Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Norway wins 20 straight, stays top with Canada

Rune Lorentsen - Norway skip
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]
Norway won their twentieth consecutive match this morning, beating Russia 7-3. "This afternoon," promised coach Thoralf Hognestad, "we will play tennis!"

Canada continued their run of nail-biting single point victories with a 6-5 win over Korea. They were behind 3-2 at the 4th end break, and gave up a steal in the 5th, but then scored the next four points. Korean skip Tae Yeong Jeong, needing two to force an extra, was light on his final draw and managed only a single.

Canada skip Jim Armstrong braced by Ina Forrest
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]
All three of Canada's wins have been decided by a single point.  “Once again we had to come from behind, I think it speaks for the calibre of play generally” said Canadian Skip Jim Armstrong. “Every game has gone to the last rock.”

Scotland regrouped from yesterday's disappointing loss to Russia to post two wins, 10-2 over the Czechs and 7-4 over Sweden.

Scotland's skip Aileen Nielson
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]

“Sometimes it’s that last stone that makes the difference,” said Scottish Skip Aileen Neilson, who ended Sweden’s chances of tying up the game in the eighth end with her last stone. “Sometimes you just do the maths and I thought if I get rid of that stone he [Swedish Skip Glenn Ikonen] is not going to get his two. That was the objective and it came off.” Not only was the takeout successful, it padded the score with a steal.

USA finally entered the win column, scoring 4 in the 7th to sink Germany 9-3.

USA skip 'Goose' Perez braced by Jimmyy Joseph
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]

“I think the difference between yesterday and today is that we shot to make the shots and yesterday sometimes we felt that we were shooting not to miss. The key shots we needed to make today – we did!” exclaimed US Skip Augusto Perez.

Germany mounted a comeback against Russia in the afternoon after giving up a 4 in the 6th. They stole 2 in the 8th to force an extra end, but it wasn't enough as Russia took their one to win 8-7 and leave Germany as the only team without a win.

Hosts Czech Republic won their first game, a convincing 9-3 defeat of China in a game where they stole points in 5 of the 7 ends.

Czech skip Radek Pokorný and Third Martin Tluk
[World Curling Federation/Pavla Vrbova]
Czech Skip Radek Pokorný, playing at his first World Championship, said: “We were quite disappointed to have lost so badly to Scotland this morning as every game is important. We were just trying to forget about this loss. Right from the start we put China under pressure. They were forced to make difficult shots and our tactic paid off.”

Canada play Russia and Sweden tomorrow. You can see the full schedule, results and tables in our Worlds 2011 section of the website.

Line scores are available HERE and a large gallery of photos are available HERE

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