Scotland’s Eve Muirhead, who calls Blair Atholl home, moved even with Canada atop the Ford World women’s curling championship standings on Wednesday night, upending Erika Brown of the U.S.A. 7-4.
The win assured Muirhead of playoff action following Thursday’s final three round-robin draws. In the last draw, Scotland and Canada will collide for round-robin bragging rights.
“We’re looking forward to playing Canada,” said Muirhead on Wednesday night. “Everyone likes to play the home nation. It’s going to be a tough game for us. Jennifer (Canada skip Jones) is a great player. We’ll try to eliminate all the little things going on round about us and really focus on what we have to do.”
Muirhead said she never has beaten Jones in “three or four meetings”.
Meanwhile, Brown said she wouldn’t change anything in terms of strategy in her run for a playoff berth today. “We’ll stick with what we’re doing, we just have to make more shots,” said the U.S. skip. “We didn’t put the rocks in the right spots tonight.”
With the top teams cruising along at 8-and-1, the loss for Brown left the Yanks in a three-way snarl at 6-and-3 with Sweden’s Cecilia Ostlund and Germany’s Andrea Schoepp, who dealt Canada its only defeat earlier in the day.
Six teams remained with at least an outside shot at the four playoff berths following Wednesday’s action and here’s how they’ll play it out on Thursday:
Canada (8-1) — 8:30 a.m. Russia (4-5), 7:30 p.m. Scotland (8-1)
Scotland (8-1) — 1:30 p.m. Russia (4-5), 7:30 p.m. Canada (8-1)
U.S.A. (6-3) — 8:30 a.m. Sweden (6-3), 1:30 p.m. China (5-4)
Sweden (6-3) — 8:30 a.m. U.S.A. (6-3), 7:30 p.m. China (5-4)
Germany (6-3) — 1:30 p.m. Latvia (1-8), 7:30 p.m. Switzerland (2-7)
China (5-4) — 1:30 p.m. U.S.A. (6-3), 7:30 p.m. Sweden (6-3)
In other late action on Wednesday, defending champion China won its fourth straight match and remained an outside threat for a playoff or tiebreaker by stealing a 9-7 extra-end verdict from Russia. Germany followed up on its afternoon win over Canada by thumping Japan’s Moe Meguro 7-5 and Denmark pummelled rookie Latvia 13-1.
“I feel so great for my team,” said Chinese skip Bingyu Wang. “Tomorrow may be the last two games, but we don’t have a good start so I hope we have a good ending.”
China led early in a topsy-turvy tilt but wound up with two rocks in the four-foot in an 11th end and Wang played a perfect last-rock guard.
Russian skip Anna Sidorova questionably eschewed an open button with the out-turn and chose an in-turn to draw up to the Chinese pair but the rock hung out and rubbed away, leaving both enemy stones standing up for the win.
“I hope we will go into the playoffs,” said Wang, who won the title a year ago at Gangneung, Korea. “But I think we should be ourselves. We have shown a mentality and good teamwork to come back. Every time you should do your best and it doesn’t matter how many games you lose.”
In other morning matches at 8:30 a.m. Switzerland (2-7) faces Latvia (1-8) and Japan (1-8) goes against Norway (3-6).