarah Potts and coach Rick Lang locked up first place for the team.

“It’s super exciting obviously. You know coming in that you want to get number one and that second chance at making it, so we’re pretty happy to get that spot,” McCarville said. “We’ve had a few little blips out there, but I think every single competition you’re going to have that. I mean, just to come through and come number one in our pool is pretty exciting.”

With Team McCarville’s win, the game two sheets over had less importance on the overall standings. Team Jacqueline Harrison (5-1; Dundas, Ont.) needed a win combined with a McCarville loss to take the top spot in the pool. While that result wasn’t possible with the McCarville win, Team Harrison finished strong by besting Team Beth Peterson (1-5; Winnipeg) in its final game of the first portion of the event by score of 8-4. 

Krista McCarville and her team from Thunder Bay, Ont., claimed first place in Pool A with a win. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Had McCarville lost her game combined with the Harrison win, McCarville would have been on the outside looking in for any playoff action over the weekend.

“We knew going in that game that it’s still in our control, however, we knew we had to win and just bear down and do what we know how to do best,” McCarville said of the alternative outcome.

McCarville has competed in all four iterations of the Home Hardware Curling Pre-Trials and has qualified for the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, presented by AGI, twice before through this event. Now her team aims to make it a third with sights set on one of the final two women’s spots available to the event that will determine Canada’s four-player men’s and women’s teams at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. 

“I was super excited to be here and be in this atmosphere one again. The fans, the arena, the lights. That’s what every curler wants to play on, so it’s super exciting coming here and playing here, doing what we love best,” McCarville said.

Team Corryn Brown (4-2; Kamloops, B.C) did not play on Friday and sat upon the right side of the fringe in regards to playoff contention after the final draw. Because of Team Barker’s loss, Team Brown remained in the picture and secured the third seed in the pool.

In other action on the ice, Team Jestyn Murphy (2-4; Mississauga, Ont.) defeated Team Kerry Galusha (1-5, Yellowknife, N.W.T.) by a score of 7-6. On the men’s side, Team Tanner Horgan (6-0; Kingston, Ont.) defeated Team Michael Fournier (3-3; Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Que.) by a score of 8-7 in an extra end to eliminate the latter team from the playoffs. The remainder of the men’s playoffs will be determined on Friday evening with the final draw of the round robin at 8 p.m.

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2021 Home Hardware Pre-Trials are available at

Round-robin games are being streamed on Curling Canada’s YouTube channel, while TSN/RDS2 and ESPN3 will cover the closing weekend. CLICK HERE for the broadcast schedule.

CLICK HERE to read this story at Curling Canada.

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