Canada, Norway and Russia secure play-off places on the penultimate day of the round robin

  • Canada win again to end the day at the top of Group B © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Day five of round-robin play saw three more teams claim a place in the play-offs.

Russia secured the first play-off place from Group B, while both Canada and Norway take the first two play-off places from Group D.

Group B

Russia qualified for the play-offs from Group B despite falling to Finland in their only game of the day in opening session, 4-5.

Finland followed their morning win with a 3-4, extra-end loss to Ireland in the afternoon session which guaranteed Russia their place in the play-offs.

Denmark remain in second place after defeating Netherlands 12-5 in vice-skip, Camilla Jensen’s 200th international appearance. Afterwards, Jensen [pictured above] said of the occasion, “It felt amazing. First of all, you’re in this environment and I played with my team who I love to bits and pieces. When you play against friends it just makes everything memorable.”

Thinking of the championship, she continued, “It was an important win, as we can see Netherlands are climbing up the staircase. So, we knew that they would give us a good run for it and they were hanging on pretty well. We were pretty nervous as well, there’s a lot at stake at the moment. It’s pretty even in the groups so every win is very important.”

Switzerland sit in third place after picking up two wins today. They began their day with a 10-5 win over Netherlands in the opening session, then followed that with an 8-2 win over Australia, in vice-skip, Irene Schori’s 100th international appearance in the afternoon.

After their second win of the day, skip Mario Freiberger said, “It was definitely a must win for us to stay up there.”

He continued, “It’s going to be must win again tomorrow, but we knew after the Russian game that we lost that we were going to have to win everything. It keeps us focused every game and maybe if we get into the play-offs it’s a good thing, because we’re already in that mode.

“We also had a look at our pool and we think it’s a tough pool. We have three or four really good teams who are at the same level. One team will be short at the end and hopefully it’s not going to be us!”

Teams from Group B return to the ice tomorrow (Thursday 18 October) morning at 08.00 PDT.

Group D

Canada and Norway secured their places in the play-offs in the day’s opening session by defeating Hungary, 8-5, and Slovakia 8-3 respectively.

Norway, then played in the late afternoon game, losing for the first time this week against New Zealand, 6-8, giving New Zealand their first win of the championship.

Speaking after their morning win which secured their play-off place, Norwegian skip, Ingvild Skaga [pictured above] said, “We feel great! It’s been a good few days and we’re on a good roll. I think that we have an advantage that we’ve played this event before and that we played it together. I only think we’ve improved over the last year.”

Canada’s only game of the day saw them defeat play-off contender Hungary, 8-5, to secure the second available play-off place from Group D. After the game, Canadian second, Sean Harrison said, “They’re a good team, and we knew it was a big game to lock up a play-off spot. We went out and did what we had to do.”

Looking ahead to the play-offs he continued, “I think we’re feeling good, throwing well. We just had one tight loss this week, so hopefully we can keep this rolling.”

Slovakia sit in third place in the group on four wins and one loss and are still in prime position to claim the final play-off place from Group D.

Teams from Group D are back on the ice in tomorrow’s morning session at 08.00 PDT.
For the most recent standings and all the scores from the championship visit http://wmxcc2018.worldcurling.org/

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Photos © WCF / Jeffrey Au