Canada’s Paralympians drop two more games in Beijing
After losing their first game of the tournament on Monday evening, Canada was looking to rebound with two games on Tuesday. Unfortunately, the Canadians dropped both games – albeit in very different ways.
The evening draw vs. Slovakia was a back-and-forth affair, with huge swings on the scoreboard, and an exciting finish. While Canada controlled most of the game, leading 3-2 after four ends, a four-ender by Slovakia in the fifth changed the complexion of the game.
“The fifth end got away from us,” said Jon Thurston, who throws fourth stones for Canada. “I couldn’t make the draw to cut them down, or save it for us.”
Canada answered right back, however, with four of their own in the sixth.
“So we gave up the four, but we came right back with four,” said Thurston. “We stuck with it.”
After Slovakia took three in the seventh end, Canada had hammer in the eighth, down two. A well played end gave Thurston a draw to the eight-foot for two, which came up short.
“We were right there – I just didn’t make the draw at the end of game,” he said “Obviously, it’s not the outcome we wanted, but I think it was a strong game for us.”
Earlier in the day, Canada’s first loss was even more frustrating.
In the morning draw, Canada faced South Korea and started the game with hammer. After blanking the first, the Canadians were poised for a big end before Korean fourth Jang Jaehyuk made a perfect hit and roll, which resulted in a steal.
In the third end, again with Canada gaining momentum, Jang made two perfect freezes, taking away the chance for a multiple score, and again resulting in a steal.
“It was just an unfortunate situation in certain ends, where he made one good shot to take away our scoring chances,” said Collinda Joseph, who made her Paralympic debut in the game. “It’s too bad we couldn’t really capitalize on our opportunities.”
Joseph, who is the team’s fifth player, had spent the first five games on the bench. Today, with Dennis Theissen due for a scheduled rest game, she was able to play on the biggest stage for the first time.
“It was pretty amazing, I have to say,” she said. “I was kind of shaking at the beginning – physically shaking – so I was trying to calm myself down. So after the first two shots, I got into the rhythm of the game and settled in.”
Unfortunately, for Joseph, her debut was spoiled by the South Koreans, who gained steam as the game progressed. The final score was 9-4.
Canada will look to end the three-game skid tomorrow with games against Great Britain (1:35 a.m. ET) and Estonia (6:35 a.m.).