Playoff march underway!

Canada’s Kerry Lackie, right, and Susan Froud had reason to smile on Thursday night after winning their quarterfinal at the 2024 World Seniors. (Photo, World Curling/Céline Stucki)

Canadian women prevail in World Senior Championships quarterfinal

OESTERSUND, Sweden — One Canadian team is the final four, and the other will look to get their Friday morning as the playoffs heat up at the 2024 World Senior Curling Championships.

Thursday night at the Oestersund Arena, Team Susan Froud of Alliston, Ont., rolled to a 12-0 win over Latvia’s Elena Kapostina in quarterfinal play to get a step closer to defending the gold medal won by Team Sherry Anderson of Saskatoon a year ago in Gangneung, South Korea.

With the victory, Froud, vice-skip Kerry Lackie, second Kristin Turcotte, lead Julie McMullin, alternate Jo-Ann Rizzo and coach Al Corbeil advance to the semifinal Friday at 1 p.m. (all times Eastern) against Scotland’s Team Karen Kennedy. The Scots, like the Canadians, have won six straight games, including a 5-4 quarterfinal win over Japan’s Team Miyako Yoshimura.

Team Canada used last-rock advantage in the first to score two, and was off to the races from there, stealing one in the second, deuces in the third and fourth ends, four in the fifth and one more in the sixth to end the game.

“Coming into this game we hadn’t had an opportunity to see anything of this team (Latvia) because they were in a different pool,” said Lackie. “We really didn’t know what to expect. So Al (Corbeil) kept us in our own little bubble focused on our process, and just one rock at a time. So that’s really what we concentrated on.”

In the other quarterfinals, Lithuania’s Team Virginija Paulauskaite sailed past England’s Team Manon Harsch 11-1, and Switzerland’s Team Daniela Ruetschi-Schlegel shaded Cathrine Lindahl’s Swedish team 8-7. Switzerland and Lithuania will meet in the other semifinal.

While the team has done its best to maintain its focus on the task at hand and not look down the road at this event, Lackie said there’s been the occasional thought of what’s at stake this week in Oestersund.

“Those thoughts pop in. Admittedly, they pop in,” she said. “And then you kind of stuff them in a little shoe box and set them aside for now.

“I think it’s not even just about being a world champion; it would about being a world champion with friends that I love. I think that’s the biggest piece. And it would be fabulous.”

The Canadian men skipped by Paul Flemming, meanwhile, tuned up for their playoff quarterfinal showdown (Friday at 7 a.m.) with Norway’s Team Flemming Davanger (5-1) by defeating Denmark’s Mikael Qvist 11-3 in a game that had no bearing on the final standings.

But Flemming, vice-skip Peter Burgess, second Martin Gavin, lead Kris Granchelli and alternate Kevin Ouellette still took it seriously, especially considering it was an opportunity to learn more about the sheet of ice on which they’ll play Norway on Friday.

Team Canada, from left, Martin Gavin, Peter Burgess, Kris Granchelli, Kevin Ouellette and Paul Flemming plot strategy during the fourth-end break against Denmark. (Photo, Curling Canada)

“We just wanted to make sure we knew how the rocks were reacting on different spots on the ice,” said Burgess. “We were extra focused on that. And we talked about (keeping the team focused) before the game because it gets serious now. The games mean a lot and we’re going to be playing some good teams.”

Beginning with a Norwegian team that Canada defeated in its opening game on April 20, stealing the winning point in the eighth end.

And under World Curling rules, that win has no bearing on last-rock advantage in the first end. In events that have more than two round-robin pools, teams in the playoffs have to draw for hammer, even if they came from the same pool.

Canada does get to choose between rock colour or having first or second practice.

“Their skip made a couple big draws against us (to stay in the game); I’d be happy if we put them under that kind of pressure again, and that’s what we’re gonna try and do,” said Burgess. “I think if we play well, we’re going to be right there with him. I mean, there’s three Olympic gold medallists (Davanger, vice-skip Bent Ramsfjell and lead Lars Vaagberg were members of Pal Trulsen’s 2002 Olympic champs) on that team. So, you know, you can’t overlook them by any stretch. So we’re going to focus on every shot.”

It’ll be the last chance this version of Team Flemming gets a shot at gold as Burgess has moved to Quebec with his partner; Gavin and Granchelli each moved up a position and Stuart MacLean has moved in at lead for a team that won the Nova Scotia senior title this season and will play at the 2024 Everest Canadian Seniors next December in Moncton, N.B.

“We all get along on and off the ice, so it would be special to win this, for sure,” said Flemming “He’s a good guy. He’s been at it a long time. Anything good that happens to him is pretty special. He deserves it.”

The other men’s quarterfinals feature two-time world senior champion Team Mats Wrana of Sweden (5-0) against Czechia’s Team David Sik (4-1); 1999 World Men’s champion Hammy McMillan and Team Scotland (3-2) is up against two-time World Men’s silver-medallist Andy Kapp and Team Germany (5-0); and 2002 Olympic bronze-medallist Christof Schwaller and Team Switzerland (5-0) play Team Mike Farbelow of the U.S. (4-1).

The men’s and women’s semifinals will be played together at 1 p.m. Friday, with the gold- and bronze-medal games Saturday at 4:30 a.m.

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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

Curling Canada