March 20, 2012
Canada survived a strong challenge from Russia to win by 7-5 in Tuesday morning’ s ninth round-robin session of the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada to once again sit alone at the top of the rankings, on five wins and just one loss.
The Canadians had a strong start, following up a score of two in the opening end with a single steal in the second, but Russia’s Anna Sidorova then led a Russian revival, opening her account with one point in the third, and then stealing two in the fifth after Canada had blanked the fourth end, meaning that the score was level at 3-3 at the halfway break.
Canada’s Heather Nedohin then scored the two in the sixth end that made the difference, with the teams swapping single points from then on until Canada emerged as winners.
After the game, Nedohin said, “we are really pleased to win. We got up there early with a three and we gave up a steal of two, but she made a great last shot to get in there”. Speaking about her position at the top of the table, she added, “this is only Tuesday, and there’s a lot of the Worlds left”.
Canadian fifth Amy Nixon played this game at second in place of a sick Jessica Mair, and about that, Nedohin said, “Amy has got it on, she is our superstar fifth. She fits right in”.
Switzerland beat Scotland by 5-4 in a tight game to move to four wins – the same number as Korea and Sweden, who both have played one game less.
In this game, the Swiss made the first break-through in the fifth end when Scottish skip Eve Muirhead’s final draw came up short and Switzerland stole a single shot for a 3-1 lead. The Swiss stole another single in the sixth, but, in the ninth, Muirhead buried her first stone and then scored two from the end, drawing in with her second shot to level the game at 4-4. The Scots did not have last stone in the tenth, and their challenges were compounded when lead Claire Hamilton had a stone removed for a hog-line offence. This changed the dynamic in the end, and the Swiss eventually scored the one needed for their win.
Afterwards, a pleased Swiss skip Mirjam Ott said, “we had a really good game, probably the best from all of us and we’re happy that we’ve won another. It was very close. Scotland didn’t risk too much, I think they were a little bit insecure because they’ve had some losses, but they are a good team and we had to fight to the end.”
After a bad start that had seen them rack up four losses, the USA recorded their second successive win when they beat Germany by 9-7. The Americans took the initiative from the start in this game, scoring a single point in the opening end and stealing another in the second. Germany got on the scoreboard with one point in the third, but the USA produced the first of two three-counts in the fourth to keep well ahead.
The Germans did respond with a three of their own in the sixth end, but USA came right back with a further three in the seventh. Eventually, an umpire’s measure in the tenth gave USA a point from the end to seal their win.
US skip Allison Pottinger said, “we could get used to this winning habit, it feels pretty good. It’s great to build momentum, especially in a game like that - you start to believe and gain some confidence, so it’s good. We need to stop giving up the threes though, it’s nice to get them, but not so nice to give them away.”
China recovered from their Monday evening loss at the hands of Russia to beat Denmark by 7-6 in this session. In a tight game, China scored three in the fourth end for a 4-2 lead to leave Denmark chasing. Celebrating what was only her second win of the week so far, China’s skip Bingyu Wang, said, “of course, it always feels so great to win. We just need to try to keep winning, that’s all”
Results Session 9:
USA 9, Germany 7; China 7, Denmark 6; Canada 7, Russia 5; Switzerland 5, Scotland 4.
Standings after 9 Draws:
Czech Republic 2-3