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Canada-U.S. rematch set for semifinal at Ford World Women’s Championship

NORTH BAY, Ont. — It was a Friday night thriller at the North Bay Memorial Gardens, and it might another one on Saturday night when Team Canada and Team U.S.A. meet in the semifinal of the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship.

Jamie Sinclair’s U.S. team won its playoff quarter-final 10-3 over South Korea’s EunJung Kim on Saturday morning, and will take on Jennifer Jones and her 12-0 Canadian team in the semifinal at 7 p.m. (all times Eastern) on Saturday.

By virtue of its finish in the top two, Canada advanced directly to the semifinal, as did Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg (10-2). Sweden will play Russia’s Victoria Moiseeva in the other semifinal, set for 2 p.m. on Saturday.

The semifinal winners will play for gold Sunday at 3 p.m., while the losers will battle for bronze Sunday at 10 a.m.

The U.S. and Canada met in the round-robin finale on Friday night before a sold-out crowd at the Memorial Gardens, with Canada prevailing 8-5 thanks to some big shots from Jones.

But the U.S. bounced back nicely on Saturday against the Olympic silver-medallists from South Korea, finishing off the game with a stunning seven-ender in the ninth end.

“To get that ‘W’ was the goal, and to get it in that fashion was pretty darn cool,” said Sinclair, who was scored at 95 per cent in the victory. “I’m super proud of the team, and happy to be playing in the final four.”

Russian skip Victoria Moiseeva gestures to her teammates in Saturday’s quarter-final win over the Czech Republic. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Sinclair, backed up by vice-skip Alex Carlson, second Vicki Persinger, lead Monica Walker, alternate Jenna Martin, team coach Scott Baird and national coach Derek Brown, said that even though her team lost to Jones on Friday, there were positives to be taken from the game.

“We made Jones play some tough shots; we were definitely happy with what we were doing,” said the former Canadian university champion, who started curling for the United States a few years ago. “We just missed a little bit on execution here and there, but overall we’re happy with our performance. We just tried to carry that through into today.”

Sinclair’s team will be trying to give the U.S. its first world women’s championship since Debbie McCormick’s gold medal in 2003 at Winnipeg.

“This is our first world championship, and so far we’ve done pretty well under this kind of pressure and on this kind of stage,” said Sinclair. “We’re happy with that; I don’t think we’re feeling any nerves, we’re definitely the underdog, so we have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”

In the other quarter-final Saturday morning, the Russians cruised to a 7-3 win over Anna Kubešková’s team from the Czech Republic. The Czechs tied the game with a three-ender in the sixth, but the Russians rallied for a go-ahead deuce in the seventh and stole singles in the eighth and ninth ends before running the Czechs out of stones in the 10th.

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