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Russia ends Canada’s quest for gold at 2016 Ford Worlds

SWIFT CURRENT — Canada’s hopes of winning the Ford World Women’s Championship, presented by Meridian Manufacturing, for the first time since 2008 came crashing down Saturday afternoon, when Russia’s Anna Sidorova defeated Chelsea Carey 7-4.

The game was decided in the third end, for all intents and purposes. Close misses by Canadian second Jocelyn Peterman, third Amy Nixon and two skip’s rocks by Carey led to a crushing steal of two and a 4-0 lead for Russia.

In fairness to Carey, her final stone was no gimme — a 12-foot angle-raise attempt to get her stone into the four-foot to outcount two Russian stones. Carey had the angle right, but was heavy and pushed the rock through the house — an extension of struggles Team Canada had with weight control at times during the Ford Worlds.

Carey counted one in the fourth after hitting and sticking while facing four. Team Canada played a better fifth end, and when Sidorova missed her first shot, Carey had her facing three. The Russian calmly — when isn’t Sidorova calm? — made a hit and, after a measurement, counted one to restore a four-point lead.

Amy Nixon shows her frustration during Saturday's loss. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Amy Nixon shows her frustration during Saturday’s loss. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

The Canadians couldn’t catch up, although Carey did get a deuce in the seventh end to get back within two.

Sidorova made a double with her first rock in the eighth and had an open hit for three with her last rock. She rolled out, but went up 7-3 to get right back to where she was after three ends.

That was that.

“For sure we were nervous, but we tried to keep the level of our game consistent,” Sidorova said after the game.

She said she knows it is not easy for Canada to play at home despite the crowd support. She said she experienced the pressure of representing her country at the Sochi Olympics.

“Everyone is cheering for them and expects results from them,” said Sidorova, a bronze-medallist at the past two world championships. “We were under pressure as well (today), but it was not the same thing. When the Olympics were in Sochi, it was kind of the same, so I know how it feels. It is not always that can help you.”

Carey had a week of many emotions.

“It’s been a battle; it’s been a grind,” Carey said. “There have been some frustrating times and some great times. It’s been an adventure and certainly a journey, but we are so grateful to be here and wear the Maple Leaf. There is no greater honour that I can think of than that.”

As well as Russia played to amass an 8-3 record during the round-robin, the team kicked it up a notch in the 3-4 game. Russia will play Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa later Saturday, at 7 p.m. MDT in the semifinal, while Carey and her supporting cast of Nixon, Peterman, Laine Peters, alternate Susan O’Connor, team coach Charley Thomas and national coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson, drop to the bronze-medal game Sunday at 10 a.m.

Russia's Anna Sidorova, right, peeks over the shoulder of teammate Margarita Fomina. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Russia’s Anna Sidorova, right, peeks over the shoulder of teammate Margarita Fomina. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

“We’re just going to leave it all out there,” Carey said. “We felt good going into today. It just wasn’t meant to be for us. We fought the inch and they made everything, so that is how it goes sometimes.”

A win in the bronze-medal game will give Team Carey a spot in the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials — the event that will decide Canada’s four-player teams for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. But, she said, she won’t be thinking about that on Sunday.

“No, you just want to stand on the podium,” she said. “You just want to play a good game and nothing else.”

Other members of the Russian team are third Margarita Fomina, second Alexandra Raeva, lead Nkeiruka Ezekh, alternate Alina Kovaleva and coaches Svetlana Kalalb and Rodger Schmidt.

For ticket and other event information, visit http://www.curling.ca/2016worldwomen/tickets/

For the complete results, standings, the schedule and much more, visit http://www.curling.ca/2016worldwomen/

This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at http://www.curling.ca/2016worldwomen/?lang=fr

TSN (RDS2 in French), the exclusive television network for Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide complete coverage of the 2016 Ford Worlds.