Canada pulls out gutsy win over Ja­pan in women’s curl­ing

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY ROBIN SHORT

Van­cou­ver Olympic Cen­tre.

“It’s nice to pull one of those out of the hat,” Bernard said of the tilt with Ja­pan, the sec­ond straight game she needed to make her fi­nal shot to reg­is­ter the win.

While Bernard was tak­ing com­fort in the win — and, as they say, a win is a win — third Su­san O’Con­nor was a lit­tle more blunt in her as­sess­ment of Canada’s game so far.

“ We’re find­ing ways to win, but we’re not play­ing well,” she said.

Me­guro, who up­set Amer­i­can Debbie McCormick 9-7 in the tour­na­ment-opener, jumped all over a shaky Bernard early yes­ter­day, steal­ing three in the sec­ond end thanks to a num­ber of missed shots by the Cana­di­ans.

Canada coun­tered with two in the third end and then stole an­other pair in the fifth. But the gritty Ja­panese, in the game de­spite Me­guro’s poor shot­mak­ing that was just 58 per cent, picked up a deuce in the sixth end for a 5-4 lead.

In the piv­otal eighth end, Canada scored one af­ter the Ja­panese looked to be set up for a steal of two. Me­guro, how­ever, was heavy on her last draw hand­ing Bernard a chance to get out of the end with a draw against three for a piece of the but­ton.

“ I had no shot un­til she missed that,” Bernard said. “It was a bonus to get out of that end.”

Af­ter Ja­pan coun­tered with one in the ninth end for a 6-5 lead, Canada got its deuce in the 10th when Bernard com­pleted an open take­out for two, thanks in part to an­other poor shot by Ja­pan, this time by the third who re­moved her team’s own guard.

“ We weren’t as good as we were Tues­day,” Bernard said, “and it’s funny be­cause we felt re­ally re­laxed.

“ Tech­ni­cally, we weren’t as strong as we nor­mally are. Some­times we win ugly, but we know how to keep dig­ging. We were a lit­tle sloppy, but that’s easy to fix.”

Canada plays the cur­rent Euro­pean cham­pion, An­drea Schoepp from Ger­many, to­day,

Kevin Martin’s men’s team, which is also 2-0, had the day off Wed­nes­day. Martin and Co. play Swe­den, which up­set world champ Dave Mur­doch of Great Bri­tain in the first draw, and France to­day.

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