Gangneung, Republic of Korea – Following two sessions of men’s round robin play on Tuesday (21 February), Korea became the first team to qualify for the weekend’s VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships 2017 page play-off games, with an extra end 8-7 win over Scotland in the evening.
USA had two wins on Tuesday – a 10-1 win over Turkey in the morning session, followed by a 5-3 win over Norway in the evening – in the Gangneung Curling Centre, Gangneung, Republic of Korea.
Canada only had one game, and their evening win, by 8-3 over Switzerland, means that they share second spot on the table with USA.
Before losing to Korea, Scotland had beaten Italy by 7-5 at the same time that Switzerland beat China by 9-4. These results mean that Norway, Scotland and Switzerland are all tied for the vital fourth – and last – play-off place in the rankings, each with two games left to play.
In other results, Italy suffered two losses, going down to Sweden in the evening session by 5-8, as well as being beaten by Scotland earlier.
In Tuesday afternoon’s only women’s round robin session, USA put the first point on the board with a steal of one point in the fourth end of their game against Scotland. But the Scots then took two points in the fifth end and one point in the sixth, for a 3-1 lead. The next two ends saw both teams take one point each before Scotland stole three points in the ninth end to win, 7-2.
Sweden and Korea were evenly matched until the fifth end of their game, when Sweden’s skip Isabella Wranaa took three points. They went on to take one point in each of the ninth and tenth ends to win the game, 7-4.
In the game between Japan and Canada, the Canadians took a single point in the fifth end, but Japan captured their final point in the sixth to end the game when Canada conceded, at 10-1.
In what went on to become their first win of the week, Hungary took four points in the first end against Turkey. The Turks then scored three points in the second and one in the fourth to level the game at 4-4. As the game went on, Turkey scored three points in the eighth end and stole two points in the ninth end, to tie the game 11-11. Then, with the last stone of a tense tenth end, Hungary skip Bernadett Biro executed a take-out that just got round a Turkish front guard, scoring the single point that won the game 12-11.
After these results, Scotland and Sweden share top spot, while Canada are in third place. All three of these teams have two more round robin games to play.
They said it
Sophie Jackson: skip, Scotland (after 7-2 win over USA): “It’s pretty good to be top of the pile again. It felt a bit slow to start with. We didn’t really create many chances but that wasn’t our plan, we wanted to keep it simple early on and pretty open. My hit for two in the fifth really built me back up again and I was ready to go, ready to come back fighting after that. It was plain sailing from there.”
Bernadett Biro; skip, Hungary (after 12-11 win over Turkey): “For sure that game was really emotional. We were really nervous before our last shot. It was right on the spot but I was really nervous that it would touch the guard. You know, we are a very young team so it’s a great experience for us, but it is hard to play with such good teams. We try our best and try to play tough games.”
Misaki Tanaka; skip, Japan (after 10-1 win over Canada): “Everyone was good with the precision of the draw, so we advanced the game favourably. This victory was very valuable because there is a chance to gain sixth place (above the relegation zone) if we win our other two games.”
They said it
Andrew Stopera: skip, USA (after 5-3 win over Norway): “The goal today was two wins. Norway’s a great team and we knew it was going to be a tough game coming in. That [win] puts us in really good shape for the play-offs – we’ve still got two games to come out and win. Every team here is good, so we’ve still got to come out and win those two games and play our best like we did today, we played a pretty good game there up and down the team. I hope there’s more to come.”
Tyler Tardi: skip, Canada (after 8-3 win over Switzerland): “We don’t want to look too far ahead, but we’re feeling confident. We’re throwing great and we’re finally playing the game that we’re used to, rather than playing it safe. That was certainly one of the top two games we’ve played here. To be honest, we’re pretty close to our peak performance. There are just a few very minor things and we’ll be fairly tough to beat in my opinion.”
Ki Jeong Lee; skip, Korea (after 8-7 win over Scotland): “I am very psyched and happy that we have got into the play-offs. Rather than showing the people a fancy-complicated game, we stuck to the basics – I think that is the secret to our wins.”