GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Canada’s senior men’s and women’s teams picked up wins on Monday at the 2022 World Senior Curling Championship and remain on the path to the podium at the Geneva Curling Club.
On the men’s side, Canada’s Team Wade White from the Lac la Biche Curling Club in Alberta picked up a 10-6 win against Australia’s Hugh Millikin. But don’t let the score trick you into thinking Canada cruised through this game. White needed his last brick in the eighth end to lock down the win.
Millikin, a Canadian-born Australian curler, has had a fruitful career competing at 11 world men’s curling championships from 1992 through 2008 and is competing in his 10th world senior men’s championship, winning three bronze medals. Despite a winless record heading into the game against Canada, Millikin has the talent and experience to pull out wins at any point during the week. That was on showcase Monday morning at the Geneva Curling Club.
With the game tied in the last end, White, vice-skip Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk, lead George White and team leader Bill Tschirhart made a hit for four to cement the win.
In the first end, Canada opened the game with a fast start, putting up three on the scoreboard and then kept Australia to a single point in the second. White had a draw to the four-foot to score two and take a four-point lead in the third. However, Australia bounced back into the game in the fourth end after a missed runback takeout attempt. It allowed Australia a chance to sit four stones in prime position with limited opportunities for a double. White attempted to hit and roll behind cover on his last, but the shot rock was exposed and allowed Millikin a hit for four, evaporating the Canadian lead and tying the game.
“It was a real good start. Then in the fourth end there were just a couple misses. We took our own out and before you knew it they were laying four and we were trying doubles. I could have froze around the corner and eliminated three of their red [rocks], but I decided I didn’t want to give up the lead and give them five if I didn’t make that perfect. But other than that, we played pretty good.”
Canada started the second half of the game with a pared-down end. The blanked fifth end kept the score tied, but it flipped the hammer. White and his team had control of it in the even ends, including a potentially important hammer in the final frame of the game. Australia managed to force Canada into taking a single point in the sixth, but Canada returned the favour by forcing its opponents to one in the seventh. That sequence of events led to Canada having hammer tied and coming home.
The win keeps Canada tied atop the pool with Italy’s Sergio Serafini and Bob Leclair of the United States with 3-0 records. It’s been a solid start to the week, but there’s still room for improvement, according to the 2018 world senior men’s gold medallist.
“I’d say 80 per cent of the ends we’re winning, but there’s still the odd shot we’re screwing up or maybe we’re not calling the right shot. Just fix our strategy a bit and tighten it up, but overall it’s pretty good,” White said.
Team White returns to the ice on Tuesday at 6 a.m. (all times ET) against Turkey’s Murat Akin (1-2)
The women also faced a tough test in Ireland’s Dale Sinclair, needing an eighth-end double takeout to secure the 7-6 win. It wasn’t the best game for Anderson, vice-skip Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen, lead Anita Silvernagle, alternate Denise Hersikorn, and team leader Tschirhart of the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon, but the team did enough to come away victorious.
Team Anderson improves to 2-1 in Pool A, and Ireland drops to 2-2.
Canada started the game with an open end and put together a hit for two and an early lead. But Sinclair and her team from Ireland came firing back in the second end, playing a runback tap to score three and leapfrog the Canadians for the lead. This back-and-forth tug-a-war kept up for the first half of the game with a lead change occurring in every end. By the fourth end, Ireland battled back the lead with a 5-4 advantage.
But Canada came on strong in the second half and found some solutions to the ice. First, it scored a single point in the fifth, followed by stealing in the sixth after the Canadians drew behind cover and Ireland was not able to remove the stone from play. Ireland was forced to one in the seventh end to tie the game, which led to Canada’s double for the win in the eighth.
“It wasn’t our best game collectively at a team. It wasn’t far off, but we were deep when we couldn’t be heavy. Our rock placement wasn’t great. The ice was challenging to say the least. Having a hard time with it. It really doesn’t take much difference in release to have a totally different outcome,” Anderson said.
Team Anderson’s next game is against Sweden’s Helena Klange (2-1) at 6 am on Tuesday morning in Canada.
The top three women’s teams in both pools qualify for the playoff round with the top two seeds receiving a bye, while the remaining four play in the first round. The top two-ranked men’s team in all three pools, plus the top-two third-ranked teams, qualify for the playoffs with all teams playing in an eight-team format with quarterfinals, semifinals and gold- and bronze-medal games. The men’s and women’s medal games will be played Saturday.
Source: Curling Canada