Scotland’s Eve Muirhead collided with a red-hot Russian team playing its last game of the Ford World women’s curling championship and bowed 9-5 on Thursday afternoon.
The loss deprived the Scots of pulling even with Canada atop the leader board with a closing Canada-Scotland collision in the works for 7:30 p.m. CT.
Canada’s Jennifer Jones is 9-and-1 and Scotland is 8-and-2 while Germany and Sweden are 7-and-3.
Germany’s veteran Andrea Schoepp was forced to the last rock before defeating rookie Latvia 4-2 and needs a win in the last round and a Scotland loss to reach the Page One-Two playoff tilt against Canada on Friday at 8 p.m.
A Scottish win against Canada will earn them a rematch on Friday. A Germany loss also would benefit the Scots.
In one other critical last-draw tilt, Sweden’s Cecilia Ostlund faces defending champion Bingyu Wang of China, who was eliminated from playoff contention with a 9-5 afternoon loss to the U.S.A.
The Yanks finished the round robin with a 7-and-4 record and need a loss by either Germany (against Switzerland) or Sweden (against China) in the last round to wind up in a tiebreaker.
“We hope to play tomorrow, but if we don’t get there we fought really hard for seven wins and we’ll be satisfied with that,” said U.S. skip Brown, who lost 9-5 to Sweden in the morning.
“Everyone had a great game in this last one. We protected the lead, we were bound and determined that we wouldn’t wind up tied coming home again. That’s been happening a lot.”
China’s Wang said her team “had destiny in our hands but we lost. Now, we hope to have a good ending. “My team came back strong,” she said of a campaign that started 0-and-3. “The slow start killed us. Then we had a great four games. We are tired, yes, but this is no excuse. If you are tired and you come here you should still play your best every game. I hope everybody knows we try our best even though we lose.”
The Russians jumped in front by two in the second end and refused to relinquish control to Scotland and Muirhead wound up needing two to tie in the 10th and an almost impossible shot to stay in the game.
“It was a circus shot that wasn’t there,” said the Scottish skip of her last-rock flash. “We needed to move three stones. If I’d made the first shot we may have set up a double but would have been in better shape for two.”
Muirhead wrecked on her first raise-tap attempt.
“We weren’t sharp out of the box,” she said, “and they played very well. Now we have to put this behind us. We have a massive last game and we have to focus hard and play the way we can.”
In one other afternoon fracas, Denmark rallied with four in the eighth and a winning two in the 10th to shade Japan 8-7.
In one other last-draw game, Denmark (5-5) closes it out against Norway’s Linn Githmark (3-7).