Sweden into gold-medal final at Ford World Women’s Curling Championship

NORTH BAY, Ont. –  Olympic gold-medallist Anna Hasselborg and her Swedish teammates are within one win of adding the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship to their already impressive resume. The foursome scored two in the first end, stole two more in the sixth and added another deuce in eighth to beat Victoria Moiseeva of Russia 7-6 in the first semifinal Saturday afternoon. Hasselborg, with third Sara McManus, second Agnes Knochenhauer, lead Sofia Mabergs, alternate Jennie Wåhlin and coaches Maria Prytz and Peja Lindholm will play the winner of Saturday evening’s semifinal between Canada and the United States in Sunday’s 3 p.m. ET final. “We came out with the hammer and that was very important for us,” Hasselborg said after the victory. “We took a two and just kept on going for that lead and controlled the scoreboard. Prytz said the semifinal “was their best game this week. They really enjoyed being out there.” Russia countered Sweden’s opening deuce with two of its own in the second but Sweden, which finished second in the round-robin at 10-2 and had a bye into the semifinal, played a patient game, taking one in the fourth and then pouncing on a Russian miss in six to steal a pair and take control. “It was one little mistake that turned it all,” Moiseeva said of the pivotal sixth. “It was a couple of misses. “I’m proud of my team. We didn’t have a lot of rest after the previous game and we knew if we let this team be up by two they would start their hard takeout game. We didn’t want that, but it was just one bad end for us.” Moiseeva, third Julia Portunova, second Galina Arsenkina, lead Julia Guzieva, alternate Anna Sidorova and coach Sergei Belanov and Irina Kolesnikova had finished the round-robin at 7-5 and reached the semifinal by beating Anna Kubeskova of the Czech Republic 7-3 in the morning qualifying draw.

Russian skip Victoria Moiseeva directs her teammates during Saturday’s semifinal. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

The second semifinal goes at 7 p.m. with Jennifer Jones of Canada, unbeaten through the round-robin, playing worlds rookies Jamie Sinclair of the U.S. Sinclair scored seven in the ninth end to beat Olympic silver medallist EunJung Kim of South Korea 10-3 in the morning qualifying. Moiseeva will play the loser of the second semifinal in the bronze medal game Sunday at 10 a.m. Winning a medal, she said, is important for the country that has been in the medals four straight years, finishing second last year. “We want to show we are as strong as the other teams, that Russia is really strong and we have good teams in our country,” she said. For Hasselborg, it doesn’t really matter who she plays in the final, her team is determined to win Sweden’s first world championship gold medal since Anette Norberg in 2011. “Both of those teams (Canada and the U.S.) are really good offensive teams and like to put a lot of rocks in play,” she said. “We just have to manage the scoreboard, play patience and play a great game. Today we won a silver and tomorrow I want to win a gold. Before the season we said we wanted to win a medal and we put ourselves in perfect position for that.” 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