The Official World Curling Federation
Sochi 2014 Olympic Games Website
07th - 23rd February 2014

Women: Canada & Sweden win semi-finals

Canada will play Sweden for the gold medals Photo: WCF/Michael Burns

Canada beat Great Britain by 6-4 while Sweden defeated Switzerland 7-5 and now face each other in the gold medal game following their wins in Wednesday afternoon's women's semi-final play at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi.

As a result of their defeats, Great Britain and Switzerland will play for bronze medals at 12:30 (MSK) on Thursday afternoon, while the gold medal game between Canada and Sweden will begin at 17:30 (MSK) on Thursday evening.

Canada came onto the ice for their game against Great Britain undefeated, with nine round-robin wins to their credit.

They opened the scoring in their game against Great Britain with two points. They moved into a 3-0 lead in the second end by stealing a single point when British skip Eve Muirhead's last stone rolled out of position.

Britain opened their account in the third end, scoring two points to reduce the Canadian lead to 3-2.

The teams then swapped single points in the next two ends, to go into the half-time break with Canada in the lead, at 4-3.

In the sixth end Canadian skip Jennifer Jones drew her final stone into the house to score one point and extend her lead to 5-3.

The British team then blanked both the seventh and eighth ends, looking for a score that would bring them back into the game.

In the ninth end, Canada's Jones played a double take-out across the house with her first stone that eventually left Great Britain drawing for just one point to reduce Canada's lead to 5-4.

In the tenth end, Jones drew her last stone into the four foot ring and inside two British stones to take one more point and win the game by 6-4, her tenth victory of the event.

As the Canadians celebrated, their skip Jennifer Jones said: “Amazing - it’s a dream come true! The whole Olympic experience has been a dream come true and now that we’re playing in the gold medal game - that’s all you could ask for in sport. It was a great team effort out there."

Canadian third Kaitlyn Lawes added: “I think we’re still a little bit in shock. We fought through a tough game against a tough team," while lead player Dawn McEwan was full of praise for her skip. She said: “It was a little tense at the end but I have all the trust in the world in Jen to make a shot like that."

Great Britain's Eve Muirhead was, unsurprisingly, subdued after the game. She said: "We're gutted. We gave it our all out there. We said at the start of the week we wanted to leave here with no regrets and we did give it 110% out there.”

She continued: “We didn't play badly at all to lose the game, but Canada played extremely well - they played some fantastic cross-house doubles. When you leave them shots like that, nine times out of ten they are going to make it. And what a great last shot by Jen under pressure, drawing against the game is never easy."

Jones now has a chance to win Canada's first women's Olympic curling gold medal since 1998, when curling was re-introduced onto the Olympic programme and the late Sandra Schmirler was victorious in the Nagano Games in Japan.

This is the third Olympic final appearance by a Canadian women's team. Apart from Schmirler in 1998, Cheryl Bernard took silver for the hosts in Vancouver four years ago.

In the other semi-final between Sweden and Switzerland, the lead changed constantly throughout the game and there was never more than one point between the teams until the very last stone.

It was the Swedes who scored first, with one point in the opening end. Switzerland then scored two points in the second end to take a 2-1 lead, but Sweden responded straightaway, scoring two points in the third end to re-take the lead at 3-2.

Switzerland then blanked the fourth end and scored one point in the fifth end to level the score at 3-3 as the teams took their half-time break.

Sweden blanked the sixth end and scored one point in the seventh end to lead again by 4-3. A score of two points by Switzerland meant that they moved into the lead for the first time since the second end, at 5-4.

Good play by Sweden's fourth player Maria Prytz in the ninth end produced a score of two points and allowed her team to take the lead again, at 6-5.

In the tenth end, Switzerland's skip Mirjam Ott had a nudge-out possibility to score two points and win the game, but her effort missed and drifted deep into the house, leaving a Swedish stone lying as shot stone and giving Sweden a single-point steal and the win, by 7-5

Afterwards, Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said: “It just feels amazing to win this game. We are so proud and happy.”
Their fourth player Maria Prytz added: "It’s great to know we are guaranteed a medal because we can just go into the final and do our best – we are going for gold now. It’s going to be a good game against Canada. They have played so well all week and we have too. So it will be a good, tight game and I think it will only be decided in the last few ends.”

Meanwhile, Switzerland skip Mirjam Ott said: "We're a bit disappointed. We had a really good game and played really well and it came down to those last three rocks. We know that they are a strong team, it was really a good game, a tough game."

Reflecting on her own last two stones in the tenth end, which turned the game in Sweden's favour, she said: "Maybe I didn't take enough time, I don't know. I threw my first too slow and I thought ‘a little bit heavier' and then it was too much (with my second)." Looking forward, she said: "We have enough time to lift ourselves for the bronze game."

With this win, Sweden now play in their third successive Olympic final, with the now-retired Anette Norberg taking gold in both the 2006 and 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

For Switzerland's Mirjam Ott, this will be a second successive Olympic bronze medal game. In Vancouver four years ago, she lost the bronze medal to China.

RESULTS
Women’s Semi-finals:
Canada 6, Great Britain 4; Sweden 7, Switzerland 5.

STANDINGS
Women’s standings after Semi-finals:

Canada (To play Sweden in gold medal game)
Sweden (To play Canada in gold medal game)
Switzerland (To play Great Britain in bronze medal game)
Great Britain (To play Switzerland in bronze medal game)
5. Japan 4-5
6. Denmark 4-5
7. China 4-5
8. Korea 3-6
9. Russia 3-6
10. USA 1-8

SCHEDULE
(All times local – MSK)

MEN
Semi-finals (Wednesday February 19, 2014):

1v4: Sweden v Great Britain (19:00)
2v3: Canada v China (19:00)

Medal Games (Friday February 21, 2014):
Bronze:
Loser of 1v4 v loser of 2v3 (12:30)
Gold: Winner of 1v4 v winner of 2v3 (17:30)

WOMEN

Medal Games (Thursday February 20, 2014)
Bronze:
Great Britain v Switzerland (12:30)
Gold: Canada v Sweden (17:30)

NOTE: Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at www.worldcurling.org/rules-and-regulations

WCF Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition website: www.sochi2014.worldcurling.net

Live scores, statistics and play by play: http://sochi2014.worldcurling.net/olympics/curling-live-scores

See the WCF's latest photo galleries from the event: http://sochi2014.worldcurling.net/olympics/galleries

Official Sochi 2014 website (including links to live broadcast games): http://www.sochi2014.com/en/curling

WCF Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldcurlingfederation
WCF Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia. Hashtags: #curling #sochi2014

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