Day 3 Review - Junior Women

Scotland Skip, Hannah Fleming, led her team to two wins today Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

After four sessions of women’s round-robin play on Monday morning, six of the ten women’s teams involved shared top spot on three wins and one loss, so Monday evening’s fifth session – that featured two head-to-heads among them - was always going to start the process of separating the teams out.

In their morning game, after building up a 4-0 lead after just two ends, Scotland were taken all the way to an extra end by a brave USA team who, despite a sustained challenge that eventually saw them carve out the three points needed from the tenth end to force an extra end, remained winless after Scottish skip Hannah Fleming drew for one point and an 8-7 win.

Afterwards, Fleming said, “USA played very well to come back at us. Every time they got a steal, they just played one cracking shot that scuppered us”. Meanwhile USA skip Cory Christensen said, “Scotland are a really great team so it was really nice to have a good game with them. I’m really happy with how we all played”.

At the same time, the Czech Republic beat Russia by 7-6 to rob the Russians of their unbeaten record.

In this game the tide turned in the seventh end when the Czechs scored three to reduce a 1-5 deficit to 4-5. They went on to steal two in the tenth end for a 7-6 win when Russian skip Anna Sidorova was light with a draw. Afterwards, Czech skip Zuzana Hajkova said, “in the middle of the game we didn’t think we had a chance. We knew the Russian girls are one of the best teams here and I personally think they have a chance to win this championship, so we have a lot of respect for them.”

These results then set up an intriguing fifth round game between the Czechs and Scotland. And it was the Scots who ended up dominating this one. The turning point came in the sixth when the Scots managed to spread their stones around the rings and eventually gave themselves an easy draw for three points and a 6-2 lead. Scotland went on to steal a further two in the seventh, and when the Czechs could only take one from the eighth, they conceded at 3-8 down.

The other fifth-round head-to-head was between Sweden and Japan. In the fourth session, Japan beat Norway by 9-5, while Sweden made short work of Switzerland, winning by 9-2 in just six ends. After that game, Swedish skip Sara McManus said, “we haven’t played our best so far but we did this game, and it felt absolutely great. It gives us our confidence back, definitely. Everyone in the team was like ‘oh finally’”.

In the fifth-session encounter between the two, the Swedes eventually prevailed, winning 7-6 at the end of a game that saw the lead change hands four times before Sweden finally came through to win by scoring two points in the tenth.

As a result of these games, Scotland and Sweden now go onto four wins and one loss. They share top spot with Russia, who recovered from their morning loss to beat Norway by 10-3, thanks largely to a score of five in the eighth end that killed off the game, and Canada, who followed up their fourth-round six-end 11-3 win with an 8-4 win over USA.

In the final encounter of the fifth session, Italy’s skip Federica Apollonio kept her nerve to send her final stone of the game through a narrow port, take out the Swiss shot-stone and lie two for a 7-6 score, and Italy’s first win of the week.

Afterwards, Apollonio said, “at last we get a win. But we didn’t change much in the way we prepared ourselves for the game or how we were on the ice, but we worked better as a team and the result shows what we can do. The last time we played that team was in Thun [in the European Junior Curling Tour] and they beat us, but only just – now we are happy win against them here.”

This leaves USA and Norway as the only two women’s teams yet to win this week.

Round 4: Scotland 8, USA 7 (extra end); Japan 9, Norway 5; Switzerland 2, Sweden 9; Russia 6, Czech Republic 7; Canada 11, Italy 3.
Round 5: Japan 6, Sweden 7; USA 4, Canada 8; Czech Republic 3, Scotland 8; Italy 7, Switzerland 6; Norway 3, Russia 10.

Junior Women’s Standings
Canada 4-1
Russia 4-1
Scotland 4-1
Sweden 4-1
Czech Republic 3-2
Japan 3-2
Switzerland 2-3
Italy 1-4
Norway 0-5
USA 0-5.
*During the round robin teams with the same W-L record will be ranked alphabetically.

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The World Junior Curling Championships 2013 will take place in Sochi, Russia, from 28 February-10 March.

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