Closer to the playoffs!

Paul Flemming delivers a shot during his team’s victory over Finland on Monday. (Photo, World Curling/Stephen Fisher)

Canadian teams closing in on quarterfinal berths at World Senior Championships

OESTERSUND, Sweden — It was another two-victory day for Canada’s teams at the 2024 World Senior Curling Championships, and playoff spots are tantalizingly close for Team Paul Flemming of Halifax and Team Susan Froud of Alliston, Ont.

The Canadian teams are trying to replicate the double-gold performance put together 12 months ago in Gangneung, South Korea, by Howard Rajala’s men’s team from Ottawa and Sherry Anderson’s women’s team from Saskatoon.

And while there’s still plenty of work to be done, the early returns are promising to say the least.

Monday afternoon at the Oestersund Arena, Team Flemming rolled to an 11-3 win over Finland’s Team Mika Kalpamaa, while in the evening draw, Team Froud toppled Team Miyako Yoshimura of Japan 9-3 in a battle of unbeaten teams.

Flemming, supported by vice-skip Peter Burgess, second Martin Gavin, lead Kris Granchelli and alternate Kevin Ouellette, had to withstand a slow start in his game against the Finns.

Canada had last rock in the first end, but it was Finland stealing a single to open the scoring. Canada would strike back with a deuce in the second — although it could have been more as Flemming at a shot at three or four but was slightly off target — and then Finland tied it with a single in the third.

But from there, it was all Canada as the Bluenosers took three in the fourth end, stole two in the fifth and put the game away when Flemming made a nice tap to score four in the seventh.

So a perfect record through three games, but still room for improvement, suggested Gavin.

“We’ve been struggling a little bit,” he admitted. “The ice is straighter than what we’re used to; it doesn’t have that late break, so that’s an adjustment. It’s not bad ice; it’s actually really good, but just different than in Canada; the swing here is more gradual and it doesn’t (curl late) the same way it does in Canada.”

But as has been the case for this team this season, going back to its victory at the Everest Canadian Seniors in Vernon, B.C., in December the lanky skipper has made all of the key shots when they’re needed.

Kerry Lackie, left, and Kristin Turcotte, right, listen for directions from skip Susan Froud. (Photo, World Curling/Stephen Fisher)

“Paul is one of those guys whose head sometimes turns sideways like a poodle (looking at something other than the game in front of him) and the next thing you know, he makes some big shot and that’s his thing,” said Gavin with a chuckle. “So he’s getting that look in his eye right now. We’re pretty excited about that.”

Canada is the lone unbeaten team in its pool at 3-0, looking for a top two finish to reach the eight-team quarterfinals later this week.

“We know that there’s a lot a lot of curling left and there’s a lot of good teams left,” said Gavin.

Canada returns to action Tuesday at 10 a.m. (all times Eastern) against Team Jonathan Ochoco of the Philippines.

Froud, vice-skip Kerry Lackie, second Kristin Turcotte, lead Julie McMullin, alternate Jo-Ann Rizzo and coach Al Corbeil, meanwhile, faced their first real test of this event and delivered a tidy victory over Japan.

It was a textbook first half of the game — hold Japan to one, score two, repeat — and it produced a 4-2 lead at the break.

The Japanese couldn’t muster much offence the second half of the game, mustering only a single in the sixth, and when they did tried to put together a steal in seventh, it was a series of their misses, and a series of made shots that left Froud with a straight-back raise takeout to score five and end the game early.

“We were able to keep them to one each end and squeak out a couple of deuces,” said Turcotte. “And then the last two ends, they had to go for it and we made all our shots so we really didn’t give them much of a chance in the last end.”

Canada can clinch a playoff berth on Tuesday with a win over Team Jana Berankova of Czechia (1-2/0-3) at 6 a.m.

“I mean, that’s exciting, that’s what we want to do, to make the playoffs,” said Turcotte. “And then we’ll see what happens from there.”

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For the list of teams, draw information and live scoring, visit the event website,

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at

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