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Monday, February 9, 2015

CURLING: World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 Day 3 Roundup


For immediate release: 9 February 2015

Lohja, Finland – Russia remain the only undefeated team after five sessions of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 being played at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

Russia’s wins against Scotland and Sweden coupled with China’s first defeat means that they alone sit in first place in the standings after three days of play.

However, Russia found it tough going in a tight game against Scotland in the morning session, with the teams tied 2-2 at the fourth end break.

After that Russia took their first advantage in the game as skip Andrey Smirnov drew into an open house for two points in the fifth end.

Scotland fourth Gregor Ewan was too heavy with his final draw with his last stone in the next end which meant that the Scots could only take one point.

Russia’s Smirnov then made a hit for two points in the seventh end to extend their lead before Scotland conceded in the eighth end with the final score 6-3.

On the next sheet, China lost their 100 percent record after losing to the USA.

By the fourth end break the USA led 3-2 after taking two points in the fourth end.

In the fifth end, China skip HaiTao Wang was too heavy with his final draw to give up a steal of one point, and then, with his last stone of the sixth end attempted a hit but rolled too far to give up another single point steal.

The USA took confidence from their 5-2 lead as they eventually went on to win 6-3.

Slovakia picked up their first win of the Championship as they defeated Germany.

Some good set up play coupled with some mistakes by Germany allowed Slovakia to score four points in the first end and they never looked back.

Slovakia went on to win 11-3 after seven ends of play, an important win as they look to avoid relegation to the World Wheelchair Curling Qualification event.

Afterwards, Slovakia lead Monika Kunkelova said: “Finally we got our first win! I have no idea why we have not been playing well, so we’re very happy, it’s perfect to get the win. The first end was really important, we were a little bit lucky in that end but it gave us a great lead.”

Sweden and Canada started off tight as well. The first big score came in the fourth end however when Canada scored three points to lead 4-2.
They then let their opponents back into the game as Sweden skip Jalle Jungnell scored one point in the fifth end with a hit, and stole another point in the sixth end to tie the game at 4-4.

By the eighth end, the Swedish skip had the opportunity to score two points to win the game but hit and rolled too far to give up a steal of one point which secured Canada’s 6-4 win.

Hosts Finland picked up their second win of the week in the morning session against Norway.

Although the Norwegians scored three points in the seventh end to tie up the game going into the final end, Finland prevailed, scoring two points to seal their 7-5 win.

After the game, Finland skip Markku Karjalainen said: “I think the playing style for both teams is pretty similar, so it’s always very exciting when we play against Norway. I think in this game we had some very good first stones in each end which gave us the chance to build the game and that was our strength today.”

In the afternoon session of play, Russia continued their unbeaten record as they defeated Sweden.

They started the game well as skip Andrey Smirnov made a hit for two points to take a lead that they would never lose.

Russia went on to win 5-3 after seven ends of play, their fifth win from five games so far.

The North American derby between the USA and Canada proved to be a high scoring game.

The first big score came in the fourth end when USA skip Patrick McDonald played a draw into a busy house with his final stone to score four points, giving them a 5-2 lead at the break.

Canada levelled the game immediately in the next end, scoring three points, before the USA went ahead again after scoring two points in the sixth end.
The tables turned once more as Canada took the lead, scoring three points in the seventh end to lead 8-7 going into the final end.

There, USA skip Patrick McDonald held his nerve to make a draw into the back of the eight foot ring to take the two points needed for their 9-8 win, their second of the day.

Afterwards, McDonald reflected on the game. He said: “You know, you get on a nice roll and you’re feeling good and the next thing you know
you make two little mistakes and boom, they’re right back in it. You make a couple more mistakes, boom, they go ahead. But we didn’t give up, we played hard. This team is so focused. We didn’t worry.”

China meanwhile got back to winning ways with an 8-3 win against Slovakia. After stealing three points from the first two ends a score of three points in the sixth end further enhanced their lead as they went ahead 7-3.

Slovakia eventually conceded the game in the eighth end to give China their fourth win of the Championship so far.

After this game, China skip HaiTao Wang said: “Today we had two different games - this morning we felt nervous for some reason, throughout the whole team. After that game we had a discussion and all adjusted our mentality. After that we all felt much more relaxed this afternoon.

Speaking about the game he added: “The sixth end was crucial for us as it gave us a four point lead. That was really important at that stage of game.”

Norway picked up their first win of the Championship against Scotland in what proved to be a close game.

Norway were ahead 2-1 by the fourth end break and after Scotland failed to remove a counting Norwegian stone in the eighth end, Norway closed out the game with a steal of two points to win 6-2.

Elsewhere, Germany suffered their second heavy defeat of the day as they lost 7-1 to Finland.

Session 4: Russia 6, Scotland 3; China 3, USA 6; Germany 3, Slovakia 11; Canada 6, Sweden 4.

Session 5: China 8, Slovakia 3; Scotland 2, Norway 6; Sweden 3, Russia 5; Finland 7, Germany 1; USA 9, Canada 8.

Standings after 5 sessions of play (W-L):
1. Russia 5-0
2. China 4-1
2. USA 4-1
4. Finland 3-2
5. Canada 2-3
5. Germany 2-3
5. Scotland 2-3
8. Norway 1-4
8. Slovakia 1-4
8. Sweden 1-4




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