Strong U.S. team stands in way of Gallant, Peterman's quest for gold
Canadians aim for curling sweep on Saturday at mixed doubles, senior championships
STAVANGER, Norway — Three teams of Canadian curlers have the chance to make history when they step on the pebbled ice Saturday in Norway.
The mixed doubles team of Jocelyn Peterman and Brett Gallant, as well as the Canadian men's and women's senior teams, are all in the hunt for gold medals.
Never before has the country won all three titles at the same event.
Peterman and Gallant have immense pressure on their shoulders — Canadian curlers have never won a mixed doubles world curling title.
But before they can get to the gold-medal game, Peterman and Gallant have a semi-final showdown on Saturday with U.S. duo of Olympic champion skip John Shuster and his playing partner Cory Christensen.
WATCH | Canada into mixed doubles semifinals vs. U.S.:
"The world championship is on the line [Saturday]," Gallant said. "That's exciting. I get fired up just thinking about it. This is why we play the game and practise as much as we do."
But both Gallant and Peterman know winning the championship won't be easy, especially starting the day against the Americans.
"We've never played them before. We're looking forward to it though," Peterman said. "We're comfortable with the ice and how we're throwing it and making good shots when we need to."
Gallant can't wait to hit the ice to renew the curling rivalry between Canada and the U.S.
"They're a good team. They're hot like we are right now and it's going to be a great game," he said.
Shuster captured two of his biggest curling victories ever over Canada at last year's Olympics in Pyeongchang on his way to winning gold. He's getting used to this battle.
"You want that to be the case. If you're not playing big games against Canada you're probably not playing in the playoffs or in the playoff hunt," Shuster said. "We are starting to play big games against Canada and that just says a lot for where U.S. curling is at and where we're trying to get to."
The winner will advance to Saturday's championship game and will take on the winner of the other semifinal between Sweden and the surprising Australian team. Australia stunned Switzerland and Japan to get to the medal round games.
Wins over Finland, Russia
Canada had to beat Finland and Russia on Friday in the round of 16 and quarter-final games to make it the semis.
In both games Peterman and Gallant found themselves in a battle — they were tied 2-2 with Finland before they stole their way to a 7-2 victory. Then they were down to the Russians 2-0 early before stealing four points on their way to a 7-3 victory.
Coach Jeff Stoughton was pleased with the team's resilience in the big moments.
"There's no panic. That's the key when you do have experience. There's never a big worry," he said.
Stoughton pointed directly to the duo's experience throughout their careers that helped them stick to their game plan and win both games.
"I think they're feeling momentum. I think they're really looking forward to [Saturday]," Stoughton said. "They can win this."
Canadian senior teams look to continue dominance
Sherry Anderson and her Saskatchewan foursome will look to win back-to-back world titles when they take play Scotland in the women's semifinal Saturday morning.
Anderson and her rink were undefeated through the round-robin.
Canada leads all countries in the women's field with 12 golds over the 17-year span of the event.
Bryan Cochrane's Ontario foursome also went undefeated throughout round-robin and won their quarter-final 7-2 against Australia on Friday.
Cochrane will now take on Denmark in the semifinal.
The Canadian senior men have an impressive history over the course of the 17-year event. It has advanced to the final in every edition since its debut in 2002. Canada has won 10 gold and seven silver medals.