Chelsea Carey rallies Canada past Denmark at curling worlds
Russia beats Italy, Japan beats Finland
Skip Chelsea Carey couldn't keep a straight face after Canada won its opening game at the women's curling world championship.
Carey won on the final shot of the 11th end as Canada rallied for an 8-7 victory over Denmark's Lene Nielsen on Saturday in Draw 1 of the international event.
Denmark had an early 4-0 lead after two frames, with Canada inching closer end by end. Carey scored three in the ninth for a 7-6 lead then held Nielsen to one point in the 10th to force the extra end and get the win.
"Never a doubt," said Carey with a laugh when asked if everything went according to plan. "It actually wasn't that poorly a played game. We handed them a kind of a soft three in the first end, we got a little fooled with some of the spots early in the ice.
"We stayed patient and just kept making shots and luckily enough we were able to pull it off in the end."
Carey to face reigning champions Sunday
The Canadians return to the ice on Sunday morning to face reigning world champion Switzerland in Draw 3. Round-robin play continues through Thursday, with the playoffs beginning on Friday and the final on March 27.
"We learned a lot," said Carey. "I'd approach the first two ends differently based on what we now know about the ice that we didn't really know coming in. All you want to do the first few games is learn a lot.
"We're back on that sheet a bunch more times so we wanted to feel really comfortable with it."
Carey got on the board in the third end, earning two points when Denmark failed to take out a Canadian stone near the button. Carey, who had the hammer, added another rock to the house to make it 4-2.
After a scoreless fourth, Carey stole a point in the fifth when Nielsen went for a double takeout but couldn't touch Canada's second rock. Denmark used a hit and roll in the sixth end to make it 5-3.
Cowbells rang out in the Credit Union i-Plex as Canada cleared out the house with a double takeout in the seventh end. Fans again cheered when Carey slipped a shot between two rows of guards for a hit and roll and a point to make it 5-4.
Although the Canadian crowd was increasingly loud, Denmark came out of the eighth with another point as a hit and roll on the final throw gave Nielsen a 6-4 lead.
Nielsen missed a shot in the ninth end allowing Carey, with the hammer, to score three. That gave Canada a 7-6 advantage heading into the final end.
"We got a bit unlucky," said Nielsen. "We had a rock that overcurled quite a bit and took out one of our own and we didn't get to make the double I'd set up. Just didn't make the shots."
Denmark forced the extra end, putting its final rock of the 10th right on the button for a single point.
Putting the game into an 11th end was advantageous for Carey, giving Canada the hammer to close out. The Canadians made the most of having the last throw, earning the single point and the win.
"It was the coolest thing," said Carey. "The crowd just went crazy when we had a wide-open shot to win. It doesn't get better than that."
Russia over Italy, Japan beats Finland
Also in Draw 1, Anna Sidorova's Russian rink earned an 8-2 win after Italy conceded in the eighth end and Satsuki Fujisawa's team from Japan beat Finland 7-5 in nine ends. Binia Feltscher led Switzerland to its first victory of the tournament, slipping past the United States 5-4.
Earlier Saturday, the pipe and drum band from the local Royal Canadian Legion marched on to the ice, playing "The Maple Leaf Forever" and other rousing songs to lead the 12 participating team on to the ice at the opening ceremony.
Carey and her teammates hope to end a lengthy gold-medal drought for Canada, which has not won a world championship since Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones won the title in 2008. Carey earned the right to represent Canada at the world championship after winning the Scotties Tournament of Hearts on Feb. 28 in Grand Prairie, Alta.