American skip Erika Brown of Madison, Wis., fired a last-rock missile that unhinged a near-welded freeze applied by Denmark’s Madeleine Dupont with her final stone and recorded a winning deuce in a critical 6-5 Ford World women’s curling championship decision Tuesday afternoon.
The win kept the U.S.A. women in the thick of the race for playoff berths. Scotland advanced to a 6-and-1 record with a 10-1 breeze against rookie Latvia on the same draw. The U.S. is 5-and-1 and will face 6-and-0 Canada in a vital showdown later today (7:30 p.m. CT).
The hot-and-cold Danes took a 3-1 lead with a third-end triple-count and led 3-2 in the fifth with the possibility of a multiple in the works, until Brown played a button freeze on her own stone and watched Dupont’s final brick over-curl to leave the issue square.
“We were in a lot of trouble but we managed to take a five-ender away from them,” said Brown. “My stone was hanging out there to for her to whack away at it but she jammed and we ended up stealing one which was great.”
Denmark still controlled the match through to the 10th but the Yanks succeeded in scattering two 12-foot hangers supporting a shot rock across the rings. Dupont played two freezes, the second better than the first, but Brown managed to spring both enemy stones for the winning deuce.
“I wasn’t sure I could move her far enough on the last one, to be quite honest,” Brown said of a lengthy pre-shot deliberation.
“I had to hit it real thin and I wasn’t sure it was there. The alternative was a draw for one and an extra end. It was close. I think I almost clipped out one of my own with the shooter which rolled out. It wasn’t our best game this afternoon but it just shows we’re really resilient to hang in there.” Danish coach Renee Sonnenberg admitted her team was “emotionally crushed by the tight loss”.
Elsewhere, Russia’s Anna Sidorova dropped Germany’s Andrea Schoepp 7-4 when Schoepp’s last runback failed to curl with a tying deuce the target, and China’s Bingyu Wang persevered in a long-chance campaign to reach the playoffs with four losses, stealing five points in an 11-6 decision over struggling Japan, skipped by Moe Meguro who had second Mari Motohashi throwing last stones.
Looking toward the clash with the Canadians, Brown admitted she never has skipped a game against the Jennifer Jones-skipped juggernaut. “I played her a few times when I was at third for Patti Lank.”
In other Draw 11 games, Russia (4-2) faces Sweden (3-3), Switzerland (1-5) plays Japan (1-5) and Norway (1-5) tackles Latvia (1-5).