Canada suffers 1st defeat in wheelchair curling
Loss to Norway drops Canadians to 4-1
By Brandon Hicks, CBC Sports Posted: Mar 10, 2014 5:10 AM ET Last Updated: Mar 10, 2014 12:56 PM ET
Canada has suffered its first loss in wheelchair curling at the Paralympics, falling to Norway 8-6 in extra ends on Monday to drop to 4-1 in the round-robin portion.
Poor shot-making down the stretch led to Canada’s undoing, as the Canadians held a 6-3 lead with two ends to go but saw it slip away.
Skip Jim Armstrong made several pressure shots early in the game to keep Canada in the lead, but couldn’t capitalize in the eighth or ninth ends, when he had chances to win the game with the final stone.
The shot in the eighth was much easier, with Armstrong needing to make a slight tap back to score one point, but his last stone flashed the rock instead and it didn’t end up being shot rock.
In the ninth, facing a wall of guards and two Norwegian shot stones, Armstrong couldn’t navigate his rock through the maze.
Norway skip Rune Lorensten made an excellent raise in the seventh to score two and set up the grandstand finish, as the Norwegians improved to 3-2 and got a major feather in their cap by downing the heavily-favoured Canadians.
Canada was up 2-1 with the hammer in the third end, and faced a potential steal with a heavily-guarded house. Armstrong made the shot of the game with his final stone, navigating his shot past three guards for a hit and stick to score two.
Norway kept scrapping for points, scoring a single in the fourth, and a steal in the fifth before Armstrong made another, much easier hit and stick for two more to go up 6-3, in what looked like an insurmountable lead for the Canadians.
But Norway took advantage of some poor shot-making by the Canadians in the seventh end to score two, making it 6-5 heading into the eighth end.
In the early draw, Canada earned a comfortable 7-2 victory over the United States.
Canada still remains in first place heading into Draw 7, tied with Russia at 4-1.
The Canadians face China (3-2) next, in the late draw on Tuesday.