Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
March 17, 2014
After Monday's sixth and seventh sessions of round-robin play in the Ford World Women's Curling Championship, being held in Saint John, Canada, only Switzerland have maintained an unbeaten record, with four wins so far.
On Monday morning they faced Latvia and they were in control from the very first end when their skip Binia Feltscher played a hit to score two points. They finished with a flourish in the eighth end when Feltscher hit again to score three points and seal an 8-2 win.
After this win, the Swiss team coach Al Moore said, "We're looking for playoff contention and my big job is just making them believe that they’re as good as they are and that they can compete. The wins are helping - the confidence starts to roll."
After this game, Latvia went on to face Olympic silver medallists Sweden, but went down to their second loss of the day, by 3-10. The Swedes opened strongly in this game when fourth player Maria Prytz played a draw shot in the opening end to score three points for a lead they were never to lose.
In the fifth end, Prytz drew her last stone into the house again, this time to score two points for a 7-1 lead on the way to the 10-3 victory that puts Sweden into second place on the rankings behind Switzerland.
Before this game, Sweden had faced a USA team that still had an unbeaten record. This game was tight all the way. In the fifth end, Sweden's fourth player Maria Prytz hit with her last stone to score two points and take a 4-3 lead. After this, the Americans battled all the way, and in the eighth end their skip Allison Pottinger got her stone inside four Swedish counting stones to score one point and level the score at 5-5. But eventually, Sweden emerged as 8-5 winners, scoring two points in the ninth end and stealing a single point in the tenth, a result that handed USA their first loss.
Afterwards, Prytz said, "we have good confidence as a team. We have played in a lot of championships in the last few years, and we know we’re a good team. If we just go and do our job, we’ll be in the playoffs. But there are many good teams here; you can’t relax, you have to focus on every game."
Korea played in both sessions, with contrasting fortunes. They lost by 6-8 to China but then had a 6-5 extra-end win over Russia. The game against China was another tight affair, which the Chinese only won on the last stone - when their skip Sijia Liu played a draw with the final stone of the tenth end. It was well-swept into the house by all the team, scoring one point and sealing China's 8-6 win.
Later, the game between Korea and Russia went to an extra end after Korean fourth player Un Chi Gim failed with a take-out attempt in the tenth end, to give Russia a steal of two points that levelled the game at 5-5. However, Gim made amends in the extra end when she played a draw-shot into the house to score one point and give her team a 6-5 win.
Before this loss, Russia had beaten Germany by 7-3. In this game, the seventh end was crucial when Russian skip Anna Sidorova drew her last stone into the house to score three points and take a 6-2 lead. In the ninth end, Germany's skip Imogen Oona Lehmann hit out a Russian stone to score one point, but it was not enough, and although she reduced the Russian lead to 7-3, she immediately conceded the game.
Afterwards, Sidorova said, "We are trying to keep our confidence on a high level, but of course, it’s difficult to keep it there all the time, so mistakes can happen. But the goal over the next few games is to keep our performance as high as we can."
Both Denmark and Canada sat out the sixth session of play and faced each other in the seventh session. Canada cruised through this game, scoring in each of the first five ends to take a 7-0 lead into the half-time break. Denmark scored single points in both the seventh and eighth ends to reduce the Canadian lead, but a single point by Canada in the eighth was enough to persuade the Danes to concede, with the score at 8-2 in Canada's favour.
After this game, Canada's lead player Lisa Weagle said, "Everyone on the team played great; our communication was the way we wanted it to be, so we’re really happy with the effort we put out there today" and reflecting that this is her team's second worlds appearance she added, "having been at the Worlds once has given us some good experience that’s really helping us here."
In the seventh session Scotland posted their second win of the week, beating the Czech Republic by 6-4. The Scots used last stone advantage to score two points in the first end. The Czechs scored one in the second end, and then stole a single in the third to level the game at 2-2. Later, the Scots took a two-point lead - at 5-3 in the eighth end with a single steal. In the tenth end Scottish skip Kerry Barr played a solid nose-hit to score one point and seal the 6-4 win. Afterwards, she said, "that was a good start for us today, we got out of the right side of the bed this morning."
Session 6: Korea 6, China 8; USA 5, Sweden 8; Switzerland 8, Latvia 2; Germany 3, Russia 7.
Session 7: Latvia 3, Sweden 10; Denmark 2, Canada 8; Korea 6, Russia 5; Scotland 6, Czech Republic 4.
Standings after 7 sessions*:
1. Switzerland 4-0
2. Sweden 4-1
3. Canada 3-1
3. USA 3-1
5. Korea 3-2
5. Russia 3-2
7. China 2-2
7. Scotland 2-2
9. Denmark 1-3
10. Latvia 1-4
11. Czech Republic 0-4
11. Germany 0-4
*teams with the same win – loss record are ranked alphabetically until the end of the round robin
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Saint John. WCF Broadcast Partners for the event include TV4 in Sweden, Russia 2 in Russia, CCTV in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil. TSN is carrying coverage in Canada (RDS in Quebec). www.worldcurling.org/wwcc-2014-tv-web-tv-programme-schedule
In addition, Curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2014 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV And embedded on the hompage of the WCF Website www.worldcurling.org
More information about the event can be found on the event website: www.curling.ca/2014worldwomen-en/
Results are here: www.curling.ca/scoreboard
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The World Women’s Curling Championship 2015 will take place in Sapporo, Japan, from 14-22 March in the Tsukisamu Gymnasium.