Women’s curling: High five for Canada, as Swedes end Swiss roll, and USA get off the mark
Canada kept their perfect record going with back-to-back 8-5 wins over Denmark and Switzerland on Day 6 to extend their unbeaten streak at the Ice Cube Curling Centre to five.
In the morning, the 2010 silver medallists recovered from an early scare against the Danes, who took a 3-1 lead in the second end – the first time the Canadians had trailed at Sochi 2014. Inspired by skip Jennifer Jones, Canada bounced back, with a decisive three pointer in the ninth end sealing the win.
“We found a way to win that game… Every team is playing so well so we’re going to have to be sharper".
China and Great Britain both needed a win to keep pace with the leaders, but were gridlocked on 4-4 going into the break, and again at 7-7 with one end to play, before British skip Eve Muirhead delivered a pressure draw on to the button with her last stone to score the winning point.
"We realised how important that game was, because China are always going to be a really tough team. It was essential for us to win," said a relieved Muirhead.
Switzerland started the day undefeated, but defending champions Sweden knocked them off track, opening up a 7-3 lead at the break.
A valiant come-back saw the scores level at 8-8 going into the decisive end, but the Swiss then let their guard down as Sweden's fourth player Maria Prytz played a draw to the button with the last stone of the game to seal a 9-8 win.
In the afternoon session, the Canadians doubled Swiss anxiety by inflicting another defeat, in which the Swiss were again in contention until the end, going into the ninth at 5-5, before a three-pointer sealed victory.
“Five out of five is a pretty good place right now. My team's playing great - so far, so good. We could still be sharper but, all in all we've got a good handle on the ice and we're making the big shots," said Canada skip Jennifer Jones.
Sweden also won again in the afternoon, but were again run close, this time by Denmark. The two teams were tied at 2-2 after three ends, 5-5 after seven and 6-6 going into the tenth, when Danish skip Lene Nielsen missed an opportunity to seal victory, letting Sweden in for a one-point steal and a 7-6 win.
“That's a relief!” said Swedish skip Sigfridsson. “We really struggled in this game. We were hanging on a thin thread many times, but we're very happy to win.”
The USA and Japan engaged in a tit-for-tat exercise during the early ends of their match, before the Americans stole two points in the third for a 4-2 lead. The pendulum continued to swing either way, leaving the Americans leading 7-6 after the penultimate end. Then up stepped US skip Erika Brown to clinch victory with a one-point draw in the 10th to move her team off the bottom of the rankings.
“I'm feeling much better after that,” said a much relieved Brown. “We’ve been waiting for that win for a few days - it's just in the nick of time I hope.”
Russia and Republic of Korea contested a balanced encounter until the seventh end when Korean skip Jisun Kim scored a three-pointer for a 7-3 lead. The teams then swapped single points, but Russia could not find a way back, leaving the Koreans to run out 8-4 winners.
“That game was very difficult,” admitted Korea's skip Jisun Kim. “Our opponents played really well and put us in some difficult situations, but we got better throughout the game.”
After Day 6
1. Canada 5-0
2. Sweden 4-1
3. Switzerland 3-2
4. China 2-2
4. Great Britain 2-2
4. Japan 2-2
4. Korea 2-2
8. Russia 2-3
9. USA 1-4
10. Denmark 0-5