Friday Feb 8th - Day 7 - Page
Playoffs - updated 3.40pm (pst)
Canada were always playing catch-up in the Page 1/2 game against Korea.
Korea took 2 with the hammer in the opening end and it took a pressure
draw by Darryl Neighbour to the four foot facing 5 in the 2nd to keep
them in the game. The teams exchanged singles the next two ends, Canada
choosing to draw in for one in the 4th rather than blanking the
end. Were they better off down 2 with the hammer in 5, or down 1
without? It didn't matter because Korea blew the game open with 4 in the 5th.
Korea had 3 in the house behind a long guard after thirds
stones. Darryl attempted a takeout that crashed, Korea hit the only
Canada stone in the house, and Canada would have been forgiven if they'd
had a flashback to the Torino final end, when their skip did the best he
could with a last stone draw to try and cut down the damage. He sat shot
on the button, but left it open, and Hak Sung Kim, shooting an
astounding 88% for the game, didn't miss. His takeout gave Korea 4 and
they won 7-2.
Despite a very respectable 58% game, Darryl Neighbour was
outscored by Korea skip Hak Sung Kim by 30%, as his team shot a combined
Norway coach Thoralf Hognestad had predicted two wins
today and his team got off to a good start, taking 3 in the second
against USA after giving up a steal of 1 in the 1st. With all the play
at the edge of the 12 foot, USA skip Perez missed two takeouts that
allowed Norway an open draw for their 3rd point. The teams exchanged
singles the rest of the way, with both skips failing to take advantage
of well placed front stones with their final draws. Norway won 5-3 and
progressed to face Canada n the semi-final.
USA coach Steve Brown
told blogger "I really thought our
team played a very good game, but the Norway skip made a couple of great
shots that kept us from the victory. Our focus now is the bronze medal."
USA skip 'Goose' Perez told
the WCF "That game was lost in the second end. After that we had to
play risky shots. Anyway, we gave the (defending) gold medallists a
Canada played an unchanged line-up with Gary Cormack at
lead and Gerry Austgarden skipping at third in their semi-final match
against Norway. Both sides began with multiple misses, before Canada
managed to add a second stone in the house with Austgarden's second
rock. Norway skip Rune Lorentsen's attempted takeout ticked the target,
and Darryl Neighbour drew in to sit 3. Norway's final stone draw was
short but Canada failed to add a fourth when their last rock draw
failed to reach the house.
The second end began promisingly for Canada, with Gary Cormack
putting 2 in the house, Ina Forrest guarding them on the center line,
and then coming in to sit 3. Norway's Skogstad executed a double
take-out and stick to sit 1. Gerry threw a takeout but Canada missed
their final 3 takeout attempts and Norway added a draw, took 2 and were back in the
In the 3rd Darryl had to ride to the rescue again. Facing
4 with a Norway stone top of the button, he threw a perfect hit to take
1 for a 4-2 half-time Canada lead. In the 4th, Canada got a stone in the 4 foot
early and guarded it for a steal of 1 to go ahead 5-2.
The 5th end again began well for Canada. Though Gary Cormack's opening
draw was short, he placed his second behind it, touching the 4 foot.
Norway second Geir Arne Skogstad's attempted pick nudged it aside to sit
shot, but Ina Forrest threw a perfect takeout and Canada remained
sitting one behind cover. Gerry Austgarden was unlucky to have a takeout
jam on the Canada shot stone. Norway came in to sit 2 and while Darryl
was able to remove one, his stone was open, and Norway hit and rolled
for their 2. (Canada 5 Norway 4)
The final end had Canada up 1 with the hammer, and
sitting back 8 with shot stone under cover after 2nds rocks. Gerry threw
a top four stone behind 4 center line guards, but Norway picked it
out, but rolled open. Gerry removed that stone to sit 4. Rune Lorentsen hit to sit
1, and Darryl's takeout jammed, leaving Norway still shot but in the
open edge of the 8 foot. Rune played an excellent raise tap-back on the
other side of the sheet to sit 2 and Canada needed either a draw full 8
or an open takeout for the win. Darryl Neighbour, who had been facing
pressure shots all day, could only tick Norway's stone with his takeout
attempt, and when he rolled out, Norway stole 2 for the win.
Norway skip Rune Lorentsen threw a 79% game outscoring
his counterpart by 23%. "I feel a little bit empty right now, but I will
be excited soon,"
said Lorentsen. "I felt I kept my cool and made my shots, and then I
couldn't do any more. There are misses in this game, and they can
happen, so I could only watch."
