Canadian curlers advance to Grand Final in Beijing
Kadriana Sahaidak, Colton Lott and Team Dunstone prevail at World Cup in Sweden
Young Canadian duo Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott defeated Norway's Kristin Skaslien and Thomas Ulsrud 7-5 to claim the mixed doubles title on Sunday in the third leg of the curling World Cup.
The pair from Manitoba beat four Olympic medallists en route to their championship.
"It means everything," Lott said from Jonkoping, Sweden. "We've been in a couple of tough finals, we lost the National final in Canada and then we lost the Canad Inns this year.
"So to finally come through in that final it was huge especially being at an international event representing Canada."
Sahaidak, 19, and Lott, 23, take home $10,000 US in prize money — to go along with their $3,250 earned in round robin — and booked a spot in Beijing's inaugural Grand Final, starting May 8.
Also headed to China is the Regina foursome of Matt Dunstone, Braeden Moskowsky, Catlin Schneider and Dustin Kidby, who defeated Niklas Edin and his Swedish rink 5-4.
'Too little too late' for Norwegians
Skaslien wrecked on a guard on her final draw, giving Canada the victory and the Curling World Cup leg three title, 7-5.
We didn't even expect to be in this event at the beginning of the year, so to ... take advantage of it being a world-class team like Niklas Edin, we're going to be celebrating this one.— Canada's Matt Dunstone after beating Niklas Edin of Sweden in the World Cup final
"It was a good game," said Ulsrud. "I thought we played pretty well in the beginning, but it didn't show on the scoreboards.
"Too little too late is the quote for this game. We were down 4-0 and came back and it was close."
But he came up short when his draw to lie two missed the rings in the seventh end, leaving an open hit for Dunstone to blank.
"I think we made a statement this week for sure," Dunstone told Curling Canada. "We didn't even expect to be in this event at the beginning of the year, so to come here and take advantage of it being a world-class team like Niklas Edin, we're going to be celebrating this one."
Kim shocks Hasselborg in women's final
Other Canadians that have qualified for the Grand Final include the mixed doubles team of Laura Walker and Kirk Muyres and teams skipped by Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe.
"It will be a heck of a field. I never thought in a million years I would be in China twice in six months," said Dunstone, whose team won a pre-Christmas event in Xining. "It will be a lot of fun, another world-class event. Hopefully, we can win another chunk of change there."
In the women's final, Minji Kim of South Korea upset Sweden's Anna Hasselborg 6-4.
Canada's rink of Darcy Robertson, Karen Klein, Vanessa Foster and Theresa Cannon from Winnipeg didn't qualify for the playoffs.
With files from CBC Sports