As round robin play concluded Thursday at the World Seniors Curling Championships, both Team Canada men and women remained undefeated on top of the standings and ready for playoff action.
In Men’s Group A, Canada’s Kelly Robertson finished with a 6-0 record and faces Scotland (who had to qualify through tie-breakers) on Friday evening.
After finishing on top of Women’s Group A with a 6-0 record, Canada’s Heidi Hanlon qualified for the semi-finals and will face second-place New Zealand (5-1) on Saturday morning.
“We’re thrilled,” said Team Canada third Kathy Floyd after a 6-2 victory over Scotland. That was our goal, to get to the play-offs and we’ll see where we go from there. For the most part we’ve played pretty well throughout the championship so far. We had two or three ends against Russia where we really struggled but hopefully we’re back on track. New Zealand are a great team by making the play-offs so we’ll need to start afresh and be ready for them.”
According to Team Canada Team Leader Bill Tschirhart, the competition has stepped up now that playoffs have started. “With former world champions like [Norway’s] Eigel Ramsfjell in the mix, you know the quality is high.”
The Scottish men, skipped by Keith Prentice, were clearly happy to face Canada again in the semi-finals. “The Scots know they have under-achieved,” said Tschirhart, reporting from Denmark. “The incentive to have another crack at Canada is paramount for them.”
On the women’s side, the competition is just as tough, especially in the upcoming semi-final against New Zealand.
“The [Canadian] women will play a very dangerous team from New Zealand in their semi-final game. They are in the playoffs for the first time and as a result are ‘playing with house money’. We shall not take them lightly!” says Tschirhart. “Team Scotland women won a tie breaker this morning with Team USA. Scotland will now play Sweden in the other women’s semi-final tomorrow morning. Should the Swedes and Canadians prevail in their respective semi-final, it will be a reprise of last year’s gold medal game won by Canada, so if that matchup occurs, the Swedes will have some unfinished business on their minds.”
With solid records behind them, and great ice at the Taarnby Curling Club, the teams know “it will take their best effort and game to win the gold medal – but they feel good about their chances.”
News, scores and standings can be found on the World Seniors Curling Championship website.