Norway coach Thoralf Hognestad said: "I feel some
sympathy for Canada after their great start. Korea has to work tomorrow
for getting the gold, but I know that we have better strategy, so I hope
for a new gold for Norway."
Norway beat Korea 5-3 in the final draw of round robin
Norway face Korea in the gold medal game 11 am local time
Saturday, and Canada and USA have their second shot at a medal when they
play for bronze at 10am.
Thursday Feb 7th - Day 6 -
Tie-breaks updated 3.26pm (pst)
USA beat Italy 6-4 in in a tie-break for the final playoff spot, earning the right to
challenge Norway in the 3/4 Page playoff game. Italy opened with 2 with
the hammer and then stole 1 to take an early 3-0 lead.
In the 3rd, Italy sat 3 in the 12 foot with seven stones
spread across the front of the house. With no direct path to the rings,
USA Skip Goose Perez was forced to attempt a triple raise tap-back - and
he made it to score an unlikely single.
In the 4th Italy failed to clear the front and with USA
lying shot skip Andrea Tabanelli, perhaps influenced by his
counterpart's final stone raise in the 3rd, tried a raise for 2 instead
of eating a steal of 1. The shot removed his own stone and gave USA a
steal of 3.
In the 5th, with stones in the rings but an open
centerline, the skips traded takeouts, with Italy's final stone scoring.
In the 6th, each team had a rock back of the t-line close to the 4 foot.
Italy, without last rock, chose not to guard, preferring to hit the USA
shot stone. Had 3rd Egiidio Marchese's takeout stuck it might have
paid off, but the shooter rolled out, leaving the Italian shot stone
wide open, and Jim Pierced threw a perfect hit and stick to lie 1
touching the 4 foot. Tabanelli missed a takeout, and his final draw was
too long. USA scored 2 to win 6-4.
This was USA's best result in World competition and
justified the public confidence of their coach Steve Brown and team
leader Marc DePerno.
A jubilant "Goose" Perez said, "It was a tough comeback but we held
it together." Perez began the competition skipping from 3rd, but
moved to last rock after Game 3. USA also took the opportunity to give
their alternate, Bob Prenoveau, some experience on world championship
ice, in a couple of sixth ends where they held big leads.
USA play Norway Friday in the Page
playoff 3/4 game. Norway rested lead Lene Tystad for the final two round
robin draws, playing alternate Anne Mette Samdal. With an off day today,
the team should be rested and will return to their regular line-up for
the playoffs. The Norway coach is upbeat about his team's chances. "I
don't pay a lot of attention to our opponents," Thoralf Hognestad said.
"Our team has to perform, but I have a lot of confidence for tomorrow.
I'm looking for two wins, then a win on Saturday."
The Italians certainly performed above
pre-competition expectations as they had to pre-qualify in order to
WCF media release quotes skip Andrea Tabanelli: "The first days we
played very, very good curling. But we have only one woman, and it is
difficult for her to play six hours each day. She's just a little tired,
and we are, too."
WCF rules state that there must always
be a mixed gender team on the ice, and many teams therefore include two
women in their squads.
Each of the teams in the medal rounds
will have multiple chances at a medal. The winner of the Korea/Canada
1/2 playoff game is assured of at least a silver medal. The loser has a
second chance to win gold by beating the winner of the Norway/USA 3/4
Page playoff game. The loser of the 3/4 game will have a second chance
at a medal, this time bronze, on Saturday when they play the loser of
the semi-final. CLICK HERE to see the medal
Italy had won their round robin match against USA 7-5 but
WCF rules forbid playoff elimination without an extra game. (See Bob
Bob Cowan in his Curling Today
blog feels Japan were
unfairly treated because their team's draws to the button in a
pre-tournament tie-break decider came up 73 cms short.
He points out: "The WCF rulebook states clearly that a
team tied for a place in the play-offs is not eliminated in any way
other than by losing an extra game. But apparently this does not apply
to ties at the bottom of the table when relegation is a possibility...
(that) 73 cm means that Japan gets relegated, loses Olympic qualifying
points and the country has the expense of travelling halfway round the
world to play in the qualifying competition at Inverness next season."
Unless all the teams not in the playoffs are leaving
Sursee early, it's hard to see why tie-break games between relegation
candidates could not have been held.
Wednesday Feb 6th - Day 5 -
Draws 8 & 9 updated 1.55pm (pst)
The final round robin draws presented each of the top teams the
opportunity to decide their own fate. The winner of Korea/Canada would
earn top spot and the hammer in the 1/2 Page playoff game, while wins by
Norway and Italy would mean both would qualify. If either slipped, USA,
Sweden and Switzerland could gain at least a tie-break by winning their
At the bottom of the table, Scotland Japan and Russia
hoped to pull themselves out of the relegation zone with a pair of wins.
