Canada’s Amber Holland kept her world title hopes alive when she won a tense Page three versus four play-off against hosts Denmark by 10-7 on Saturday morning, stealing three points in an extra end that qualified her team for a Saturday afternoon semi-final show-down with China in the Capital One World Women’s Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark.
In this thrilling encounter, the lead changed hands seven times, and it took an umpire’s measure in the tenth to give Canada the single point they needed to tie the game and go into the extra end.
An early shot onto the button by Canada’s second player Tammy Schneider proved key in the extra end as time and again the Canadians protected it, and time and again the Danes tried – and failed – to winkle it out.
Eventually the last attempt by Danish skip Lene Nielsen got the angles wrong to give Canada a steal of three and their place in the semi-final.
Whoever wins that sole semi-final will face double Olympic champion Anette Norberg in Sunday’s final.
After the game, Canadian skip Holland said, “that was a great game. Lots of great shot-making on both sides and it almost had the feel like it was a gold medal game”.
“We definitely had to be patient. We made a lot of great shots and we put some pressure on, and it went back and forth a little bit. You just know in those games you’ve got to gut it out and stay with it. We didn’t play the tenth end as well as we could have, and that made my shot for one really tough. I was just happy we got the measure to go to the eleventh”.
Holland’s team initially believed the measure would go against them, but Holland explained, “I just said ‘it is what it is’ and we’ll just go from there”.
Looking forward, she added, “we’re still on that gold medal path. That was a big confidence-boost for us going into this afternoon’s game. The games are all tough, but probably that was the toughest because we were playing really well – I don’t know if they‘re going to get any easier”.
Meanwhile Danish skip Lene Nielsen said, “I was trying to hit a little bit more on the left side of the stone and then it would have been more on the nose of the yellow one, it just went right under and hit a little bit too thick...bad luck”.
“It’s not over. I’m proud to be here, I think we played well. But we had the shot for the game and missed it. Now we have to play for the bronze medal. I’m glad it’s tomorrow though so we have a little more time to get it all together again. When the disappointment is over I’ll still be proud”.
Standings after Playoff 3v4
5. Switzerland 7-5
6. Russia 6-5
7. USA 6-5
8. Germany 5-6
9. Scotland 4-7
10. Norway 3-8
11. Korea 2-9
12. Czech Republic 2-9
Playoff 3v4: Denmark 7, Canada 10.
Saturday 26 March
15:00 local – Semi Final (China v Canada)
Sunday 27 March
10:00 local: Bronze Medal Game (Denmark v loser of semi final)
15:00 local: Gold Medal Game (Sweden v winner of semi final)
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