Canada’s mixed doubles team adds two wins

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image: depositphotos.com
image: depositphotos.com

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Canada’s mixed doubles team put together two of its most convincing victories at the 2022 World Mixed Doubles Championship and is showing plenty of signs of life two-thirds of the way through the round robin.

On Tuesday, wins over the Czech Republic and Hungary at the Sous-Moulin Sports Centre catapulted Canada to a 5-1 record in Pool B and sitting alone in second place.

It was a superlative effort for the Canadian pair of Jocelyn Peterman (Winnipeg) and Brett Gallant (St. John’s, N.L.) and coaches Scott Pfeifer and Lisa Weagle following Monday’s loss to Scotland.

“It was a frustrating loss to Scotland because I didn’t even give Joce a chance to throw any of her last ones,” Gallant said. During that game, there were numerous ends where Canada opted not to throw Peterman’s last rock. “My draw weight was just off by a couple of feet and I thought they had a better handle on it. But today, we positioned a lot of stones where we wanted to and it makes all the difference in getting opportunities at getting a couple of points and letting Jocelyn throwing her last one.”

And Peterman’s rocks were crucial on a two-win Tuesday. Canada scored points in 10 ends total, with six scoring ends producing two or more points.

On Tuesday evening, Canada rushed to a 6-0 lead in the first three ends of their game against Julie Zelingrova and Vit Chabicovsky of the Czech Republic. Both teams played a near-perfect end, and it was capped off with Peterman and Gallant navigating a small port for a tapback to score two.

In the second end, Canada hid three counters in the four-foot behind middle guards. It forced the Czech Republic into a difficult raise, which it missed and provided Canada with three. In the third, Canada scored one more after the Czech Republic couldn’t find a way into the house on its last shot.

However, things change in a flash in mixed doubles curling, and that was on display in the fourth end when the Czech Republic used its power play. Canada tried ticking away the corner guard but missed, and it left Peterman and Gallant chasing throughout the end. The Czech Republic made a draw for three in the fourth end and halved the score to 6-3.

The Czech Republic continued to pressure Canada in the second half of the game. A centre guard of some sort was in Canada’s way through most of the fifth, and Peterman and Gallant couldn’t generate more than one during the end. Canada returned the favour in the sixth with a force of its own and took a three-point lead heading into the seventh end, where Canada delivered its final blow, making a draw for three and taking a 10-4 win after the Czechs conceded.

While Peterman’s first rocks of an end are predictable in mixed doubles and easier to practise, her last ones hold the most importance in a game and are the most significant factor in wins and losses. Today, Peterman got to explore some new shots and gain more experience on the ice, which will be crucial down the home stretch of this event, where Canada is seeking its first-ever gold medal at a world mixed doubles curling championship.

Canada opened the day with a win against Ildiko Szekeres/Gyorgy Nagy of Hungary. It was a wire-to-wire effort for Peterman and Gallant, who controlled the game from the get-go and didn’t allow many opportunities for their opponents to gain any momentum.

Peterman and Gallant came out firing, opening with the hammer and scoring two. Peterman and Gallant made it nothing but a challenge for Hungary to battle back into the game from that point forward. After stealing another point in the second, Canada set up the third to be a dream for any mixed doubles player. After playing their last, Canada sat five clustered in the four-foot. Hungary attempted a heavy hit to limit the damage, but Canada still walked away with three. In the fourth, a Hungarian power play presented the team with a point, but Canada was still in control and took the hammer to start the second half.

Canada was just as efficient with the last stone as without. Peterman and Gallant made a draw to the four-foot to score three in the fifth end and stole another point in the sixth end, bringing an end to the game.

Peterman and Gallant are back on the one-game rotation on Wednesday. The pair takes on sibling duo Anna and Ben Fowler (2-4) at 8 a.m. ET.

The top three teams in both pools advance to the playoffs with the top two seeds receiving a bye to the semifinals, while the remaining four teams play in the first round. The gold- and bronze-medal games will be played on Saturday.

TSN will broadcast select Canadian round-robin games and all playoff games. For its complete broadcast schedule, click here.