Canada seemed comfortably in control of their game
against Korea. Up 3 with just 3 Korean rocks to play in the final end,
Canada were sitting 4 and had a stone sitting alongside the only Korean
rock in play guarding the centerline. How quickly things changed.
A finesse tap back of the Canada stone in the four foot
left the Korean stone frozen in front of a Canada stone, and sitting
shot. Canada's attempt at a takeout crashed on the front guards, leaving
one long Canada guard. Korea drew down to their shot stone, to sit 2.
Canada's final stone attempt at a takeout to win the match, jammed but
their shooter sat shot in the four foot with backing. Skip Hak Sung
Kim's final hit and stick squeezed it out to sit 3, tie the game and
earn a deserved bonus.
In the extra end, Korea placed three
front stones close to the center line and then executed a hit and roll
to the four foot while still having 2 guards. Canada tried to clear the
front, but a missed peal replaced a guard and Korea were able to
block out Canada's skip stones and steal a single for a 6-5 win.
In the afternoon, Canada played a Scots side facing
certain relegation if they lost. With Darryl Neighbour shooting an
uncharacteristic 40%, Scots steals in the 4th and 5th were the
difference in their 5-2 win. The official scorer called the decisive
shot a delicate McCreadie tap back of a Canada shot stone in the 5th.
The Norway coach has said his side are seasoned competitors, and they
showed their determination by bouncing back from the previous day's
double loss, winning their last two draws. The morning's 9-6 defeat of
Scotland was a wild one. Scotland opened with a steal of 2. Norway took
1, then stole 4, then stole 3 before giving up 4. Scotland shot 63% to
Norway's 53% but Norway skip Rene Lorentsen at 71% had a 21 point
advantage over Scot skip McCreadie. In the final draw Norway faced
Korea, who may have been feeling emotionally exhausted after their
Canada win as their team shooting percentage fell to 46%. A game of
singles had Norway down 3-2 without the hammer after 5, but a steal of 1
in the 6th and 2 more on the extra saw Norway claim a 5-3 victory and
the 3rd playoff spot.
Italy were in the same position as Norway at the start of
play. They easily saw off Japan 8-3 in the morning, but failed to beat
last place Russia in the final draw, falling 5-4. This gave an opening
to USA and Sweden, who had both won their morning draws and needed to
win their final games to have a chance at a tie break. Sweden fell to
lowly Japan 8-6, but USA seized their opportunity, beating the
disappointing host side Switzerland 9-2.
There will be a tie break between Italy and USA at 1.30
pm local time tomorrow. Italy won their Draw 5 match-up 7-5. All other
positions were decided by head to head records, or by "closest to the
pin" draws. Scotland thus avoided the ignominy of relegation, claiming
7th place by virtue of a 200 centimetre margin at the draw to the button
game. Japan and Russia will have to re-qualify by competing in next
season's 10-team World Wheelchair Curling Qualifying Tournament.
Canada continued to rotate Gary Cormack and Gerry
Austgarden at skip. It will be interesting to see on Friday what coach
Joe Rea decides is his strongest line-up. The experiment of Ina Forrest
at 3rd with Gerry skipping from 2nd lasted a day (draws 4 and 5). Darryl
Neighbour at 4th stones and Ina Forrest have played every end. Both Gary
and Sonja Gaudet have played lead, but most of the time, when Gary has
skipped Gerry has sat out and vice versa.
Darryl Neighbour (57%) and Ina Forrest (64%) lead overall
at their positions, Ina sharing honours with USA's Jimmy Joseph who was
helped by an astonishing 90% in the final draw. JIn Myung Kim of Korea
(60%) was best 3rd and Korea's Mi Suk Kang and Scotland's Jim Sellar
shared top spot at lead with 64%.
Team percentages in round robin play showed Korea
shooting 60% with Canada second at 57%. Percentages didn't tell the full
story though, as struggling Scotland shot a third best 55% while 3rd
place Norway shared the worst shooting percentage (46%) yet equalled
Canada's 6-3 record.
Scroll down for draw details.
