Canada advances to playoffs at World Wheelchair Curling Championship
The Canadian Wheelchair Curling team knew it controlled its own fate on the last day of the round robin at the 2021 Kuntai World Wheelchair Curling Championship. With two games to play, and the Canadians sitting in sixth place, they knew that two wins would keep them alive for the weekend’s playoff round.
As it turned out, one win was enough, but just for good measure, Canada would win both assignments, running its win streak to four entering the playoffs.
In its first game of the day at Beijing’s Ice Cube, Canada faced Latvia – needing the win to stay in the playoff hunt.
“We knew we were at the point where we controlled our own destiny,” said Canadian skip Mark Ideson. “We needed to win our last couple to give us a chance at the playoffs.”
Starting the game with last rock, Canada blanked the first end before scoring one in the second. They stole one in the third and forced Latvia to one in the fourth. Canada scored again in the fifth, and again held the Latvians to one point in the sixth. Canada’s game-breaker was three points in the seventh end, which allowed them to run their opponents out of rocks in the eighth end to complete a 6-2 victory.
That, with a combination of a Norway loss, meant that no team would be able to pass the Canadians for sixth place. Canada moved on to its last game with a playoff spot already secured.
That was, no doubt, a great weight off the shoulders of Ideson, Ina Forrest, Dennis Thiessen, Jon Thurston, alternate Collinda Joseph and coach Mick Lizmore.
“Latvia gave us a good game, but we’re happy to get that win,” said Ideson. “It was good to go into the second game with a little bit of confidence.”
The evening draw saw Canada face Italy in the last game of the round robin. Halfway through the game, Canada trailed 4-1, but rallied for two in the fifth. Italy took two back in the sixth, regaining its three-point lead. Canada erased the deficit with three points in the seventh and stole the eighth end when Italian skip Paolo Ioratti’s takeout attempt rolled just a little too far, gifting Canada a 7-6 victory.
“We were just trying to be patient,” said Ideson. “One of the themes of the week was to not get ourselves into too much trouble. We just tried to be patient and wait for our opportunities.”
With the second win of the day, the Canadians finished with a 7-4 record moving them past Scotland and into fifth place in the final standings. They’ll face the United States in the Qualification Round – a play-in game for the semifinal where the RCF awaits the winner. Scotland will face Sweden for the right to play host China in the other semifinal.
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at https://www.curling.ca/?lang=fr.
For more information about the 2021 World Wheelchair Curling Championship, including scores, schedules and team lineups, go to worldcurling.org/events/wwhcc2021/
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