Shannon Birchard

Shannon Birchard (born May 11, 1994 in Winnipeg, Manitoba[2]) is a Canadian curler from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She currently plays second on Kerri Einarson's team in Gimli, Manitoba.

Shannon Birchard
Born (1994-05-11) May 11, 1994
Team
Curling clubThistle CC[1],
Winnipeg, MB
SkipKerri Einarson
ThirdVal Sweeting
SecondShannon Birchard
LeadBriane Meilleur
Mixed doubles
partner
Catlin Schneider
Career
Member Association Manitoba
Hearts appearances2 (2018, 2019)
World Championship
appearances
1 (2018)
Top CTRS ranking2nd (2018-19)
Grand Slam victories1 (2019 Players')

Junior career

Birchard won two provincial junior championships in her junior career, in 2012 and 2013 as a skip.[3] At the 2012 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, Birchard led her team of Selena Kaatz, Kristin MacCuish and Mariah Mondor to a 10-2 round robin record, giving her rink a bye to the finals, where she lost to Alberta's Jocelyn Peterman. At the 2013 Canadian Junior Curling Championships, she led her team of Nicole Sigvaldason, Sheyna Andries and Mondor to a 9-1 record before the playoffs. There, she won the semifinal game against Ontario's Jamie Sinclair before losing in the final to Corryn Brown's British Columbia rink. She was not able to defend her Manitoba title in 2014 or in 2015, when she lost in the final.

Women's career

After failing to win a third provincial junior title, Birchard played in her first women's provincial championship (the Manitoba Scotties) in 2014 with Nicole Sigvaldason, Kelsey Boettcher and Megan Sigvaldason. The team finished the tournament with a 1-6 record.

Birchard returned to the Manitoba Scotties in 2016 with her 2013 junior team. There, she found more success, making the playoffs after posting a 6-1 record. In the playoffs she beat Cathy Overton-Clapham, but then lost in the semifinal to Kerri Einarson.

Her team played in the 2017 Manitoba Scotties Tournament of Hearts, again making the playoffs after winning a tiebreaker game after a 4-3 record. However, she would lose to Darcy Robertson in their only playoff game. Birchard won the Manitoba Mixed doubles title that year[4] and played in the 2017 Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling Championship with partner Jason Gunnlaugson. They went 5-2 after group play, but were eliminated in the round of 12 against Marliese Kasner and Dustin Kalthoff.

Birchard and her team began the 2017-18 curling season by winning the 2017 Colonial Square Ladies Classic, after beating defending Olympic champion Jennifer Jones in the final. She played vice for Jones on Team Manitoba at the 2018 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, with Jones' regular vice Kaitlyn Lawes absent in preparation for the mixed doubles tournament of the 2018 Winter Olympics.[5] They would go on to win the Scotties after defeating fellow Manitoban, Kerri Einarson in the final. After the win Birchard said that "It's pretty unbelievable. I don't even have words right now, I'm speechless. I'm so overjoyed and so happy that they chose me to come along. This has been a dream of mine for a really long time."[6] With Lawes returning to the team following the Olympics, Birchard became the alternate for Team Canada at the 2018 World Women's Curling Championship. In their matches against the Czech and Italian teams, Birchard had a chance to play in the second half, replacing Lawes and Jill Officer in each of their games well under control.[7][8] She had a chance to play a full game, replacing Officer in their match against Japan.[8] The team went undefeated through the whole tournament, winning the extra-end final against the reigning Olympic champions, Team Hasselborg of Sweden.[9]

For the 2018-19 curling season, Birchard joined a new team with Kerri Einarson, Valerie Sweeting, and Briane Meilleur, all former skips.[10] They began the season by winning three straight World Curling Tour events in three weeks: the 2018 Stu Sells Oakville Tankard, the inaugural Morris SunSpiel and then the Mother Club Fall Curling Classic[11] with a fourth win at the Curlers Corner Autumn Gold Classic in October.[10] In December, the team lost in the finals of the 2018 Canada Cup and 2018 National. Their strong play during the early part of the season earned them enough points to put team Einarson in the Wild Card game at the 2019 Scotties Tournament of Hearts. However the team lost to the lower ranked Casey Scheidegger rink. The team would rebound to have a strong finish at the end of the season, winning the 2019 Players' Championship and losing in the final of the 2019 Champions Cup.

Team Einarson had two playoff finishes at the first two Slams of the 2019–20 season, losing to Anna Hasselborg in the quarterfinal of the Masters and once again to Hasselborg in the final of the Tour Challenge. The team did not have the same success at the Canada Cup as they did in 2018, finishing with a 2-4 record.

Personal life

Birchard attended the University of Winnipeg. She is employed as an administrative assistant with River City Ford.[12]

References

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