Korea beat United States by 11-4 while Olympic silver medallists Japan were 6-5 winners over hosts Canada in Saturday afternoon’s women’s semi-finals. These results mean that Korea and Japan will face each other for gold medals in the first Pan Continental title in Sunday evening’s final. In the afternoon, hosts Canada and United States will battle it out for bronze.
Korea opened strongly against United States, scoring one point in the first end then stealing three in the third for a 4-0 lead. However, in the fourth end, American skip Tabitha Peterson played a solid take-out to score two and reduce the Korean lead to 4-2. In the fifth end, thanks to strong sweeping by her front end, Korea’s skip Seungyoun Ha drew into position to score one point and increase her lead to 5-2.
The Americans responded again and, in the sixth end Peterson had another take-out to score two, reducing the Korea lead again, this time to 5-4. In the seventh, Korea were able to score two points when Ha was left with an open draw, to take her lead to 7-4. The Americans gave up a steal of four in the eighth that ended the game, with Korea ahead by 11-4 and making their way to Sunday’s gold medal final.
After the game, Korea skip Ha said, “Since we had hammer, our initial plan was to get the first point – that worked out and then we continued at that pace.” Asked how she would feel if she won the first Championship final, she added, “I would be very happy, and it would be an absolute honour.”
Canada versus Japan
Canada was up against Japan in the other semi-final. After an opening blank end, Canada’s skip Kerri Einarson opened the scoring with a nose-hit for one point in the second end. Canada led by 2-0 in the fourth end when Japan skip Satsuki Fujisawa played a take-out on a Canadian stone to score one point and reduce Canada’s lead to 2-1.
In the fifth end, Canada’s Einarson came up with a combination shot that moved stones all around the house to emerge with another single point score, for a 3-1 lead at the break.
But Japan hung on and scored one point in the sixth end when Fujisawa played a hit and stay, reducing Canada’s lead to 3-2. Canada was then ahead by 5-2 when the teams played the ninth. Japan’s Fujisawa then played a take-out to score three points and level the score for the first time in the game, at 5-5.
The Canadians had last stone advantage in the tenth end, but skip Einarson could not find a way to get inside three Japan stones already sitting in the house and get her own stone into scoring position, to give up a single steal, handing Japan a 6-5 win.
Speaking later Japan’s Fujisawa said, “I’m so, so happy right now. That was a very tough game and we won against Team Einarson. We have only won a few times against them, and that’s why we really wanted to win this game. The ninth was a big turning point. They had a good situation and we needed to keep patience and we had good chances in the ninth end and the tenth end. That’s why I’m so happy.”
She added, “We really wanted to play in this event, because it’s the first Pan Continental Championship, and it’s in Calgary… we love Calgary. We will play tomorrow for a gold medal, so it’s really exciting, and we really want to win.”
The women’s final will be played on Sunday 6 November at 18:00 MDT.
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