Tuesday Feb 5th - Day 4 -
Draws 6 & 7 updated 2.08pm (pst)
Canada and Korea guaranteed their playoff spots with two
wins today. Korea Skip Hak Sung Kim shot 80% and his team shot an
extraordinary combined 77% in their 6-1 win over Switzerland. He
followed that with 69% shooting in the 8-4 win over Italy. (50% is
considered good wheelchair curling)
Canada blanked fading Norway 7-0 in the morning draw
(Gary Cormack skipping from 3rd) before a tough afternoon battle against USA
(Gerry Austgarden replacing Cormack at skip and 3rd). Canada got out to an early
3-0 lead but a single in the 4th and a steal of 3 in the 5th gave USA a
good chance to climb back into contention with a second win, after their
9-1 morning thrashing of Scotland. The opportunity slipped away when USA
failed to put their lead stones in position in the 6th. Canada scored 2
to win 5-4.
USA coach Steve Brown, quoted on Brianne Puleo's
NEWSChannel 2 Curling Blog, said "The team is working well together
and demonstrating some strong play. Tomorrow's games are crucial, and I
am confident that a victory is in sight."
Canada play Korea in Draw 8 in a game that is likely to
decide who has the hammer in the 1/2 playoff game.
Because Italy and Norway both suffered two defeats today,
five teams are still in the hunt for the remaining 2 playoff spots. Will
Scotland regroup to challenge Norway, who must then face Korea? Italy
seems to have the easiest route, facing Japan and Russia (both 2-5)
Hosts Switzerland play Sweden in the morning draw in a game that will
probably eliminate the loser, and finish against USA in what could be a
decisive match-up for the last playoff spot. That is unless Norway
regain the form that they displayed so often in the run-up to these
championships and beat either Scotland or Korea.
Norway coach Thoralf Hognestad said, "It's been a
disappointing day, The loss to Switzerland really hurt. We are not used
to playing on ice with so much curl and it is has taken us time to
adjust, especially in our hitting game. Also the breaks went against us
today. We could have stolen 4 against Switzerland in the 4th, but their
skip's last rock ticked into shot position. But we still hold our fate
in our own hands. We need to improve, but I have a good feeling about
reminds us that unless Scotland beat Norway and Canada tomorrow,
they run the risk of having to pre-qualify to play in next year's
championships. Only the top eight teams automatically qualify, with two
places reserved for the top two teams playing in a 10 team qualification
Scroll down for draw details.
Monday Feb 4th - Day 3 -
Draws 4 & 5 updated 3.08pm (pst)
The top four teams pulled away from the pack after 5
draws. Canada beat Russia and Sweden to improve to 4-1, with previously
unbeaten Norway who gave Russia their first win. Italy had two more
wins, over Switzerland and USA, while Korea suffered their first loss to
USA, then rebounded by beating the struggling Scots.
Gerry Austgarden returned from a day on the bench to skip both Canada wins,
this time playing 2nd, with Ina Forrest moving up to third. The morning
draw against winless Russia, was hard fought. They stole 1 in the 1st
and 2 in the 5th, but were level at 4-4 after 6 ends. In the extra,
Sonja Gaudet ticked a center line guard and Canada were able to get
stones behind Russian draws that fell short of the house. Facing 3, Skip
Andrey Smirnov's attempt to come around the front stones, was left
uncovered. Darryl Neighbour executed a perfect hit and stick, blocked
the path to the four foot, and Canada won 8-4. They beat Sweden 7-4 in
the afternoon, taking 2 in the final end after giving up a steal in the
Previously undefeated Norway had to face a roused Russian
bear in the afternoon draw, and were soundly beaten 8-3, giving up steals of 2 in both the 3rd
and 4th ends. Korea faced their first lost, 3-7 to USA in the morning,
but then returned to form, beating Scotland 5-3. Italy, who handed Canada
their only loss, had two more wins, 7-4 over the favoured Swiss and 7-5
over USA, to join Canada, Norway and Korea at the top of the table at 4-1.
With four draws to play before the medal rounds,
Switzerland, Sweden and USA are 2 games back at 2-3, while Russia, Japan and
Scotland each have only one win.
Scroll down for draw details.
Sunday Feb 3rd - Day 2 -
Draws 2 & 3 - updated 3.30pm
Defending Champions Norway, and Korea remain unbeaten
after 3 draws. Norway beat USA 6-3 and then gave Italy their first loss
5-4. Korea blanked Sweden 9-0 and the beat Japan 7-4. Korea have
arguably had the easiest start to the tournament and will face stiffer
tests tomorrow against Scotland and Switzerland.
Italy, who had to qualify through the 10 team preliminary
tournament in December, have been the surprise team of the tournament so
far. After blanking Canada, they beat Scotland, curling 60%. (50% is
considered good). In their Draw 3 first loss, they outcurled Norway 61%
to 56% although Norway skip Rune Lorentsen (67% including a meaningless
final shot miss) decisively outplayed Andrea Tabanelli (52%).
