Einarson holds off Hasselborg's late surge to earn key win over Sweden at curling worlds
Canada to improve to 6-2 after forfeited win over Scotland in late draw
Canada's Kerri Einarson cleared a tall hurdle in her bid for a women's world curling championship with a 10-8 win over Sweden on Wednesday.
Anna Hasselborg's Swedish foursome won Olympic gold in 2018, bronze last month in Beijing and was twice a world runner-up.
So the host country's victory over a team ranked third in the world was a massive assist in Einarson's quest for a playoff berth.
"They're one of the best in the world, so that was a huge win for us and huge confidence-booster going forward," Einarson said.
WATCH l Canada defeats Sweden 10-8 for 5th win at women's world curling championship:
Canada record was 6-2 by day's end because of a win forfeited by Scotland. After two losses, the Scots withdrew Sunday because four players tested positive for COVID-19.
The top six teams at the conclusion of the preliminary round Friday advance to playoffs.
The top two get byes to Saturday's semifinals with third to sixth playing off that day to joint them. The medal games are Sunday.
Big love from the crowd in <a href="https://twitter.com/CityofPG?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@CityofPG</a> for Team Canada as they pull off a 10-8 win over Sweden! 🎉🎉🎉 <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/WWCC2022?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#WWCC2022</a> <a href="https://t.co/rKYUwpMc3c">pic.twitter.com/rKYUwpMc3c</a>—@CurlingCanada
Defending champion Switzerland topped the standings at 8-0 with one draw remaining Wednesday.
South Korea was 6-1 and the Swedes 6-2 with the two countries clashing in the evening.
Denmark, the United States and Japan were tied at 5-3 ahead of Germany and Norway both at 4-4.
The Czech Republic was 1-6, Italy 1-7 and Turkey winless in seven games.
Canada led 5-0 after three ends and 8-2 after five against the Swedes, but Hasselborg wouldn't go quietly and scrapped her way to a 10th end.
With the hammer coming home, Einarson didn't need to throw her final stone when Hasselborg came up light on a draw.
'We definitely had to play well to beat them'
"We definitely had to play well to beat them," Canadian lead Briane Meilleur said. "They played really great in the last half, so I'm glad we hung on there.
"It was good to have a little lead to start just to have a little buffer."
Each team throws two pre-game draws to the button, which are measured to not only determine which team gets hammer in the first end.
Instead of tiebreaker games, accumulated measurements also determine seedings should teams be tied Friday.
The Swedish skip knew she wasn't and didn't contest Einarson earning hammer.
But Hasselborg wasn't satisfied with a remeasurement done using officials' charts and video to determine where her rock ended up in the rings, and asked for another following the game.
"They measured it wrong from the beginning. We didn't have the 14.4 centimetres that was up on the scoreboard, but they kicked [the stone] off and they had to remeasure where they thought it was," she explained. "We were not happy with that placement.
Even though Canada didn't play Scotland later, they still had to show up and throw their pre-game draws before a 30-minute practice.
"The draw to the button matters big-time in this championship," Canadian coach Reid Carruthers pointed out.
Hammer in the first end was pivotal in Canada's victory. Einarson scored three playing an artistic split.
The split is a finesse shot of tapping your own stone into the rings while rolling your own shooter in to score as well.
Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and Meilleur made the most of Sweden's early misses stealing singles in the second and third ends and another three-pointer in the fifth.
"I was not feeling comfortable yet, until the game was over, " Einarson said.
The team out of Manitoba's Gimli Curling Club generated momentum, however, with a third straight win. Sweeting posted over 90 per cent shooting accuracy in a third straight game.
Canada's game was on an outside sheet at the CN Centre. The majority of the 1,500 spectators were in the seats above it knowing how important the game was to the home team's fortunes.
"It's great to have an electric crowd like that," Meilleur said. "So it was really fun to play out there with all those cheers and hopefully they keep it up."