Canada wins tiebreaker at curling worlds
Canada advanced to the playoffs at the Capital One World Women's Curling Championship by defeating Switzerland in a tiebreaker Friday in Denmark.
Regina skip Amber Holland held on to beat Swiss veteran Mirjam Ott 8-6 in the match to decide which team claimed the fourth and final playoff spot.
Canada is now guaranteed at least the opportunity to play for a medal. Holland and teammates Kim Schneider, Tammy Schneider and Heather Kalenchuk will face host Denmark in the 3 vs. 4 Page playoff game on Saturday morning.
The winner of that match advances to the semifinal against China, which lost 7-6 in Friday's 1 vs. 2 Page playoff against Sweden, whose victory earned it a direct berth in the final. The loser of the Canada-Demark game is relegated to the bronze-medal match.
Canada and Denmark finished the round robin with 7-4 records, but Denmark won the head-to-head matchup 8-5 and also defeated Switzerland, allowing the Danes to skip the tiebreaker and be awarded the No. 3 seed for the playoffs.
No tiebreaker team has ever gone on to win gold in the history of the women's worlds.
"We can win this title. Why not?," Holland said. "We just have to keep putting good games together and keep doing what we're doing and stay consistent.
"Yes, it's definitely there for the taking."
Cool under pressure
Holland, who is appearing in the tournament for the first time, looked to be in command through seven ends against Ott after drawing for a deuce that increased Canada's lead to 7-3. But the 2008 bronze medallist answered with a triple in the next end to cut her deficit to one.
"I just overswept my first shot," Holland said of a botched double-takeout attempt that opened the door for Ott to draw for three. "You don't like giving up a three, but we were up four, so if there is any time to do it, that's the time.
"One up playing the ninth end with hammer is still pretty comfortable."
Holland blanked the ninth end, giving her last-rock advantage for the final frame. She needed to reach full four-foot to avoid an extra end, and she got more than that, drawing her rock beautifully to part of the button to seal the victory.
"The girls played really well," Holland said. "They had a lot of ends tied up and set up for me, and that took the pressure off, and I just needed to finish a few off.
"Some I did, some I didn't."
Pressure situations are becoming old hat for the Canadian skip, who started the tournament 1-3 before winning six of her final seven round-robin contests to reach the tiebreaker. A loss in any of her last three games, including the tiebreaker, would have eliminated Holland.
With files from The Canadian Press