Canada top the table after round robin play,
dispatching host Italy in the 7th and final draw 5-3. Canada, with the
hammer, took 2 in the 1st and stole singles in the next two ends. Though
Italy scored 2 in the 4th and stole 1 in the 5th, Canada took their
single in the final end to secure victory. They will play Norway in
In other action, Great Britain beat USA
5-2, stealing single points in 4
of the 6 ends. Norway, early leaders, regrouped to beat Switzerland 5-4
and Denmark, who had won 4 straight, crashed 10-2 to Sweden.
Norway (4-3) faced
Denmark (4-3) in the afternoon tie-break. Denmark started well, stealing
singles in the first 2 ends, but gave up a steal in the 4th to stand
2-2. They took 1 in the 5th, but Norway's skip
Rune Lorentsen made the shot
of the match with his final stone, wicking off a Danish stone to roll
into the four foot for the winning point.
Canada finished with a 5-2 record. Great Britain, Sweden, Denmark and
Norway finished 4-3 with Norway beating Denmark 4-3 in the tie-break.
Italy and USA round out the table at 2-5.
Play continues Friday
with Canada playing Norway and Great Britain facing Sweden in the medal
Draw 6 - Canada and Great Britain, both 3-2,
provided the marquee match-up in the afternoon draw with the winner
assured of at least a tie-break place in the medal round. Canada took
early control, scoring 4 in the 2nd, and were 2 up without the hammer in
the 5th. That's when their hitting, so reliable early, failed them. GB
poured rocks into the house and with 3 already scoring and a lone Canada
stone at the back of the 12 foot, GB skip
Frank Duffy had to choose a draw full 12 for 4, or a hit for 5 with
his final stone. His attempted hit floated wide, and Canada escaped,
giving up just 3 to fall behind 6-5.
Chris Daw's final stone clutch hit and stick facing 4 in the 6th
end, scored 1 to send the game into an extra
end. With Canadian rocks providing guards, GB were lying 3 when Canada
Gerry Austgarden played a perfect hit and roll to the button.
British attempts to draw through the cover failed to dislodge it, and
Canada stole a 7 - 6 victory.
In other matches Denmark joined Canada at
the top of the table at 4 and 2, winning their 4th straight by
dispatching Switzerland 8-3. Steals of 3 in the 2nd and 2 more in the
3rd gave them a comfortable victory. Team USA, after the shock defeat of
Canada in the morning draw, lost their slim chance of competing for a
medal when they gave up 3 steals to Italy in a 6-1 loss.
Their wins assure Canada
and Denmark at least a Tie-break game for a place in the medal round. If
current form holds, they will be joined by Great Britain and the winner
of the match between Norway and Switzerland. But in 6 end games,
anything can and has happened, and we could still have 5 teams with 4
and 3 records after round robin play.
Draw 5 - Team USA, at the bottom of the table and
with favoured Canada and Great Britain still to play, pulled off an
upset win against Canada 5 - 4 in the morning draw. They stole 1 in the
opening end, held Canada to 1 in the second and after a blank in 3, came
out after the break with a 4 ender. Canada needed to steal 2 in the
final end, but USA skip
Wes Smith's takeout with the final stone, held them to just 1.
In other matches, Denmark
continued their good form after a poor start by beating fading Norway 7
- 3. In the 4th
Rune Lorentsen, throwing 4th stones for Norway, was heavy on a draw
to a crowded four foot, promoting a Danish stone onto the Norwegian shot
rock on the button, and allowing the Danes to score 4. Great
Britain beat Italy with a 5 spot in the third on skip
Frank Duffy's two double takeouts.
