Canada's curling women to play Sweden for world bronze in 2022 rematch
Sunday game at 4 a.m. ET, while Swiss seek gold medal repeat against Norway
Canada's Kerri Einarson fell 8-5 to Norway's Marianne Roervik in the world women's curling championship semifinals on Saturday.
Einarson entered the contest having defeated Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa 6-4 in extra ends earlier Saturday in a qualification game in Sandviken, Sweden.
On Sunday at 4 a.m. ET, the Canadian rink will face Swedish skip Anna Hasselborg in a rematch of last year's bronze-medal game, won 8-7 by Einarson in an extra end. In the other semifinal, the Swedes dropped an 8-4 decision to defending champions Switzerland, which battle Norway for gold at 9 a.m.
With Saturday's game tied 5-5, Norway was counting as many as four. Canada made a draw behind cover to sit shot, but Norway played an in-off to sit three. Canada attempted to draw in on the in-turn side of the sheet, but was light.
While Norway didn't score a fourth point, it was late enough in the game that the three-ender led the nation to its first world women's final since 2004 in nearby, Gaevle, Sweden, where Canada's Colleen Jones defeated Norway's Dordi Nordby in the gold-medal game.
"It was a pretty unfortunate ninth end with too many back-to-back misses," Einarson told Curling Canada of Saturday's match. "We got ourselves in some trouble and I made a good one on my first, but she came up with a really good shot.
WATCH | Norway outlasts Canada in back-and-forth semifinal:
"I think we needed to leave our first one a hair higher or go deeper. We were right in between and it was just top four. We needed tee-line or better."
Down 1-0 following the opening end, Einarson responded with a two-point third end to take the lead. However, Roervik swiftly responded with three in the following end to give Norway a 4-2 edge.
Einarson knotted the contest with a point in each of the next two ends before exchanging singles in the seventh and eighth.
But for every big shot by the Canadians, Norway had a response. In the seventh end, vice-skip Val Sweeting made a freeze that set up the Canadians for a potential steal, but Norway replied with a double tap to sit shot and score one to regain the lead.
Canada tied the game in the eighth with a single before Norway pulled away with the game in end nine.
"We played really well. We just have to be better on our execution," Einarson said. "We're building and it feels good to be making some good shots and reading the ice better, we've just had one bad end."
Week of 'ups and downs'
Gritty, tenacious and plucky summed up Canada's 6-4 extra-end win over Japan earlier Saturday.
Second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Harris, Einarson and Sweeting scored two in the decisive 11th end to book a semifinal date with Roervik at Goeransson Arena.
"It's been a bit of a gritty week with ups and downs, but we've put ourselves in a good position now," Sweeting said. "We just have to keep rolling and keep our opportunities coming. If we set ourselves up and capitalize, I think we'll be good. We're comfortable in this situation."
In the extra end, Canada froze onto Japan's second-shot stone, eliminating an easy path for its opponent to remove it and forcing skip Satsuki Fujisawa to play a challenging raise. It left Einarson and company sitting two with no need to throw its last.
Canada received a shot in the arm in the sixth end during a topsy-turvy end in which Japan went from attempting to score two to giving up a steal of one. Team Fujisawa tried to come in off its stone in the eight-foot and into a Canadian stone sitting second shot. Japan hit it too thick and nudged Canada's stone further into the button to score.
"[Fujisawa] was playing a hard one, so I said to Kerri we may get out of this end with a force, then we can regroup because we're right in this thing. We battled and we fought hard," Sweeting said. "That was a huge swing."
WATCH | Einarson talks worlds on CBC Sports' 'That Curling Show':
With files from CBC Sports