Day 4 Review - Junior Women

Russia were one of three teams who recorded their fifth win of the Championship today Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

After six sessions of round-robin play, only three junior women’s teams remain at the top of the rankings in the World Junior Curling Championships.

While Canada, Russia and Scotland all recorded their fifth wins on Tuesday afternoon, it was Sweden who slipped slightly off the pace, going down by 8-9 to the Czech Republic, with whom they now share fourth spot, on four wins and two losses.

In this game the Czech Republic made a good start, stealing singles in each of the first three ends, but the Swedes made up all of that lost ground in the fourth when they scored three to level the game. The Czechs then scored a further two in the fifth to which the Swedes could respond only with a single in the fifth. The Czechs stretched their lead with a further two points in the seventh for a 7-4 lead, but the pendulum swung as Sweden scored twos in the eighth and ninth ends to take an 8-7 lead. One more pendulum swing gave the Czechs a score of two in the tenth for their eventual 9-8 win. While all this was going on, both teams were reduced to three players for some time, as unusually one player from each side suffered nose-bleeds.

Afterwards Czech skip Zuzana Hajkova said, “it was strange for both teams as two players had to leave to ice with nose bleeds, so for about two ends we played without our fourth player. We have never played with only three players before – everyone was a little bit confused, and didn’t know what to do. But I must say I really enjoyed this game more than any other because it was so competitive and offensive all of the time”.

By comparison, Canada had a more straightforward time, comfortably beating Switzerland by 11-4 in just seven ends. That gave the Canadians five wins in a row after their opening session loss to the Czechs, and skip Jocelyn Peterman reflected on that saying, “it feels good that we’re in control. We’ve moved on from that first loss”.

To stay at the top of the pile, both Russia and Scotland were strongly challenged.
Not for the first time this week, Cory Christensen’s Americans battled all the way, only to fall at the final hurdle as they still await their first win. They came battling back from 1-5 down after six ends to score two in the seventh, steal one in the eight and force Russian skip Anna Sidorova to score one in the ninth and stay strong with a tricky clear-out of two American stones with her last shot of the tenth to win by 6-4. Afterwards Sidorova said, “I think the game was so close in the end because of nerves. I think yesterday’s defeat made us more nervous today because we can’t afford to lose any other games - we need to win everything, so we are trying to be more accurate”.

In their game against Japan, the Scots opened with three points and were never headed, although, like Russia, they were made to work all the way to the tenth end for their 7-5 win. After this game, in which she had to defend her lead for all of nine ends, Scottish skip Hannah Fleming said, “It’s quite hard to concentrate, especially if we’re playing a hitting game, so we just keep reminding each other that we’ve not won it yet”.

In the fifth game of the session Norway finally broke their duck with an 8-4 win over Italy, a result that leaves USA as the sole team yet to record a win. The Norwegians had to recover from losing a two in the opening end, and only really broke away in the game when they scored three in the eighth end for a 7-4 lead.

Afterwards, a delighted Norwegian skip Kristine Davanger said, “we played so much better today. We worked better as a team and that’s important to win. We’ve been struggling a bit to play together but we have a little more self-confidence now after this win”.

The lowest-placed European team from this week will lose their automatic berth in next year’s Championships, and with one eye on her country’s future fate, Davanger added, “if we want to stay in this tournament we just need to do exactly as we did in this game.”

Women round 6: USA 4, Russia 6; Sweden 8, Czech Republic 9; Norway 8, Italy 4; Scotland 7, Japan 5; Switzerland 4, Canada 11.

Junior Women’s Standings
Canada 5-1
Russia 5-1
Scotland 5-1
Czech Republic 4-2
Sweden 4-2
Japan 3-3
Switzerland 2-4
Italy 1-5
Norway 1-5
USA 0-6
*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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