Canada beat Japan by 8-2 while Korea were 9-6 winners over United States in Saturday morning’s men’s semi-finals. Canada and Korea will now face each other for the first-ever Pan Continental gold medals on Sunday morning. On Saturday evening, United States and Japan will play for bronze.
In the first end of the game between Canada and Japan, Canada’s skip Brad Gushue played a nose-hit open the scoring with two points. Then, in the second end, Japan had a compete miss on an attempt to come into the house at an angle and this handed Canada a steal of three points and a 5-0 lead.
Japan did get onto the scoreboard in the third end when they had an open draw to score two and reduce Canada’s lead to 5-2. Then, after the Canadians blanked three ends, in the seventh, their skip Gushue had a simple draw to score two points and extend his lead to 7-2. A further steal of one for Canada in the eighth end gave them an 8-2 lead, when Japan conceded, by 8-2.
After the game, Gushue said, “That was definitely our most complete game all week. Certainly, when you’ve got the lead and you’ve got (second player) E.J. throwing those high, hard ones – he made some incredible shots, he made it easy and was impressive. We were more than happy to blank it. It’s not the game we like to play but we felt like they had to come to us, and they never did.”
Looking forward to the final, he added, “If we can go out with the same mindset as we had today, and play the way we played today, then we have a good chance.”
Korea against United States
The scores were level at 1-1 when, in the third end, Korea played a double raise, double take-out to score three points and take an early 4-1 lead. However, the Americans responded straightaway in the fourth end their skip Korey Dropkin played a hit, to score his own three points and level the game again, at 4-4.
United States had a 5-4 lead in the sixth end when Korea got past a front guard to play a hit, giving Korea three points from the end and a 7-5 lead.
In the tenth end, down by 8-6, America’s Dropkin faced a difficult double take-out to score two and force an extra end, but his stone just feathered another on the way in to go slightly off course. This gave Korea a steal of one point for the 9-6 score-line that puts them into the final.
After this game, Korea skip Byeongjin Jeong said, “It’s always an honour to play such amazing players and beating them gives us a lot of confidence going into the next game.”
Looking forward to the final, he said, “We think Canada may be the better team and we’re the underdogs, but we will do our best and with confidence – we’ll see what happens.”
In the B-Division men’s semi-finals, India beat Kazakhstan by 9-3 while Guyana were 7-6 winners over previously unbeaten Hong Kong, meaning India and Guyana will play for the one available promotion slot on Saturday evening.
In the sole B-Division women’s semi-final, Mexico were 13-1 winners over Kenya, and they now face Chinese Taipei for the promotion slot, also on Saturday evening.
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