Inching closer to play-off contention, groups B and D finish day four play

  • Netherlands record their first win of the week © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Just past the midway mark of round-robin play, the leaders in both groups B and D are starting to make their mark. Three teams in total sit at the top of their respective tables with zero losses while those further down the ladder begin the battle for a play-off spot

Group B

Day four saw Russia improve their lead to a 6-0 record with a morning win of 8-3 over Ireland and a 10-1 win over Austria in the early evening session. Just behind is Denmark on four wins, after finding success this morning over United States, scoring five points in the final end for a 9-5 win.

Danish Skip Mads Norgaard [pictured above talks about the second half of the game against United States, “I was feeling pretty sure about getting two points [in the eighth end] but a single would have been alright to go into the extra-end. I wasn’t really too worried. We were a little nervous after the last ends, six and seven were not too good, but we pulled it through.

Moving forward, he adds, “I feel like we’re playing better. We started out really good, then we had our tough one against Switzerland where we didn’t play too good but pulled through a win anyway. We went a little down against Russia but now we’re building up again. I feel like we’re getting there, more shots are being made, even the simple ones.”

Australia and Finland are currently tied for third place in the group, with the top three advancing to the play-offs and three round-robin games left apiece.

United States improved their record to two wins and four losses earning their first win in three games with a victory over Ireland, 6-2.

Netherlands captured their first win of the tournament and first ever win for Dutch curling in a World Mixed Championship over Brazil, 9-3.

Skip Thomas Levi Kooi was ecstatic after their victory, “We came here with not necessarily a lot of expectations, but we just wanted to show up. We had the first four games and didn’t go our way. We missed our rocks, we missed our angles, we missed all of it. So, we switched some things around last night, we had a good talk with everybody and now we are here and we beat Brazil 9-3, so we’re very happy about that.”

Group B returns to the ice tomorrow morning, Russia playing Finland and Netherlands taking on Switzerland at 08.00 PDT.

Group D

Round-robin play resumed for group D this morning with Japan facing Hungary, Slovakia playing Austria and New Zealand playing host Canada. Japan took the morning game against Hungary, 7-3, then again over Austria in the early evening, 9-2, to move up to fifth place in the group.

Leading the way in the group is Norway with a 4-0 record and a bye for the day. They return to the ice Wednesday morning against Slovakia, who defeated Austria in their morning game, 10-6.

Hungary improved their standing to three wins and two losses after defeating Slovenia, 8-5, in the afternoon session. Skip Dorottya Palancsa [pictured above] mentions the draw weight being absolutely crucial for their next few games, trying to “steal as many points as [they] can.”

Hosts Canada sit in third place in the group now, and after their 10-1 win over New Zealand, skip Michael Anderson says “[the game] felt a lot like the nationals last year in Swan River. The ice was one game further along and we had a better feel for it.”

Feeling good about heading into play-offs, Anderson adds that “we’re not taking anything for granted yet, but we like the position we’re in.”

Slovenia sits now at one win and three losses, New Zealand with four losses and Austria sit at the foot of the table with six losses.

Six teams from group D will kick off day five tomorrow morning here in Kelowna alongside group B at 08.00 PDT.
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Photos © WCF / Jeffrey Au