Canada falls to U.S. in semifinal at world mixed doubles curling championship
GANGNEUNG, Korea, Republic Of — Canada's Jennifer Jones and Brent Laing will play for the bronze medal after falling 6-2 to the United States in a semifinal match at the world mixed doubles curling championship on Friday.
The U.S. duo of Cory Thiesse and Korey Dropkin stole crucial single points in the first and sixth ends, and then a crushing deuce in the seventh, to end Canada’s gold-medal hopes.
Thiesse and Dropkin shot a combined 92 per cent on Friday.
“They played very, very well,” said Jones. “We didn’t put as much pressure as we would have liked. And you know, it just started off with that steal. If I make that draw in the first end, maybe it changes the game a bit. But we’re still really happy with our week, and we had fun out there. We’ll see what we can do tomorrow morning.”
Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, Jones attempted a risky, last-gasp double-takeout to score a pair, but she wrecked on a guard to give the U.S. a steal of two.
“We played much better in the second half of the game, but all the credit to (Thiesse and Dropkin),” said Laing. “I don’t think she missed a shot. I don’t know what the stats say but she never really gave us an opening. The better team won, and unfortunately that wasn’t us today.”
Jones and Laing will play Norway’s Martine Roenning and Mathias Braenden in Saturday's bronze-medal game Saturday.
The U.S. will play Japan’s Chiaki Matsumura and Yasumasa Tanida for gold.
Japan topped Norway 5-4 in the other semifinal.
Canada earned a direct trip to the semifinal game after finishing 8-1 in the round robin and first in Pool A, while the United States, which finished second in Pool B at 7-2, had to beat Scotland 8-6 in an earlier qualifying match to advance to the semi.
Senior teams to play for gold
Saskatoon's Team Sherry Anderson and Ottawa's Team Howard Rajala will play for the gold medals at the World Senior Curling Championships from Gangneung, South Korea.
In women's action, Anderson and her crew of vice-skip Patty Hersikorn, second Brenda Goertzen and lead Anita Silvernagle took care of Switzerland’s Team Monika Gafner, 7-3, and play Scotland's Team Jackie Lockhart.
Both Canada and Scotland have yet to lose this week at the world tournament.
“We’re going to have to have our ‘A’ game, and I, especially, am going to have to have my ‘A’ game,” Anderson told Curling Canada.
Team Anderson, who have won five straight Canadian senior titles, are looking to win their third world senior championship after capturing gold in back-to-back years in 2018 and 2019, the last time the Canadians won the event.
Canada has won 13 gold medals at the women's World Seniors Curling Championship.
On the men's side, Rajala and his rink of vice-skip Rich Moffatt, second Chris Fulton, lead Paul Madden and alternate Phil Daniel defeated Team Joel Larway of the United States, 8-2, in their semi-final.
They'll play Scotland's Team Graeme Connal for the gold medal.
“You can see the big smile on my face,” Rajala told Curling Canada. “It’s awesome. I mean, it’s been a dream season, and I’m just so happy for the guys. It’s amazing. We still have some work to do; Scotland is going to be tough. But it’s going to be an awesome experience.”
Canada has won 12 gold medals at the men's World Seniors Curling Championship and has made the final every year since its inception in 2002.