Teams White and Anderson qualify for playoffs at 2022 World Senior Curling Championships

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Curling
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GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — The Canadian senior men’s and women’s teams are one step closer to the podium at the 2022 World Senior Curling Championships. Teams led by Wade White and Sherry Anderson won their games on Wednesday and qualified for the playoffs.

Team White, from the Lac la Biche Curling Club in Alberta, improved to 5-0 on Wednesday night at the Geneva Curling Club with a convincing 9-3 win against Italy’s Sergio Serafini.

“That’s what we wanted to do. We wanted to make sure we qualified and got into the playoffs, so that was the number one goal. We’ll see where it goes from there,” White said.

White had draw weight in his back pocket from the first end when he made a draw for two. In the second, Canada froze up to Italy’s shot stone and scored another point when Italy’s final shot was heavy. Serafini’s team bounced back the following end and sat three in the house during skip’s rocks. White made a double takeout to limit some damage, but a hit for two by Italy on its last got the team back in the game and only trailed by one. Canada tried tucking a few rocks behind cover in the fourth end, but Italy continuously found ways to get them out of play. At the conclusion of the fourth, White made a draw to the eight-foot for one and a 4-2 lead at the half.

The fifth end turned out to be the critical moment of the game. Canada was sitting three behind two clustered centre guards with one of those counters slightly exposed. After a few exchanges, Canada sat five in the house and forced Italy into a wide draw that couldn’t get into the four-foot. Canada stole three and took a 7-2 lead. White, vice-skip Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk, lead George White and team leader Bill Tschirhart forced Italy to draw for one in the sixth. Then, in the seventh end, White made a draw for two to end the game.

“That one was a bit more solid than the other [games],” White said. “[Italy] can make shots and they made a lot of them. They had us in a bit of trouble there, absolutely.”

Team White has a chance to run the table in the round robin, but faces its toughest task yet in its final game against Bob Leclair of the United States. Team Leclair is also at 4-0, meaning the game on Thursday at 10 a.m. (all times Eastern) will be for first place in Pool A.

“We still have a big one against the U.S.,” White said. “They’ll be solid, and we’ll need another game like this one against them tomorrow.”

Anderson and her team from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon are seeking an unprecedented third world championship in a row. After a first-game loss to Scotland, Canada has rebounded and is rolling into the playoffs with confidence. Anderson, vice-skip Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen, lead Anita Silvernagle, alternate Denise Hersikorn, and team leader Tschirhart improved to 4-1 on Wednesday with a 10-1 win against Ivana Bartakova of the Czech Republic.

The Czech Republic started with the hammer and scored one point, but Canada maintained its pressure for the rest of the game and scored in each following end until the Czech Republic conceded in the sixth end.

Team Anderson remains behind Scotland in its pool, but the win was enough to secure one of the top three spots in Pool A. Her team closes the round robin out on Thursday against Italy’s Lucilla Macchiati (1-4) at 6 a.m.

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.