It was a wonderful Wednesday for Heather Nedohin’s Team Canada at the Ford World Women’s Curling Champinship at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge.
After a clutch 7-5 win over Korea in the morning draw to even those teams’ records at 6-2, it was a quick turnaround and back on the ice again in the afternoon against the 3-4 Germans, skipped by Canadian Melanie Robillard, called in to replace injured veteran skipper Andrea Schoepp.
It was a tale of two games. The Germans having the better of the early ends. Nedohin’s crew would wrest control of the contest in the sixth with a three-spot. Canada kept it clear the rest of the way blanking the final two ends with hammer to register a 5-4 win a climb to the top of table at 7-2 and guarantee at worst a tiebreaker.
“I thought we played well as a team, I thought we controlled the first few ends, we were just unfortunate to give them that two in the fifth end,” said Nedohin.
“But she (Germany’s last rock throwing Imogen Lehmann) made a nice run back there. We bounced back with a big three in the sixth,” she added. (Continued Below…)
Draw 13 Photos
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Nedohin says the game was rhythmic in that right out of the hack, her team was short on time after an especially long second end when she had a shot for four or five on an angle raise but ended up settling for a single.
“We were battling the clock all game, so it was important for us to just keep throwing and making shots,” said Nedohin who says the team will enjoy the night off and a “nice dinner.”
Switzerland gassed a chance to share the penthouse with the Canadians when they fell 7-4 to Lene Nielsen of Denmark. Despite jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Swiss faded and the Danes fought back accentuated by a steal of two in the eighth. The final was 7-4. While the loss was not fatal for the Swiss, it was a game that Denmark absolutely needed to have.
“It was a very very big win. We’ve had some pretty bad losses this week when we’ve been ahead in the ninth and blew it so for our confidence this was a really good win,” said Nielsen.
The Jutland is now 4-4 and has a date with the 2-6 Italians tonight in another must-win affair.
Another crew now at 4-4 and in must-win mode is Eve Muirhead’s Scottish crew who needed an extra end to beat China’s Bingyu Wang 9-7.
China’s disappointing week continued. Now 2-7, they sit in last place. They have the night off.
“If someone would have told us before the game we could have hammer in an extra end we would have taken it,” said Muirhead.
“Betty (Wang) has not had her best week out there in the standings and everybody is surprised by that, but we knew they’d come out with a very strong game and we’re delighted with it.”
Muirhead said while she’s happy with her team’s win, she knows that tonight’s tilt against Sweden is paramount to going on this week. (Continued below…)
The turnaround in the team’s play has been evident.
“I think we all knew we need a good kick up the butt at the beginning of the week, but we’re relaxing a little more and making shots and the wins are starting to come.”
The Americans meanwhile continue the Lazarus act. After starting 0-4, Allison Pottinger’s St. Paul, Minnesota crew rolled off a fifth win in a row, a 7-2 decision over Russia, now 3-5.
Could there be a ‘miracle on ice’ in Lethbridge?
Do you believe?
“I just think we started playing our own game. We’re starting to play shots that we would normally play and even the way we approach the game, pre game, post game meetings, it’s just much more our style right now,” says Pottinger.
“I haven’t looked,” says the American skipper of the standings around her.
“All I know is that we need to win.”
The Russians have the 2-6 Czechs tonight, while the Americans have the night off.