It was a successful day for Canada at the Karuizawa International Curling Championships, with both our teams managing to secure playoff berths.
The Canadian women were particularly impressive, defeating the former World Champions from China in the morning, and a strong team from Denmark in the afternoon. The game against China may well have been our girls best of the event so far. After the Chinese blanked the first end, we set up what appeared to be a force in the second, but their skip ended up missing a draw to the eight foot and we came away with a two-point steal. Then, after China scored one in the third, Canada kicked it in to high gear in the fourth and emerged with a well earned three-point score. The rest of the game was smooth sailing, with China conceding after six with the score 6-2 in our favor.
Game two of the day for the Canadian women followed a very similar pattern to the first, with a steal of two in the second end once again giving us an early advantage. The real key to victory came in the third when our team played a nearly perfect end and forced the Danish skip to draw to the edge of the four foot to score. As it turned out her draw was a little heavy, and Canada stole another two. From that point on the result was never really in doubt, with the Danes shaking hands after six with Canada ahead 6-1.
On the strength of today’s two wins our girls ended up finishing in first place with a 5-2 record. That means that our semi-final game will be against the winner of tonight’s tie-breaker between China and Japan Selection.
The two Canadian men’s games today were polar opposites to one another, beginning with a lopsided 9-1 loss to China and ending with an equally lopsided 8-1 victory over Germany. That puts our men in second place with a 5-2 record, and sets up a re-match with China in the semi-final. The guys obviously didn’t have their A-game in today’s match-up, but I can tell you that they’re looking forward to the opportunity to settle the score tomorrow. It will be very interesting to see how the game goes if both teams are playing well.
In my opinion, these Championships are there for the taking for both our Canadian teams. The secret will be to enjoy the challenge that the playoffs bring, and to let their skills and preparation shine through. If our players can do that, there’s no reason whatsoever why we can’t come home with a couple of titles.
Go Canada Go!
Canadian University Coach