Canada bounced back with two wins. Gerry Austgarden sat
out both games, replaced by Gary Cormack at skip throwing 3rd. Darryl
Neighbour caught fire, throwing 65% in the 8-1 victory over Japan and
71% in the 5-3 win over Switzerland. Sonja Gaudet played lead. Against
Japan Canada stole 4 in the 2nd, when Yogi Yakajima failed to reach the
rings with his final stone draw. In the decisive 3rd end against
Switzerland, Canada sat 3, 2 rocks covered in the 4 foot, and Swiss skip
Manfred Bolliger had few options other than to attempt to cut his losses
with a take-out of the 3rd Canadian stone. He missed and Canada stole 3
in an otherwise tight game.
Scroll down for draw details.
Saturday Feb 2nd - Day 1
Draw 1 - updated 4.17pm
Defending champions Norway survived a final end scare
when Skip Rune Lorentsen, facing 4, drew to the back of the 8
to score a single and seal a 5-3 opening draw win over Sweden. Coach
Thoralf Hognestad siad there was lots of curl in the ice, but he was
suprised by the official game stats that had Norway shooting just 32%.
"We're fortunate that Sweden struggled even more than we did. We have a
strong team," he said, "and after the lowest scoring game in our
history, we are looking forward to playing USA and Italy tomorrow."
Canada were never in their match, failing to get stones
into the house to pressure qualifiers Italy, who stole 5 times in a
7-0 drubbing. Some dubious calls by novice skip Gerry Austgarden didn't
give Darryl Neighbour much of an opportunity to change the course of the
game with his final stones. In the 4th, down 4, Canada called for and
threw 4 consecutive guards attempting to protect a
Gary Cormack lead stone on the button. Though Canada's overall shooting
was a respectable 50%, 19 of the 46 stones they threw were scored
complete misses. Sonja Gaudet sat out. Canada play
Japan and Switzerland tomorrow.
Scotland fell to hosts Switzerland 7-5 and USA and Korea
posted impressive wins over Japan and Russia.
Full line scores are available
HERE. You can also follow the action diagrammed shot by shot, and
see full statistics for each player and team
Overall shooting percentages were in line with recent
Worlds with Korea's 53% leading the way and only USA and Italy scoring
better than 50%
Scroll down for draw details.
Friday Feb 1st - Worlds
Canada try for
their first World Championship gold, after failing to medal in
their last two attempts. They open against Italy,
and face defending World champions Norway in
Draw 6 before finishing the round robin against
Scotland. Norway opens against Sweden and Scotland opens against
Canada makes one personnel change from last year;
Darryl Neighbour comes in for long-time skip Chris Daw, and will throw 4th stones with Gerry Austgarden skipping from
3rd position. Ina Forrest, the alternate at last year's event,
will rotate with
Gary Cormack and Sonja Gaudet, both Paralympics gold medallists,
at the front end. This is a very
confident all-British Columbia squad who know and like each
other, and played together
while winning the Norway Open in November.
Current champions Norway had a
winning season until upset by this Canada team at the
Norway Open, perhaps
because they experimented with spilt squads. They had a perfect
round robin record at the recent Richmond BC spiel, before
fading in the play-offs when they did not adjust to very swingy
Scotland have a very experienced team with Michael McCreadie
returning as skip. He is sure to be less nervous this time
round, having finished 3rd last year. Tom Killin returns at 2nd
after missing last year's championship through illness. Scotland won the
Richmond spiels on their
Switzerland finished second to
Norway at the last Worlds, and had the same result at the early
season Prague Bonspiel.
They will have home fan support, which as their coach Nadia Röthlisberger
pointed out, can
be a mixed blessing. They play in Berne. The ice in Sursee
(usually a hockey arena) has been put in especially for this
championship so the Swiss will not have had any more practice on
it than the other teams.
Sweden, hosts in 2007, had
re-qualify for this year's event. They did so (with Italy) in a
10 team Qualifying
Tournament in Scotland, and bring a new coach and new
players at 2nd, 3rd and skip.
While Norway, Scotland, Canada
and Switzerland will be favourites, as program director and CCA
High Performance coach Gerry Peckham says. "Anything can happen
in a 6 end game."
USA, Japan, Russia, Korea, Sweden or Italy could get hot at the
right time and ride a winning streak into the final.
Diagrammed action of every rock of every draw will be posted on the
Scoll down for draw by draw results.