Canada women reach play-offs; Tie-breaker set to decide fourth team to qualify

  • Canada became third team to qualify for play-offs Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Sweden, Canada, Russia and Japan were the four winners in Thursday (23 February) afternoon’s 12th and final women’s round-robin session. But, while the round-robin may be over, there are still final placings to be resolved before the championship can move onto its play-off stage.

Top-ranked Scotland sat out this session, already confirmed as being number one in the rankings – a position that gives them last stone advantage in their next game – the Page 1v2 play-off on Friday (24 February) afternoon at 14:00 (+9 UTC).

Sweden had also qualified for the play-offs, and their 6-4 win over Switzerland confirmed them in second place, meaning they will be Scotland’s opponents. The winner of this Page 1v2 game will take the direct route to the final, while the loser will be given a second chance to join them, by playing in the sole semi-final against the winner of the Page 3v4 play-off.

Canada beat the USA by 9-3 to rank third overall, and take their place in the Page 3v4 game, also at 14:00 on Friday.

Korea and Switzerland both lost in this session – Russia beat Korea by 4-3 while Switzerland lost to the Swedes. These results meant that three teams – Korea, Russia and Switzerland - all tied in fourth place on five wins each. With the poorest record among the three, Russia dropped out of play-off contention, to rank sixth overall. To decide fourth and fifth places, Korea and Switzerland now go on to a Friday morning (09:00) tie-breaker, with the winner taking up the fourth Page slot and the loser ranking fifth. The winners of the Page 3v 4 game go onto the semi-final and the loser plays for bronze medals against the eventual semi-final losers.

From this year’s championship, only the top six finishers and next year’s hosts Scotland will go directly into the line-up for the World Junior Curling Championships 2018 in Aberdeen, Scotland (3-11 March). USA’s loss to Canada and Japan’s 7-4 victory over Hungary meant that both of these teams finished on four wins, tied for seventh. As a result, Japan and USA will also play a tie-breaker on Friday morning, with the winner ranking seventh overall and the loser finishing eighth and therefore relegated to next year’s World Junior-B Curling Championships, along with Hungary (ninth) and Turkey (tenth).

They said it

Misaki Tanaka; skip, Japan (after 7-4 win over Hungary): “We were good at the take-out game this week, but in this competition, we also learned how to be good at offensive play. However, we were unable to demonstrate this week everything we learned in the Junior-B championships.”

Kristen Streifel; skip, Canada (after 9-3 win over USA): “Heading into today, we just knew that it was a fresh day. I’m really proud of the girls for their performance and all we could do was win this game and see how the cards fall. Our first goal was to qualify for play-offs and now we can take a deep breath and settle in and get ready to play a few more games.”

Maria Baksheeva; skip, Russia (after 4-3 win over Korea): “We don’t have the chance to play in the tie-breaker, so we are a little disappointed. We will be sixth. But, we showed that we are a strong team and that we can beat the teams at the top of the league. I have one more year as a junior. We had a really bad start to the week. Maybe we had problems with jetlag. We lost the first three games and we came here just one day before the competition started.”

Results women’s session 12: Japan 7-4 Hungary; USA 3-9 Canada; Korea 3-4 Russia; Switzerland 4-6 Sweden

Standings after women’s session 12 (W-L):

1 Scotland 7-2
2 Sweden 7-2
3 Canada 6-3
4 Korea 5-4
4 Switzerland 5-4
6 Russia 5-4
7 USA 4-5 [tie-breaker to avoid relegation]
7 Japan 4-5 [tie-breaker to avoid relegation]
9 Hungary 1-8 [> WJBCC 2018]
10 Turkey 1-8 [> WJBCC 2018]

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WCTV highlights next live game: Scotland v Canada [men] (Thursday 23 February at 19.00, +9 UTC)