Canada edges back in front of World pack

Heather Nedohin’s Canadian team climbed back atop the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship heap on Tuesday morning, striking early for a 3-0 lead and proceeding to a 7-5 victory over Russia’s entry skipped by Anna Sidorova. Canada now is 5-and-1 and returns to the ice at 8 p.m. MT today to play Sweden’s Margaretha Sigfridsson.

Heather Nedohin reacts to a play at the 2012 Ford World Women's Curling Championship. (Photo: CCA/Michael Burns Photography)

Sweden (4-1) plays Russia today at 2 p.m. The Canadians started strongly and roared in front 3-0 after two ends at the Enmax Centre. But Russia battled back and stole a tying deuce in the fifth. “We gave up that steal, yeah, but she made a great last shot to get in there,” said Nedohin. “I still like the way we came out at the start for a change.” Nedohin came right back with a deuce and held Russia to singles the rest of the way when they had the hammer. Second player Jessica Mair missed the morning action with flu symptoms and alternate Amy Nixon checked in at second. “We’re fortunate there,” said Nedohin. “We have our own medical doctors. We have a good second to fill in. We should have Jessica back for the playoffs. That’s all good.” Nedohin said her team had seen a lot of the Russians on the women’s tour. “The only uncertainty is what their lineup’s going to be,” she said. “It’s ever-changing.” Elsewhere, U.S. skip Allison Pottinger executed a perfect feather-like sideways chip into the button with last rock to avert an extra end and defeat Germany 9-7. It was the second win for the Yanks in six starts while Germany tumbled to the same 2-4 record. Pre-tournament favourite Scotland lost its third straight, 5-4 to Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott who is 4-and-2, and China’s Bingyu Wang got untracked and won her second, shading Denmark’s Lene Nielsen (3-3) by a 7-6 margin. Pottinger got off to a 5-1 lead after four ends against the Melanie Robillard-skipped Germans, then became embroiled in a wild shootout and wound up leading 8-7 in the 10th. The game was decided on a measure. “It was for one, one way or the other,” said Pottinger with a shrug. “If we lose the measure, we go to 11, we have the hammer. “Winning feels pretty good,” added the Yank skip. “Especially in a game like that when it comes down to last shot. That’s when you really start to believe, and throw your shoulders back a little bit. We’re starting to build momentum. “Sure we’re still in it. You see every game out there is coming down to the last end. I think every team is right in the mix this week. We know we put ourselves behind the eight-ball but we just have to roll off some wins now and the chips will fall as they may.” Euro champion Muirhead exited the premises scratching her noggin in frustration. “We had a bad sweeping judgment in the sixth end that cost us (the Swiss stole one for a 3-1 lead),” she related. “If we’d have scored there I’d have been confident enough. We got two to tie in the ninth and I was confident we could put them under more pressure in the last end but unfortunately we didn’t come up with that last stone.” Murihead was millimetres short on a freeze and Ott didn’t require the last rock. “Angry?” she repeated a question. “I’m getting there, slowly. Like what can you do? We were shooting well out there and it came down to one or two misjudgments. When you’re throwing the rock well like that and you don’t get the results there’s nothing you can do.” Ott admitted to nerves, playing the team that rolled through the Euros in December like an express train. (Continued below…) httpvh:// “We were a little bit nervous in that game so it was important for us to get the win,” said the 40-year-old Swiss skip. “Each game is very important, but in that one we had to fight back the hammer.” The Scots blanked the first, then was forced to one in the second but the Swiss took singles in the third, fifth and sixth to take a 3-1 advantage. “As soon as I saw that my team was on track I became hopeful,” said Ott. “We have a good team spirit, we fight for each other, and that makes for a lot of fun. You know, four women together? No, no, but we really do get along well together. We have momentum but we have to keep it up for the next games.” China’s Wang pointed to a lineup change that she felt led to her success. “My team plays much better today,” she said. “Susan (Qingshuang Yue) is my old second and I feel so comfortable when she is on the ice. I think that really helped.” China hit Denmark with a fourth-end trio and refused to relinquish control thereafter. “Right now,” said Wang, “we just have to win games.”