World Junior finals set in Liverpool, Canada

  • Canadian skip Tyler Tardi competes in the semi-final at the World Juniors © WCF / Richard Gray

Both women’s and men’s Canadian teams will play for gold in front of their home crowd on Saturday (23 February) at the World Junior Championships in Liverpool, Canada.

In the women’s event, Canada beat Switzerland by 8-2 in Friday evening’s semi-finals and will now play Russia, who beat China by 8-6 in their semi-final game.

At the same time, the Canadian men beat Norway by 7-5 in their semi-final, and will now face Switzerland, who were 10-9 winners over Scotland.

In the women’s semi-finals, Canada took a 3-1 lead into the fifth-end break, and then dominated the second half of the game, scoring two points in each of the sixth and ninth ends on the way to their 8-2 victory over Switzerland.

After the game their skip Selena Sturmay said, “we’re super happy to pull out a win there and we’re happy to be in the final. Tomorrow is just a curling game and probably one of our last together. We just want to do Canada well and give it our all out there. Honestly our team is always in high-pressure situations, so we just found the way to keep calm, have fun and know that it’s just a curling game, which really helped us.”

In the other women’s semi-final between Russia and China, Russia scored two points in the first end, then three points in the fifth end to establish a 6-3 lead. Despite China closing the gap with a steal of one point in the ninth end, Russia won 8-6.

After the win, Russia skip Vlada Rumiantseva said, “I think that was a very difficult and emotional game, but I’m really happy because this will be a first medal for us. I think tomorrow we’ll do what we did today. We had a nice game with some wonderful shots and tomorrow we will try to do the same.”
In the men’s semi-final, defending champions, Canada, scored two points in the first end, then had a further steal of two points in the second end to give themselves an early 4-0 lead.

Norway closed the gap by earning single point steals in the seventh and ninth ends. In the tenth end, facing two Norwegian stones, Canada made a hit and stay for the win 7-5.

Canadian skip, Tyler Tardi said, “we got a head start there and they clawed their way back, but fortunately we pulled it out. Now, we’re really happy. The fact that we’re getting a medal and making out country proud means a lot. We’re really excited to play tomorrow. There’s not a whole lot of words that can express how we’re feeling right now. It’s always good to play for gold for your country and the fact that we’re doing it once more is just an unbelievable feeling.”

In a back and forth battle between Scotland and Switzerland, the Swiss opened the game with a steal of four points after a missed run-back attempt from Scotland.

The Scots brought themselves back into the game in the third end after Switzerland wrecked on a guard, leaving a hit for three points. After trading two-point scores back and forth for the next four ends, Scotland held Switzerland to a single point in the eighth end to make the score 9-7.
Scotland tied the game in the ninth end with two points before Switzerland made a draw to the four-foot to win in the tenth end 10-9.

After the winning shot, Swiss skip Marco Hoesli said, “we had a good start. They missed that shot and we stole four. But it wasn’t over with nine ends to play, so we knew we need to fight hard and play good curling. The game got close in the end, but we managed to win. Now, it feels great. We’re just happy to be here and playing the final in Canada is perfect.”

The men’s medal games will take place on Saturday (23 February) morning at 10:00 Atlantic Standard Time (AST). This will be followed in the afternoon by the women’s medal games at 15:00 AST. The gold medal games from each session will be broadcast on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, World Curling TV.

Semi-final results :

Women: Russia 8-6 China; Switzerland 2-8 Canada.

Men: Canada 7-5 Norway; Switzerland 10-9 Scotland.

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WJCC2019 #curling