Team Canada splits games on Day 3 of Youth Olympic Games

Team Canada continues to battle through the round-robin at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games in Innsbruck, Austria.

Team Canada vice Corryn Brown (Photo courtesy WCF/Richard Gray)

After solid wins against Italy (6-0) and Great Britain (8-2) on Sunday, Team Canada entered Monday’s games tied for first with Japan, Sweden and Russia in a log-jam at the top of the Red Pool standings. Canada (skip Thomas Scoffin, vice Corryn Brown, second Derek Oryniak and lead Emily Gray) faced stiff competition against Russia and Sweden. “Today we kept to our game plan and the team continued to work well together,” reported coach Helen Radford after the morning game against Russia. Canada got off to a slow start, however, and found itself in trouble in the first end until Scoffin made a “fantastic freeze to put pressure on the Russian skip,” according to Radford. The resulting steal in the first end was followed by steals in the next three ends. “Emily has been great at setting us up each end, and Derek and Corryn have become a peeling machine!” reports Radford.  “The first time we had hammer in the game was in the sixth end and Thomas made another great draw to secure our point.”

Team Canada skip Thomas Scoffin (Photo courtesy WCF/Richard Gray)

Team Russia shook hands early allowing Canada to take away a 7-1 victory. The afternoon game against a strong Swedish team started offensively, with lots of rocks in play and the teams trading singles for the first three ends. “The game was close and both skips made some clutch draws, but also missed a couple of key shots to keep the score close,” reports Radford. “Sweden was able to convert two points twice in the game to take the lead, but Canada fought back and scored a deuce in the eighth end to force the extra end. Canada executed well in the extra end, but the Swedish skip made a nice draw to secure the win.” After five games, Canada and Russia (3-2) sit in second place in the standings, behind Sweden and Japan, who are tied for first with a 4-1 record. Tuesday’s schedule sees Team Canada playing first-place Japan and last-place Germany (in a game rescheduled from the first draw because of a power outage). Radford says the team is feeling confident about how they’re playing. “We will be looking to do our best to come out with a couple of wins tomorrow.” “The ice conditions and rocks have been great,” she adds. “Our goal will be to focus on our game and go back to the process of making the simple shots and being patient.” Interesting notes: Lead Emily Gray was interviewed by Youth Olympics Games media about her experience in Innsbruck so far. “We’ve managed to do a little bit of the Culture and Education Programme,” Emily said, referring to one of the Youth Olympic Games initiatives to bring competitors together outside of competition. “Meeting so many different cultures and listening to all the different languages has been so awesome – it’s great learning from all of these different people. Getting the win today rounds off a really good few days in this beautiful city.”