Sahaidak/Lott still in contention at Curling World Cup

Canada’s young mixed doubles team of Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott from Winnipeg Beach, Man., still have a shot at reaching the championship final of the third leg of the Curling World Cup in Jönköping, Sweden.

Kadriana Sahaidak, left, and Colton Lott ponder their options during action on Friday in Jönköping, Sweden. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Céline Stucki)

The 2018 Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship runners-up split their games on Friday at the Jönköping Curling Club, falling 9-6 to Swiss veterans Jenny Perret and Martin Rios before rallying for an impressive 10-6 victory over Sweden’s Camilla Noreen and Per Noreen.

With that win, Sahaidak and Lott (will go into their final Group A round-robin game in second place behind the Swiss. A clear victory (not requiring a tiebreaker shootout) on Saturday at 10 a.m. ET against South Korea’s Hyeri Jang and Chiwon Choi (0-5), combined with a Swiss loss to Sweden at the same time, would put the Canadian duo into the gold-medal game Sunday at 2:30 a.m. ET against the Group B pool winner.

Teams earn three points for a clear victory, and two points for a win that requires a tiebreaker shootout when the teams are tied after eight ends. A team that loses in a tiebreaker gets a single point. Canada has 10 points from five round-robin games, with one point coming from a tiebreaker loss to Sweden earlier.

Switzerland, meanwhile, has a 4-1 record for 12 points — its lone loss coming to Sahaidak and Lott to open the competition.

Matt Dunstone’s Regina team split its games on Friday in Jönköping. (Photo, World Curling Federation/Céline Stucki)

In the win over Sweden, Sahaidak and Lott fell behind 6-3 after five ends when the Swedes took four in the fourth end and stole one in the fifth. But the Canadians rallied for a deuce in the sixth end, a crushing steal of three in the seventh and put the win away with two more stolen points in the eighth.

In men’s competition, meanwhile, Matt Dunstone’s Canadian team from Regina — rounded out by vice-skip Braeden Moskowy, second Catlin Schneider and lead Dustin Kidby — ended play Friday in a tie for top spot in Group B with Scotland’s Ross Paterson after splitting two games; both teams have 3-1 records, with both of their losses coming on tiebreakers.

Ironically, it was Scotland beating Canada 5-4 on a shootout in the morning draw, but the Dunstone team rebounded nicely with a 9-7 win over Norway’s Steffen Walstad.

Canada thought it had taken control of the game by scoring four in the fourth end to go up 6-1, but Norway came right back with four of its own in the fifth and it was game on, but Dunstone didn’t need to throw his final shot in the eighth to get his single point and nail down the victory.

It was scary for sure,” said Dunstone of the offensive explosion by both teams in the middle ends. “The four we got we had set up the whole end. He was trying to make some bail shots and I made a buzzer beater for the four-ball (on an angle-raise takeout to remove a partially frozen Norwegian stone in the four-foot), and then in the fifth end, man oh man. It just kind of snuck up on us. If I made my guard good (it just over-curled to give Wallstad the shot at a big end), maybe maximum he gets three, but welcome to the five-rock rule, I guess. We were just a bit too aggressive. It’s going to be something we have to sit down and talk about. Obviously being five up, giving up four is the last thing we want to be doing.”

Dunstone and Team Canada will complete round-robin play on Saturday with games against winless Xiuyue Ma of China at 2:30 a.m. ET, followed by a showdown that likely will decide the Group B winner and the berth into Sunday’s men’s final against the Scots at 2 p.m. ET.

“It’s mid-season so teams are pretty sharp by now,” said Dunstone. “I think (the first leg in) China was a lot of teams’ first event. I know everyone has something to look forward to. A lot of the country’s championships are coming up so people are wanting to be sharp for that, so I think that’s a big reason a lot of these are so tight.”

The Canadian women’s team, skipped by Winnipeg’s Darcy Robertson, was eliminated from championship contention on Friday. Robertson, with vice-skip Karen Klein, second Vanessa Foster and lead Theresa Cannon, bowed 8-1 to Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg to drop to 0-4. Canada will close out the round robin with games on Saturday against Russia’s Anna Sidorova and China’s Yilun Jiang.

All teams play a double round robin within their pools through to Saturday. The top teams in each group move into the finals on Sunday. In addition to prize money, the winning teams will earn a berth to the Curling World Cup Grand Final, May 8-12 in Beijing.

View the full schedule and all teams competing at the third leg in Jönköping by CLICKING HERE.

For more information on the Curling World Cup, CLICK HERE.

Selected games at the third leg of the Curling World Cup will be broadcast on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel. TSN also plans to broadcast all three event finals on Sunday. CLICK HERE for TSN’s broadcast schedule.