Road To The Olympic Games

Sweden defeats Canada for women's curling gold

Canada has to settle for silver at the world women's curling championship after Sweden's Anette Norberg steals two points in the final end to edge Regina's Amber Holland 7-5 on Sunday in Denmark. It was Norberg's third world title.

Norberg captures 3rd world title

Sweden's, left to right, Lotta Lennartsson, Sara Carlsson, Anette Norberg and Cissi Ostlund celebrate their victory in the gold-medal game. ((Niels Husted/Associated Press))

Amber Holland came up just short at the world women's curling championship.

Olympic champion Anette Norberg of Sweden stole two points in the final end Sunday to edge Holland's Canadian team 7-5 in Denmark.

The Regina skip had the hammer in the 10th end but her final shot didn't quite make it to the button.

"We're disappointed," said Holland. "We played a pretty good game. We weren't as sharp off the start as wanted to be and didn't play the 10th end very well.

"We felt like we were in control — even after the ninth we were in control, you've just got to execute in the 10th."

Until the last rock, Canada had carved out a game that made it favourites for the title. The team played aggressive and forced Sweden to draw for one point in the ninth to tie it 5-5.

That left Canada with last stone advantage in the final end, but the tide started to turn when second Tammy Schneider completely missed an attempted take-out and third Heather Kalenchuk came up short with a guard.

The house was crowded for Holland's last rock and and she left her draw a little short after getting around a front guard.

"That was a pretty tough shot based on the ice conditions, but we gave it a valiant effort," said Holland. "It obviously gets more difficult with every miss, but I was glad just to have a shot. And we weren't far off."

The team got off to a slow start at the tournament by going 1-3 over its first four games. But it finished the round robin strong and won three straight playoff games to reach the final.

"I think for us silver is a great achievement," said Holland. "[It was] our first world championship as a team, first time we've been here. We battled really hard to get to that game and just didn't cap it off.

"Silver may not be the colour that we wanted but it's still pretty good."

It was the third world title for the veteran Norberg, but her first with a new team. They were the strongest rink throughout the event and finished with an 11-2 record.

The gold-medal game was filled with tension.

"They gave us a very good game and it was just like a final should be," said Norberg. "They were struggling a bit and then we were struggling a bit, so ([here was] a lot of nerves I think."

Sweden led 2-0 after the third end, but Holland's team took three points in the fourth to seize the lead. The teams then traded singles and were tied 5-5 going into the final end.

As in last year's Olympic final, Canada had an opportunity to defeat Sweden with the last shot, but Holland suffered the same fate as Cheryl Bernard in Vancouver.

The Canadian team was bidding for the country's first world women's title since Jennifer Jones in 2008. Even though they fell a bit short, Holland was still able to hold her head high.

"We've had a great time and enjoyed everything off and on the ice," she said. "It's been a lot of fun. The team has played well. We stuck it out together all of the time, which this team has done right from the get-go.

"So we're pretty pleased with how we've handled ourselves here."

In the bronze-medal game, China beat Denmark 10-9 in extra ends.

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