GENEVA, SWITZERLAND — Canadian senior men’s and women’s curling teams continued their paths to the playoffs by picking up wins in their final round robin games on Thursday.
Canada’s Sherry Anderson and her team from the Nutana Curling Club in Saskatoon have saved their best curling for the end of the week. With each game Anderson, vice-skip Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen, lead Anita Silvernagle, alternate Denise Hersikorn, and team leader Bill Tschirhart have gotten better and better. That was again on display during Canada’s 10-2 win against Italy’s Lucilla Macchiati (1-5) on Thursday afternoon at the Geneva Curling Club.
The win improved Canada’s record to 5-1 and will be good for second overall in Pool A of the senior women’s standings. Scotland, 5-0, has one more game to play. However, even if the team loses, it will still be ranked first due to its head-to-head record with Canada. Scotland’s Edith Hazard bested Team Anderson in the event’s first game, 8-2.
In the playoffs, the second- and third-ranked teams in each pool cross over for a qualification playoff game. Canada will play Team Margie Smith (3-2) on Friday at 7 a.m. (all times ET).
The qualification game winner advances to the semifinals at 1 p.m. and will be guaranteed a shot at playing for a medal.
Anderson and her team seek a third-straight gold medal at the world seniors. Anderson’s team would be the first-ever to do it, as it has never been accomplished by an individual team before.
Team Anderson started the game with hammer and made use of it right away, scoring with a draw for three on Anderson’s final shot of the end. There were plenty of rocks in play during the second end, but Canada controlled the four-foot and eliminated any takeout angles with some well-placed guards by Anderson. Macchiati found one angle raise to play on her final shot, but it hit the target too thin and nearly raised Canada up for another point, but after a measure, the official determined Canada stole two.
In the third, Italy was left with a double attempt to score but could only remove one, adding another point to Canada’s score. Italy got on the board in the fourth end. Macchiati attempted a hit through a port, and while the line was off, the shot stone ricocheted off a couple of Canadian stones and landed on the button for one.
“They weren’t throwing too bad, but I think the advantage that we have as Canadians is our ice is fairly quick,” Anderson said. “That was by far the keenest in spots that it’s been all week and they struggled to get anything up front and set up. In that, we had the advantage.”
Italy fought back and scored another point in the fifth end with a steal. Anderson had an across-the-face double attempt to score, but it over-curled and hit the rock too thin. Canada’s shot stone rolled too far into the eight-foot, providing Italy with the point.
But in the end, Canada picked up the win, capping the sixth end off with a raise for four, leading Italy to concede.
“It’s about consistency now. Rock placement is always huge, especially with some of the teams that I can’t always predict what they’re going to call,” Anderson said. “If you get too many rocks in play, then it can work against you. We don’t have to score three or four in an end. If we can get our deuce and hold them to one, we’ll be in good position.”
It was a battle of the heavyweights in Pool A on the senior men’s side.
It was a North American battle between two undefeated teams in Canada’s Team Wade White, from the Lac la Biche Curling Club in Alberta, and the United States, skipped by Bob LeClair, (both 5-0).
But as the game went on, White, vice-skip Barry Chwedoruk, second Dan Holowaychuk, lead George White and team leader Tschirhart, picked up the momentum and capitalized with three in the third and a steal of four in the sixth to secure a 10-3 win.
Canada finishes first in its pool and will be among the top seeds heading into the eight-team playoffs starting Friday at 3 a.m. Team White’s opponent in the quarterfinal is to be determined as there is still one more draw on Thursday night in Geneva.
White and his team seek a second world championship, having won their first in 2018 at Östersund, Sweden.
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.