Fight for women’s play-offs intensifies with one set of games to go

  • Korea put in a strong performance against Switzerland Photo: © WCF / Tom Rowland

Table-topping Scotland lost their last round-robin game – in an extra end – by 7-8 to Russia in Wednesday (22 February) evening’s 11th session of women’s play, at the VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2017.

But, despite that, although they now sit out Thursday’s (23 February) last set of games – in the Gangneung Curling Centre, Gangneung, Republic of Korea – they will finish first and go into the Page 1v2 play-off game.

Elsewhere, in this session, Korea beat Switzerland, USA were winners over Sweden, and Japan beat Turkey.

The win for Russia keeps their play-off hopes alive and the game turned on a hit and roll-out by Scottish skip Sophie Jackson in the eighth end, followed by a draw that was too short in the ninth end. Eventually, Russian skip Maria Baksheeva drew the one point needed for the win.

In their game against Switzerland, Korea opened with three points, and a further three points in the third end. They followed this up with a single steal in the fourth for an early 7-2 lead, which laid the foundations for their eventual 9-5 win. This result means that both Korea and Switzerland, as well as Canada, are tied for third place.

Sweden lost to USA by 4-8, with the Americans scoring seven of their points in the second half of the game. Despite this, Sweden remain in a clear second place with one game to go, while USA are tied in sixth place with Russia. Theoretically these teams are still in with a chance of reaching a tie-breaker, to keep their play-off hopes alive – depending on results in Thursday’s last session.

The fourth game between Japan and Turkey, was won 8-6 by Japan, a result that keeps them clinging on as they try to avoid relegation.

They said it

Annmarie Dubberstein; skip, USA (after 8-4 win over Sweden): “That felt easier and what we changed was that we thought less about the pressure of what we were wearing on our back and decided that we should play this game like we’ve played all season. That’s how we looked at it and I think it went a lot better for us.”

Min Ji Kim; skip, Korea (after 9-5 win over Switzerland): “We got three points in the first end but Switzerland made some mistakes so were quite lucky. It was the first time in my life I’ve been televised, so I was a bit nervous - but we made it! There is only one game left, so I want to make sure to be in play-offs after the next game.”

Maria Baksheeva; skip, Russia (after 8-7 win over Scotland): “We knew that Scotland are a strong team. We knew what to expect from them so we just tried to concentrate on ourselves and play against the situation, against stones, not against team Scotland. I don’t know if we are still alive here or not, but we just want to show that we can win against strong teams.”

Results women’s session 11: Switzerland 5-9 Korea; Japan 8-6 Turkey; USA 8-4 Sweden; Russia 8-7 Scotland

Standings after women’s session 11 (W-L):

Q Scotland 7-2
Sweden 6-2
Canada 5-3
Korea 5-3
Switzerland 5-3
Russia 4-4
USA 4-4
Japan 3-5
Hungary 1-7
Turkey 1-8

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WCTV highlights next live game: USA v Canada [women] (Thursday 23 February at 14.00, +9 UTC)