Team Canada moves into first place at world women’s curl­ing cham­pi­onship

The Niagara Falls Review - - SPORTS - The Cana­dian Press

BEI­JING — Rachel Ho­man and her Canada rink gave them­selves a ma­jor con­fi­dence boost Mon­day in their quest for gold at the women’s world curl­ing cham­pi­onship, hand­ing Switzer­land its first loss and tak­ing sole pos­ses­sion of first place in the round-robin stand­ings.

Canada im­proved to 5-0 and with an 8-6 win over the Swiss rink skipped by Alina Paetz, a two-time world cham­pion. The Cana­di­ans opened the day with a 7-5 win over the United States.

Ho­man is look­ing to lead Canada to its first world ti­tle since 2008 while Swiss teams have won the last three gold medals.

It was more than just a rou­tine round-robin win for Canada, said se­cond Joanne Court­ney.

“Ab­so­lutely,” she said. “I think the Swiss are very strong at the worlds, and you can see that in their pre­vi­ous cham­pi­onships. So we take them very se­ri­ously. We al­ways have a good game with them.”

The loss dropped the Swiss into a se­cond-place tie with Swe­den at 4-1. The Czechs and Scot­land are tied for fourth at 3-2.

Court­n­ey­calledtheSwis­san“agres­sive team.”

“They’re all great shoot­ers,” she said. “So that’s a big win for us, to come out, start off strong and be able to keep that lead. We’re happy with how we played, and we’re get­ting more com­fort­able with the ice.”

It was a tight game in the early go­ing, but it was bro­ken open in the fourth end on a well-ex­e­cuted raise take­out from Ho­man to score three and make it 4-1.

An end later, Canada stole two more when Paetz’s raise dou­ble­take­out at­tempt was un­suc­cess­ful. The Cana­di­ans were able to put it in cruise con­trol the rest of the way.

Ho­man is in top form, her se­cond said.

“You can tell in her eyes when she knows what a spot in the ice is go­ing to do, and ex­actly how she has to throw it to make the shot,” she said. “You just try to make sure you sweep it right and make sure you’re sup­port­ing her. She was di­aled in all through the Scot­ties and it’s con­tin­ued here. You stay out of skip­per’s way when she’s throw­ing like that. She’s quite the weapon.”

Ear­lier, the U.S. led 3-1 through four ends, but a sin­gle in the fifth and a deuce in the sixth gave the Cana­di­ans their first lead of the day.

“That was the first time we had the lead in that game, so to be able to steal the two points in an even end and take the lead was big,” said se­cond Lisa Wea­gle.

Amer­i­can (1-3) skip Nina Roth re­sponded with two of her own in the eighth to make it 5-4, but Ho­man came right back with three in the ninth to take the vic­tory.

“That was a chal­leng­ing sheet of ice,” said Wea­gle. “We just tried to stay pa­tient and pick up on it as best we could. I’ve been strug­gling a lit­tle bit with my weight so it felt good to make a cou­ple nice draws in that game.”

The Cana­dian squad started the tour­na­ment with vic­to­ries over China, Ger­many and Rus­sia.

NG HAN GUAN/THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Canada’s Rachel Ho­man re­acts af­ter re­leas­ing a stone against Switzer­land dur­ing the CPT World Women’s Curl­ing Cham­pi­onship 2017 held in Bei­jing’s Cap­i­tal Gym­na­sium, Mon­day.

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