Disappointing Fourth Place for Team Canada at World's Mixed Doubles Curling Tournament
Canada finishes fourth overall at 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship
Canada has finished fourth overall in the 20-team field after losing the bronze-medal game at the 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Canada’s Kerri Einarson (Camp Morton, Man.), Brad Gushue (St. John’s, N.L.) and coaches Scott Pfeifer and Heather Nedohin lost 7-4 to Sweden’s Almida de Val and Oskar Eriksson on Sunday at Curl Aberdeen.
For Einarson, it marks the end of an extended stay in curling bubbles around the world. First winning the Scotties Tournament of Hearts, the Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles Championship, presented by Nature’s Bounty Vitamins, a Grand Slam of Curling event and then qualified Canada for the women’s curling discipline at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games at the LGT World Women’s Curling Championship, presented by BKT Tires. To cap it off, Einarson and Gushue also qualified Canada for the mixed doubles event at the 2022 Olympics.
“It’s been an honour to represent Canada twice on the world stage. We gave it our absolute all this week and I couldn’t be more proud of us earning Canada the Olympic spot. We fought hard every game. We may not have played out best at times, but we also never gave up,” Einarson said.
Eriksson, one-half of the reigning mixed doubles world champions, returned to the event with a new partner in de Mal and looked like they were potentially going to repeat as gold-medal champions. Sweden was undefeated heading into the semifinal before losing its first game and dropping into the bronze-medal game.
Sweden put the game out of reach in the seventh end. Trailing by four, Einarson and Gushue were brewing up a potential big end, but that screeched to a halt after a perfectly executed an around-the-horn thrown by de Val and swept by Eriksson. They eliminated two Canadian stones and ricocheted behind cover for shot stone. Canada played a peel-weight raise double-takeout hoping to score two, but the raised rock rolled too far. Canada settled for one to trail by three.
In the eighth end, Sweden ended the game early after executing a double peel on the guards and gave Canada no chance to set up a steal of three.
"I'm very proud of how Kerri and I battled throughout the week. There was no doubt we were tired and not at our best, but we left it all on the ice and that's all you could ask for. We're disappointed not to earn a medal, but are proud to have earned the Olympic spot for Canada,” Gushue said.
The problems started early for Canada during a game where its opponents were shooting a combined 91 per cent, compared to Canada’s 72 per cent. de Val, in particular, stood out in her efforts shooting the first and last stones of the end, including her highlight-reel around-the-horn, with a 98 per cent shooting efficiency.
In the first end, Sweden capitalized on a Canadian error and took quick control of the game. Einarson attempted a hit and roll that would have sandwiched her shot rock in between three Swedish counters. However, Canada only made a nose hit and de Val had a draw to the four-foot for four points.
Canada was unable to retaliate with any means of major offence in the second end. Einarson was faced with a challenging raise, needing to curl around a guard while maintaining momentum to bump a rock in the top-four to the button. Einarson came up light on the shot, and Canada was forced to one.
Einarson and Gushue closed out to the third in perfect fashion. Einarson locked her stone right on top of Canada’s shot stone on the button. Not wishing to make things worse for itself, Sweden opted to throw away the last rock and give up one, halving Canada’s deficit.
Sweden grabbed its four-lead back in the fourth end. Einarson and Gushue elected to play a double on their last shot of the end. Einarson needed to hit all that she could see of Sweden’s yellow stone, but it over curled. Instead, it hit another Canada rock back into the four-foot and as everything settled Sweden was left sitting one. del Val cooly drew to the house for a 6-2 lead at the game's halfway point.
Canada used its power play in the fifth end, but had no opportunity for a big end. On its last shot, Sweden protected the only big potential Canadian score by guarding a double that could have been for four. All Einarson and Gushue could do were draw to the house for one, which furthered Sweden’s control of the game.
Sweden responded with its power play in the sixth end and looked to be in a good position to have a big end. Facing three Swedish counters spread out around the house, Einarson played a perfect freeze for shot rock and forced Sweden to one point.
The 2021 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship comes to a close today at 10 am (ET) with the gold-medal game. Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten take on hometown favourites Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat of Scotland with the world championship on the line. The game will be broadcast live on TSN.
The list of teams, schedule information and live scoring can be found on the event website, https://worldcurling.org/events/wmdcc2021.
The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/?lang=fr
Scotland wins World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021
The World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship 2021, staged in Curl Aberdeen, Scotland, and supported by EventScotland and UK Sport, came to a climax on Sunday (23 May) afternoon when the Host nation, represented by Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat, faced Olympic bronze medallists Norway – Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten – in the gold medal final.
Scotland had last stone advantage in the first end, and with Dodds’ last draw-shot, they tapped out a Norway stone to open the scoring with two points.
In the second end, Norway had two counting stones in the house when Kristin Skaslien came to play her last shot. She was successful with a nose-hit to score three points and take a 3-2 lead.
In the early part of the third end, Norway built up their stones only for Scotland’s Mouat to clear them out. After this, Dodds drew her last stone onto the button to score one point and level the score at 3-3.
In the fourth end, Scotland’s Dodds caught a Norway stone on the way in and this gave Skaslien a chance for a double take-out that would have given her team a score of four. Her attempt failed but her stone did roll into position to score two points, giving Norway a 5-3 lead at the halfway break.
The fifth end featured delicate taps by both teams and Scotland lay two points when Skaslien played a guard with her final stone. This left Scotland’s Dodds with a very difficult wide draw attempt for three points which came up just short, and the Scots had to settle for two points to tie the game at 5-5.
Norway used their power-play in the sixth end and spent the early part of the end bringing stone after stone into the house, only for Scotland’s Mouat to clear them all with a triple take-out.
Norway did manage to score two points from the end, when Skaslien played a gentle hit and stay with her last stone. This gave Norway a 7-5 lead.
It was Scotland’s turn to call a power-play in the seventh end and they used it to build up stones in the house.
Norway’s Nedregotten just missed on a double take-out attempt, then Dodds was able to hit and stay for three points, giving Scotland the lead, at 8-7, for the first time since the first end.
In the eighth end, Scotland had fifteen seconds left on the clock when Dodds played a final guard.
Skaslien then played a runback on the front guards and moved all the stones around the four-foot ring. It wasn’t immediately clear if Norway had succeeded in scoring one point to tie the game and force an extra end, or if Scotland had managed a single-point steal.
After what seemed like a long tense wait, the umpire’s measure confirmed that the Scots had stolen the single point to become world champions with a final score of 9-7.
Afterwards, Scotland’s Jennifer Dodds was still shell-shocked: “We can’t quite believe it right now, we’re still a wee bit in shock, but getting a three with our power-play was massive.”
Bruce Mouat added: “That was such a tough game, we were a wee bit scrappy for a while. We both really felt that we could win it and that’s exactly what happened. I had a look at the end of the eighth end and was pretty sure it was our point by a couple of centimetres, but he was right to call for a measure.”
A disappointed Magnus Nedregotten said, “It’s been a fantastic journey from the very first stone. It’s hard to take [silver] but this shows that we have the potential to reach our goal in Beijing.”
The gold medallists were Scotland: Jennifer Dodds, Bruce Mouat, coach Greg Drummond, and national coach David Murdoch.
The silver medallists were Norway: Kristin Skaslien, Magnus Nedregotten, coach Thomas Leovold, and national coach Pal Trulsen.
The bronze medallists were Sweden: Almida De Val, Oskar Eriksson, coach Sebastian Kraupp, and national coach Alison Kreviazuk.