Draw 4 - Unbeaten Norway fell to Canada in a high scoring match
featuring the top of the table teams. Canada stole 3 in the 1st, but
gave up a steal of 3 in the 3rd to fall behind 5-3 at he break. Canada
took 3 of their own in the 4th and a
Chris Daw draw to the 8 foot facing 2 with the last rock, won the
Inconsistent Great Britain rebounded by
beating Sweden 7 - 2. GB stole in each of the first 4 ends. Skip
Frank Duffy executed a perfect hit-and-stick with his final stone in
the 4th end to sit 2 with lots of cover, and
Jalle JUNGNELL was unable to find the rings to keep his side in the
Draw 3 - Norway are the only unbeaten team after 3 draws
beating Great Britain 7 - 6. After giving up 3 in the 1st, they
scored 4 in the 2nd set up by their 3rd
SKOGSTAD's double takeout.. A
steal of 2 in the 5th sealed the victory.
Canada, other unbeaten team, took an
early 4-0 against Sweden going into the 3rd end break, but were unable
to follow up. Sweden took 2 in the 4th, and followed with steals in the
5th and 6th
to win 5 -4
Canada take on Norway in the afternoon
draw, while Great Britain play Sweden.
March 12th: Canada had the best possible start, beating 2 countries
expected to be competitors in the medal round. In the morning draw
beat Denmark 6-3. The Canadians were down 3-2 after 3, and
skip Daw faced 3 Danish stones in the fourth, but drew to the four foot
with his last stone, taking 1. A steal of 3 in the 5th gave Canada their winning margin. In other 1st round
play, the tournament favourites
Great Britain were beaten by
Switzerland, who stole 1 in the 3rd and 2 more in the 4th and won
In the second round afternoon draw,
Canada stole their way to victory over Switzerland 5 - 1. In
the 5th, Daw's double takeout snuffed a Swiss threat as Canada took 1
and went on to steal 2 in the final end.
Norway completed an opening day sweep beating USA 10-3, following
their 9-3 win over Italy in the opening round. Hosts Italy
opened their account with a draw 2
win over Sweden 7-1.
Though 6 end games can sometimes be a
lottery, Canada's 65% team average, with lead Sonja Gaudet
shooting 15% better than second ranked GB's Angie Malone, and 3rd
Gerry Austgarden shooting 78% to lead the 3rds, shows their 2 and
0 record was not a fluke.
Team Canada take on Denmark in Draw 1 Sunday morning 11am local time. (PST
is minus 9 hours) The two teams competed in a warm-up tournament in
Czechoslovakia but did not meet head to head. Denmark won a surprise
victory over Great Britain in the round robin, but the
Scotland-based British team reversed that result in the final.
Team Canada players use a square-facing side pendulum delivery
with the exception of 3rd Gerry Austgarden's outturn, delivered from a
push that begins under his chin. To keep the rocks closer to the body,
reducing the necessity to lean sideways to align the delivery, they use
narrow tires and wheels without push rims.
World Champion skip Frank Duffy
attributes his success to experience in ice-reading. Absence of
sweeping makes accurate ice-calls even more critical. Team Canada's
adoption of a team-standard pendulum delivery aims to assist skip Chris
Basic strategy in wheelchair curling
played under WCF rules has changed from the able-bodied model first
coached. At this year's Canadian Nationals most teams were asking
their leads to come into the house, challenging the opposing lead
(invariably female) to throw takeouts.
Finesse shots like freezes are extremely
low percentage and because the stone has to be touching some part of the
centre line at delivery, draw angles can be significantly restricted.
Pendulum deliveries maximise weight, and we can expect Team Canada to be
a hitting team.
Team Canada, coming off their success at their National Championships in
Richmond BC in February, take on 7 other nations at the first appearance
of wheelchair curling at a Paralympics.
Based on their performance at the 2004
(3rd) and 2005 (6th) World Championships. Team Canada is ranked #4 in
the world behind Great Britain, Switzerland and Denmark. For more
information on how teams are ranked,
CLICK HERE (go to page 25)
Canada open the campaign against 3 of the stronger sides
in the tournament and will be looking get off to a quick start before
their game against favourites Great Britain in the penultimate draw next