NORTH BAY, Ont. – 2014 Olympic champion Jennifer Jones of Canada and 2018 Olympic champion Anna Hasselborg of Sweden are headed to Saturday’s semifinals at the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship.
Canada jumped on Diana Gaspari of Italy (2-9) in the middle ends and rolled to a 14-6 win to remain unbeaten at 10-0 in the Memorial Gardens. That ran Canada’s winning streak in the world championships to 23, including Rachel Homan’s 13 wins last year.
Hasselborg, meanwhile, gave up three to Victoria Moiseeva of Russia (6-4) in the third end and deuces in the fifth and ninth but scored two in the 10th and stole one in 11 for a 9-8 victory.
The wins mean the teams will finish one-two — the final order won’t be determined until after the completion of round-robin games on Friday — and will go directly into the semifinals, while the other four playoff teams will meet in quarter-final matches on Saturday morning.
“That’s a big fat checkmark,” Hasselborg said of the comeback win that improved her record to 10-1 and put her in the semifinals. “The 10th end and 11th were really, really great. They played very well so it was a struggle out there.”
Jones, vice-skip Kaitlyn Lawes, second Jill Officer, lead Dawn McEwen, alternate Shannon Birchard, who replaced Officer after the fifth-end break, coach Wendy Morgan and national coach Elaine Dagg-Jackson had a 10-3 lead after six. They stole two in four, three in five and two in six.
But Gaspari and her crew, already eliminated from the playoffs, didn’t shake hands. Instead they capitalized on three Canadian misses to score three in the seventh. They did shake hands after the eighth, however, when Canada countered with four.
“We wanted to go out and play a little more aggressive, try some different shots,” Jones said of her team’s play. “So we were willing to give up some big ends to try something new. Just wanted to stay aggressive and try to throw a few more draws.”
And she wasn’t surprised Italy didn’t shake after six ends.
“They actually made a big comeback earlier in the week so we weren’t surprised. It was good because we wanted to be out there for a few more ends if we could so it worked out well.”
With top spot secured and not having to play quarter-finals, Jones said they will spend their two games Friday, against Japan and the U.S., getting ready for their semifinal.
“We’ll try to be as sharp as we can and really get comfortable with the ice and the rocks and feel really great heading into the weekend,” she said. “That’s the ultimate goal.”
In the other evening games, Jamie Sinclair of the U.S. (6-4) scored a 7-5 win over Daniela Jentsch of Germany (2-8) while EunJung Kim of South Korea (7-3) scored three in the first end and went on to a 9-5 win over Tori Koana of Japan (4-6). The Koreans clinched a berth in the quarter-finals with the victory.
Anna Kubešková of the Czech Republic (5-5), Yilun Jiang of Japan (4-5), Binia Feltscher of Switzerland (4-6), Angelina Jensen of Denmark (3-7) and Hannah Fleming of Scotland (3-7) had the evening byes.
The 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship continues Friday with draws at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times ET).
Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2018 Ford World Women’s are available at www.worldcurling.org/wwcc2018/livescores
TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of Canada’s games at the 2018 Ford World Women’s. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 for the complete schedule.
For ticket information for the 2018 Ford World Women’s, go to www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/tickets/
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2018worldwomen/?lang=fr