It’s back to the congestion of a four-way traffic jam at the Enmax Centre as the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship heads into its last two qualifying round-robin draws.
The morning’s leaders all suffered setbacks and Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott defeated red-hot Korea 6-5 to rejoin the Koreans, Canadians and Swedes at 7-and-3.
Allison Pottinger of the U.S. (6-and-4) remained within sight of a playoff berth with a clutch 6-5 extra-end win over Sweden, the sixth straight decision for the Yanks after stumbling to four straight losses out of the gate.
In one other game of importance, Canada blew an opportunity to take control of their situation by losing 6-5 to Italy when skip Diana Gaspari executed a perfect double-kill with her last rock.
Idle Denmark, meanwhile, remains in the mix with the necessity of two wins later today — against the Swedes at 2 p.m. and the Yanks at 7 p.m.
Korea plays Russia at 2 p.m. while the Swiss wrap it up against Russia at 7 p.m. and Canada’s Heather Nedohin from Edmonton faces pre-tournament favourite Eve Muirhead (4-5) of Scotland.(Continued Below…)
Draw 15 Photos
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Wins by all four 7-and-3 teams in their last games would leave Sweden ranked first, Canada second, the Swiss third and Korea fourth for Page playoff pairings.
Any other scenario over the remainder of the day could possibly bring a Friday tiebreaker into play.
A smiling Ott professed excitement following her clutch morning win.
“We are excited,” she said. “We were under pressure . . . it was an important game for us. But we have another important game, then we’ll look at the situation. We fought back and that’s important.”
The Swiss got out to a 3-1 lead after three ends but Korea hit back with a deuce and a stolen single. Then the Swiss dominated the scoreboard 3-1 over the remainder with Ott drawing the four-foot on the game’s last shot.
Gaspari was ecstatic with her team’s third win in 10 starts and Italy’s first-ever win over Canada in 15 matches.
Italy fought from behind twice before stealing a go-ahead point in the eighth, holding Canada to the tying point in the ninth and then producing Gaspari’s pressure last shot.
“Honestly, I was shaking,” said the skip from Cortina d’Ampezzo. “We lost so many games this week on the last rock. I really didn’t want to lose in this way.
“The ice was curling a bit more today and harder to control. It is the first time I have beaten Canada. It is a proud moment.”
Said Canada’s Nedohin:
“We were set up very well to get a couple or three in the eighth, and honestly, the way the scoreboard was, they left too many rocks in play. But it’s not a big deal giving up one there. It was a risk and reward situation. That didn’t lose us the game.”
In the end?
“She made a pistol on her last rock,” assessed the Canadian skip. “I have to hand it to them, they played very well. I like it when all the countries here at the Worlds are playing extremely well, when they’re on TV and they’re showcasing their games and we’re showcasing ours.
“I always say, when the skip makes her last shot against us, that’s a part of the game. I get more frustrated with myself when I miss my last shot to lose a game. She made a nice double, we forced that and made her throw a different turn. That’s the game.”
Nedohin said Canada has more in reserve for the future. (Continued below…)
“We always see teams that play well against us,” she said. “I think that’s an opportunity for us to show our A-game.”
Pottinger didn’t require the hammer in overtime against Sweden after she made her first effort perfectly.
Last-rocker Maria Prytz threw narrow on an out-turn come-around attempt to dislodge a near-frozen American counter on the button. It was one of those shots that had to be precisely perfect.
“The girls are working so hard, it feels great,” said the U.S. skip.
“We’re not falling for that trick about who we’re playing next game,” she added. “It doesn’t matter. We just play our game. It has worked for six in a row. We just have to go forward and keep digging.”
In one other morning confrontation, 2009 champion Bingyu Wang of China handed Linda Klimova’s Czechs their eighth straight loss — 11-6. It was Wang’s third win in 10 starts.