USA and Korea remain in play-off contention; Switzerland remain undefeated

  • USA defeat Slovakia to keep play-off hopes alive Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

Day five (25 February) of the Wheelchair Curling Championship 2016 continued with the ninth session of round-robin play in which USA, Finland, Korea and Switzerland recorded victories.

USA kept their play-off hopes alive with a 10-3 victory over Slovakia. With the hammer, the USA started the game strongly with a score of three points in the first end, followed by steals of a single point in the second and two points in the third end. They would go into the break with a 6-2 advantage.

They would increase that advantage with two more points in the fifth end followed by a further two points in the seventh end for the win.

Finland made it two wins out of two today when they defeated Canada 10-2. They opened the scoring with two points in the first end before adding another two points in the third end to take a 4-2 lead into the break.

Finland would control the second half of the game. They increased their lead with a score of one point in the fifth end, followed by a steal of one point in the sixth end. They went on to steal a further four points in the seventh end which brought the game to a close.

Korea put down a marker for one of the remaining play-off spots when they defeated China 8-5. The teams traded two point scores in the opening ends before Korea scored three points in the third end.

In the sixth end with the score 5-4, Korea scored a vital three points to extend their lead and that would prove to be enough to hold on for the win.

In the final game of the session Russia faced the unbeaten Switzerland with the hope of securing a play-off spot of their own.

It wasn’t to be in this game however, as Switzerland trailing 6-3 after the sixth end put on a fantastic comeback, scoring two points in the seventh end then stealing the vital single point in the eighth to take the game into an extra end.

In that extra end Switzerland managed to load the house with some excellent draws that resulted in them stealing three points and taking the win to remain undefeated.

They Said It:

Patrick McDonald; USA Skip (after the 10-3 win over Slovakia): "I think that the before game feel has pretty much been the same all week. The positivity, communication and team camaraderie has been the same. One game we can’t get anything going and we get a loss, but when we come out and do the same and get that first point on the board, it all rolls in and we play great.

I’ve been trying to think about if there is something missing to cause that because it’s not anywhere to being the same result, it’s complete opposites. I love the team and we’re playing good right now and if we can play like that I think we’ve got a darned good chance of rolling in a couple more wins and still be playing on Sunday.

Everything is in our own hands. We came and we practiced all season long and this team is pretty strong so I’m looking forward to tomorrow."

Hui-Tae Yang; Korea Skip (after the 8-5 win over China): "This game was so important for us because it’s the key to go on to the play-offs. Since we had no choice but beating team China, we all were standing together as one mind during the game as if our lives depended on it. We adjusted and switched positions a little bit and had some time to think deeply for the better game."

RESULTS Session 9:

USA 10-3 Slovakia; Finland 10-2 Canada; Korea 8-5 China; Russia 6-9 Switzerland (extra end).

Switzerland (7-0)
Norway (6-1)
Russia (5-2)
Korea (5-3)
USA (3-3)
Germany (2-4)
China (2-5)
Finland (2-6)
Slovakia (2-6)
Canada (1-5)