SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Chelsea Carey wasn’t going to make the same mistake twice. The Canadian skip made a raised takeout for four points to beat Scotland’s Eve Muirhead 9-4 in nine ends on Thursday night and advance to the 3-4 Page playoff at the women’s curling world championship.
Muirhead got a steal of one in the eighth end when Carey missed a raised double takeout, only driving one Scottish rock out of the house to make it 5-4. That set the stage for Carey’s winning shot in the ninth.
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“I was thinking ‘I’d missed it in the last end and I’m not going to miss it again,”‘ said Carey with a laugh. “I mean I’d just thrown it so it was the same throw, nice clean throw and lots of deep breaths and kind of let your body do what you’ve trained it to do when I’m at the rink throwing hundreds of rocks a week.”
After Scotland conceded Carey, third Amy Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters all hugged by the hog line of their sheet as play in other games continued around them. The largely Canadian crowd at Credit Union iPlex roared its approval.
“That’s easily the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced right there,” said Carey. “The crowd is just amazing. I mean come on, it doesn’t get better than that in sports, I don’t think.
“It’s been absolutely incredible. Bar none, the best thing I’ve ever experienced.”
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Although it was their last game of the round-robin portion of the tournament, it served as a virtual tiebreaker with the teams sharing identical 7-3 records heading into the match. Canada faces Russia’s Anna Sidorova (8-3) on Saturday afternoon in the 3-4 Page playoff.
“I don’t even know, are we third or fourth?” asked Nixon, who laughed when she was asked if it mattered.
Canada finished the round robin in fourth place. Switzerland’s Binia Feltscher (9-2) will face Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa (9-2) in the 1-2 Page playoff on Friday night. The semifinal will be Saturday night with the bronze-medal game and final on Sunday.
Carey opened against Scotland with a single on a draw just past the button in the first end. Muirhead responded with a single in the next end, making a difficult shot through a crowded house for a tap out. Canada tapped out in the third for a single to make it 2-1.
A scoreless fourth kept the hammer for Scotland, with Muirhead taking advantage with a single in the fifth to tie it 2-2.
Carey scored three with an easy draw in the sixth after Muirhead was too light on a takeout attempt. The play gave Canada a 5-2 lead. Muirhead replied with a single in the seventh to set up the dramatics of the eighth and ninth ends.
Canada was put in the must-win situation against Scotland after a stunning 11-2 loss in six ends to Japan earlier Thursday. With only two hours to regroup, the Calgary-based rink returned to their hotel to clear their minds.
“We all sat on beds in Chelsea’s room between games and we had some powerful moments,” said Nixon. “Some swear words, some high fives, some tears and everything around the block.
“It was a very powerful moment for our team.”
Fujisawa opened with a deuce in the first end, then took a 4-0 lead after Carey tapped a high guard while Fujisawa was sitting two.
A Canadian hit and roll in the third chipped away at Japan’s lead, but Fujisawa replied with a double in the fourth to make it 6-1. Carey added a single in the fifth with an easy draw in. Japan used a single takeout in the sixth end to score five with Carey and her teammates offering handshakes.
It’s only the third time Japan has made the playoffs at the women’s world championships and the first time they’ve made the 1-2 Page playoff.