March 19, 2012
Canada lost their unbeaten record when they went down by 7-9 to Denmark after an extra end in Monday evening’s eighth session of round-robin play at the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada.
The hosts now share top spot with Korea and Sweden on four wins and just one loss.
Denmark made all the early running in this game. Skip Lene Nielsen decided to blank the first end and then, after scoring one point in the second, had single steals in the third and fourth ends for an early lead. Canada got onto the scoreboard in the fifth end, with a two, but the Danes responded straightway, taking their turn to score two in the sixth for a 5-2 lead.
The teams swapped twos in the seventh and eighth ends, and Canada could only score one in the ninth to seemingly hand the advantage to Denmark, who were leading by 7-5 by that point. But Canadian skip Heather Nedohin played a strong tenth end and forced Nielsen into a final attempt that was wide and heavy and gave Canada a steal of two to put the game into an extra end.
In this end, Nielsen kept her nerve and eventually played a delicate tap-up of her own stone to score two and win.
Afterwards she said, “we had to make a lot of good shots - ‘key shot curling’ some people call it. I like playing Canada and I like beating Canada!”
Speaking about her crucial final shot she said, “you will always have butterflies but I was pretty sure about the call and the weight”
On the next sheet, Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott moved to three wins – alongside Denmark – with a 7-4 victory over Germany. After a mistake by Ott gave Germany a steal of one in the eighth end, this game came down to the last stone. A precision hit by Ott gave Switzerland a score of three and their win.
Afterwards, Ott said, “it was an important win for us - we did it, so we’re very happy. We had a big mistake in the eighth, we could have scored three and they got a steal of one instead. We lost a bit of control with that, so it was even more important that we won. It was a really good, close game, so it was a good win”.
In the same session, USA finally got their first win of the week when they beat Scotland by 7-2 in a one-sided seven-end game. After blanking the first end, USA scored two in the second when skip Allison Pottinger had a nose-hit for two. After this Scottish mistakes gave them steals in the next two ends for a 5-0 lead. The Scots scored a single in the fifth and another in the seventh before conceding at 7-2 to USA.
Afterwards Pottinger said, “this was a lot better. We just decided ‘let’s finally stop worrying about it and play our game’ and came out firing and ready to go. It’s a lot more fun, I gotta be honest. I think we’re starting to feel really good about the broom and about the rocks. I think we’re just going to start rolling now.”
In the fourth game of the session, Russia beat China by 7-5. The Russians took the early advantage by scoring three in the third end after blanking the first two, but the Chinese battled to keep it close throughout. Eventually Russian skip Anna Sidorova hit out two Chinese stones with her own last stone in the tenth for her 7-5 win.
This result puts Russia on the same ‘won two, lost three’ record as the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Scotland, while China and USA share bottom place, with just one win each and four losses.
After the game, Sidorova said, “we are really happy. We were lucky with our last stone - if she played it differently it could have been a really big problem for us. I was nervous on the last stone but I tried to be calm. I’m not too surprised China struggled tonight because they have changed their team around. Whereas we‘re used to changing our team, I think other teams may not be used to changes in their line-up.”
Session 8: Canada 7, Denmark 9 (extra end); Switzerland 7, Germany 4; USA 7, Scotland 2; China 5, Russia 7.
Standings after 8 Draws:
Czech Republic 2-3