Canada women win gold
March 5, 2014
Canada took gold and the women's title for the first time in eleven years when skip Kelsey Rocque led her team to a 6-4 victory over Korea, skipped by Kyeong-Ae Kim's, in Wednesday morning's gold medal game at the World Junior Curling Championships in Flims, Switzerland.
Rocque and her team of third Keely Brown, second Taylor McDonald, lead Claire Tully and supported by alternate Alison Kotylak and coach Amanda Dawn Coderre, won Canada’s ninth World Women’s Junior Curling Championship title. This is first time since Canada’s Marliese Miller and her team won this Championship in the same town, Flims, in 2003.
Korea created their own bit of history as, not only was this the first time they had qualified to compete at World Junior Championship level (although they were host in 2006), it was also their first medals at this level as they picked up silver.
On the other sheet, Alina Kovaleva led Russia to an 11-4 win over Sweden to take the bronze medals.
In the gold medal game, Canada started with last stone advantage and scored one point with it in the first end. Korea responded straightaway with one point of their own to level the game at 1-1 after two ends.
The Canadians then blanked the third end and gave up a steal of one point in the fourth end when Canada skip Kelsey Rocque hit out one Korean stone but left another one counting, for a 2-1 lead to Korea.
In the fifth end, Rocque drew her final stone onto the button to score one point and level the game at 2-2 as the teams went into the fifth end break.
Korea took the lead again, at 3-2, with a single point in the sixth end, but Canada then made the first major break-through of the game in the seventh end, when Kim was heavy and long with her final draw shot, leaving Rocque an open draw into the house to score two points for a clear 4-2 lead.
Canada were then able to build on that lead in the eighth end when Kim took out a Canadian stone with her own last, but left two other Canadian stones sitting on the outer ring at opposite ends of the house to allow Canada steal of two points and a 6-3 lead.
Korea responded in the ninth end when Kim played a precision double take-out to score one point and reduce Canada's lead to 6-4.
Clean play by Canada in the tenth end eventually ran Korea out of stones and they were able to claim their gold medals with the score at 6-4 and without Rocque having to play her last stone.
After the game, a delighted Rocque said: "Honestly, this is unexplainable. We came into this tournament really wanting it and it's awesome to see all our hard work pay off. I'm so proud of the girls, they just played great all week and we just had an awesome week, couldn't ask for anything more."
Rocque was full of praise for her opponents: "They are a very strong team. She made a clutch shot in the ninth end and we knew it would be right down to the bitter end with them - it was a well-played game." About her own team's future she added: "For sure, it'd be great to come back but it's a long road. We'll just soak it all in now and see how it works out next year."
Asked how her team would celebrate, she said: "Maybe we'll have a lot of chocolate and some sleep, but there will be a lot of celebrating."
Meanwhile Kyeong-Ae Kim said (through an interpreter): "This is our first time at the World Junior Curling Championships, so we are very happy to have won silver. We had some opportunities but it was a very challenging game.”
Looking forward, she added: "We have got two more years competing at this level before we are too old. We will have to qualify from the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships again, which will be very difficult, but we are up for the challenge.”
In the bronze game, the game-deciding break came early, when Russia scored five points in the third end for a 5-2 lead.
Sweden fought back to score one point in the fourth end to reduce the Russian lead to 5-3, but a further two points for the Russians in the fifth end, followed up by a single point steal in the sixth end, gave them an 8-3 lead.
Sweden once again battled back to score one point in the seventh end, but a further three points to Russia in the eighth end gave them an 11-4 lead, enough to persuade Sweden to concede the game and the bronze medals.
After this game, Russian coach Anders Kraupp said: “I think we were better today - a bit more relaxed than we'd been in previous days, and, of course, we were a bit lucky about the Swedish misfortune - the score of five in the third end made a big difference, and the Swedish girls were in big trouble from then on."
This bronze medal for the Russian women follows up the World Junior title they won in 2013. On what lies ahead for junior curling in Russia, Kraupp said: "Russian junior curling has a great future. There are a lot of really, really good players. If they just pick the right ones and put them into training, they will be winning medals every year, for many years."
The host of the World Junior Curling Championships 2015 has still to be confirmed by the World Curling Federation. To find out first where next year’s event will be, follow the World Curling Federation on Facebook and keep checking the official website.
RESULTS, STANDINGS & SCHEDULE
Women’s Medal Games
Gold: Canada 6, Korea 4
Bronze: Sweden 4, Russia 11
Women’s final standings:
1. Canada (Gold)
2. Korea (Silver)
3. Russia (Bronze)
7. Czech Republic
Wednesday March 5, 2014
Junior Men’s medal games (13:00, CET)
Gold: Scotland v Switzerland
Bronze: Norway v Canada
Curling fans around the world are able to follow live coverage of the Championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
The live coverage schedule is available along with News, live scores and galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2014.curlingevents.com
Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFMedia
Twitter Hashtags: #WJCC2014 #curling