Ina Forrest, Jon Thurston, Dennis Thiessen, Beijing 2022 – Wheelchair Curling // curling en fauteuil roulant Canada’s Round Robin Session 13 against Great Britain // Round Robin Session 13 du Canada contre la Grande-Bretagne. 09/03/2022
( Photo – Angela Burger – Canadian Paralympic Committee)

Canada rights the ship with two-win day

Just 24 hours ago, the Canadian wheelchair curlers were feeling like nothing was going right. They’d just lost their third straight game and if that trend continued, their quest for a Paralympic medal would be in serious jeopardy.

A day later, the situation could not be more different.

After a two-win day over Great Britain and Estonia, the Canadian squad is firmly in playoff contention with one day left in the 10-game round robin. 

“We’re feeling great,” said Dennis Thiessen, second on the Canadian team. “To have two wins today, it feels like we’re on a roll again.”

The day began with a 6-3 win over Great Britain in the afternoon draw. Although the team missed some opportunities early on, eventually fourth Jon Thurston started to cash in more and more as the game progressed. 

“We had some good ends set up early,” said Canadian skip Mark Ideson. “But we just had to be patient, and eventually it all paid off.”

The game featured a scary moment when Great Britain’s second David Melrose fell from his chair during the fourth end break, injuring his shoulder in the process. He was attended to by the medical staff, and left the ice surface on a stretcher. Team Great Britain later confirmed over Twitter that he’d left the hospital and that the injury was specific to his rotator cuff.

“We just hope that Dave’s alright,” said Ideson. “Of course, it’s a distraction when somebody gets hurt. You never want to see that happen. We just had to regroup, and refocus. Once we heard he was okay, it was easy to turn it back on”

In the evening, Canada faced Estonia who entered the draw with a 2-5 record. Although they trailed 2-1 after the second end, a quick score of three put the Canadians in control for the rest of the game. 

“We got a couple breaks to start off,” said Thiessen, referring to a missed Estonian draw for three in the second end. “Then we were able to keep it rolling. The key was just to be patient and to capitalize on their misses. That’s what we did.”

After the 9-3 win over Estonia, Canada now sits in third place with a 6-3 record. In the morning, they will finish their round robin with a game vs. Norway, while most other teams will have a second game in the afternoon. A win would secure a playoff spot, while a loss would bring a number of other scenarios into play.

“Our destiny is in our own hands,” said Thiessen. “We’ll get a good rest tonight and come out strong tomorrow, and finish it off.”

Curling Canada