March 23, 2012
Sweden took the direct route to Sunday’s final of the 2012 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Lethbridge, Canada when they beat Switzerland by 7-6 in Friday evening Page 1 v 2 Play-off game.
Sweden topped the table at the end of the round-robin and they struck the first blow in the Play-off, scoring two points in the opening end when their fourth player Maria Prytz hit out a Swiss stone.
Switzerland opened their account with a single point in the second end and then drew level in the third when they stole a single point as Prytz failed with an angled raise attempt, leaving a Swiss stone already in the house to score.
In the sixth end Switzerland levelled the score again with a single point when two looked possible, but they were deprived of the second point when an umpire’s measure showed that a Swedish stone sat just inside the second Swiss stone.
In the eighth end, Swiss skip Mirjam Ott rolled slightly after a hit with her a last stone, but she still managed to score two to take the lead for the first time in the game, at 5-4. However, Sweden restored their lead in the ninth end when Prytz had a nose-hit to score two as her team edged ahead again, at 6-5 lead.
Switzerland then scored one in the tenth end when, despite being a little light in her delivery, Ott successfully drew inside six Swedish counters to level the score and force an extra end. After what was, naturally, a tense extra end, Sweden emerged as winners when Ott’s last draw came up just short, giving Sweden a point and the game, without them having to deliver their last stone.
Afterwards, a pleased Swedish skip and lead player Margaretha Sigfridsson said: “it feels so good to be in the final. That was such a good game and it was so much fun to play in. We had such good energy that I didn’t really feel tense. I think that was one of our best games, and the team was just great.” Speaking about the extra end, she said: “I had no doubts in the extra end – my doubt was in the tenth end when we had a lot of stones stuck that we didn’t want to.” Looking forward she added: “we will spend tomorrow just getting our strength back for the final”.
Her fourth player Maria Prytz spoke about the extra end, in which she eventually did not have to play her second stone, saying: “I thought I was going to have to make a little tap-back and I was prepared for that, but I was relieved not to have to play my last stone.”
Losing skip Mirjam Ott said: “we had some chances and were a little bit imprecise in the first half, but it was a close game. We were really close in some ends - we lost a measure and on another day we would have won this game.” Reflecting on her second chance for gold by way of the semi-final she said: “it’s good to have another chance because of the Page system, but I have no preference about whether we play Korea or Canada – I haven’t even thought about it.”
This 7-6 win gives Sweden the direct route into Sunday’s final, while Switzerland have a second chance to make it as they now wait to play the winner of the other Page Play-off – Korea or hosts Canada - in the semi-final.
Playoff 1v2: Switzerland 6, Sweden 7.
Standings after 1v2 Playoff
1. Sweden 9-3 (to play Gold Medal Game on Sunday)
2. Switzerland 8-4 (to play winner of 3v4 Playoff in Semi-final on Saturday night)
3. Korea 8-3
4. Canada 8-4
5. USA 7-5
6. Scotland 6-5
7. Germany 5-6
8. Denmark 5-6
9. Russia 4-7
10. Italy 3-8
11. China 3-8
12. Czech Republic 2-9
Page 3 v 4 Play-off: Korea v Canada
Semi-final: Switzerland v winner of 3v4 Playoff
Gold Medal Game: Sweden v winner of semi-final