World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 Session 2

Scotland, Germany and China all picked up wins in session 2 Photo: WCF/Alina Pavlyuchik

Slovakia and the USA played in what turned out to be the game of the morning during the second session of play at the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 being played at the Kisakallio Sports Institute in Lohja, Finland.

Slovakia skip Radoslav Duris was too heavy with his final draw in the first end, but still managed to pick up four points.

The USA hit back immediately in the second end as skip Patrick McDonald made a hit for three points.

Slovakia then took another two points in the third end to lead 6-3 but the USA showed their resolve as they scored another three points thanks to a precise draw from their skip, tying up the game 6-6 by the fourth end break.

The USA then stole a single point in the fifth end to take the lead for the first time and increased it after some good setup play allowed them to steal another single point in the sixth end.

Although Slovakia took a single point in the seventh end, USA clinched their victory in the eighth and final end with a score of one point to win 9-7.

After their win, USA skip Patrick McDonald said: “Almost every curler would think that if you’re down by four points it’s going to be so hard to come back, but you know what, it happened yesterday, we went down by three and we came back and that was a close one. With this one we stayed focused and said to ourselves ‘Play for two, it’s a long game. If we can get two now, keep them to one - just try to figure out the maths and just execute’.”

He continued: “We came back and hit them with the three and it was a new game and then there was some scary moments. All of us were having a hard time hitting broom but we just stayed focused, didn’t get worried about it and then once we tied it up after the fourth it was like ‘Ok, it’s a four end game let’s do this’.”

On what he thought the difference was, he concluded: “They had some mistakes and they had some great shots. We had some mistakes and some great shots. We figured out what we were doing wrong and keened in on that, just stayed focused, and knowing that it was close and we’d have hammer in the eighth end.”

Despite the final scoreline, the Scotland versus Sweden game turned out to be a tight game.

Sweden opted to blank the first three ends as they looked for a big score. That came in the fourth end as skip Jalle Jungnell made a hit to score two points.

Scotland replied in the next end with a single point before the Swedish skip hit a guard with his final stone in the sixth end, giving up a steal of one point to Scotland to tie the game 2-2.

The Scots then edged ahead for the first time in the game with a single point steal in the seventh end before guaranteeing their win as Sweden skip Jalle Jungnell wrecked on a guard with his last stone to give up another steal, this time of three points, to give Scotland their 6-2 win.

China won their second game of the championship against hosts Finland.

Skip HaiTao Wang made a hit with his final stone in the first end to take three points for China.

However, Finland battled their way back into the game, making a hit to score one point in the second end before stealing single points in the third and fourth ends, leaving the teams tied 3-3 at the break.

In the second half of the game, China took a crucial advantage when they scored three points in the fifth end to lead 6-3. China eventually went on to win 8-4 after seven ends of play.

Like China, Russia picked up their second win of the championship, thanks largely to steals. After scoring a single point in the first end they stole a single point in the second end.

Norway got on the scoreboard in the third end with a single point before Russia took another single point to lead 3-1 by the fourth end break.

The turning point then came in the fifth end when they stole three points after some key mistakes by Norway.

Another two point steal for Russia in the sixth end followed before Norway took two points from the seventh end. Russia then ran Norway out of stones to win the game 8-3 after seven ends of play.

Afterwards, Russia coach Anton Batugin, reflected on his team’s performance. He said: “We’ve been playing pretty well here so far. We’ve had a good season, won some tournaments, so we feel good enough to play well.”

On today’s game, Batugin thought that the fifth end was hugely significant. He explained: “It was a mistake from Norway, one big mistake and they gave up three points. We played defensive and the Norwegians tried to build something but made some key errors. That end was really important for our win today.”

Reflecting on finishing runners up at the Paralympics last year, he said: “That silver medal was a good for our team but it also motivated us. It made our players a little unhappy as it meant that we had lost something. The team are striving to do it better this time around.”

Germany picked up their first win of the championship as they defeated reigning Paralympic and world champions Canada.

It didn’t start well for the Canadian’s as, after blanking the first end, fourth player Ina Forrest made a hit but rolled too far to give up a steal of two points to Germany in the second end.

She then made amends in the third end as Canada levelled the score with two points and followed that up by stealing a single point to lead 3-2 by the fourth end break.

Germany then retook the lead in the fifth end as they scored two points before stealing another single point in the sixth end.

Canada’s Ina Forrest’s attempted double take-out in the seventh end couldn’t push a counting German stone far enough out of the scoring position, giving Germany another single point steal.

As Canada could only take one point from the eighth and final end, Germany won with the final score 6-4.

Afterwards, Germany skip Jens Jaeger said: “I think Canada is always a powerful team. I like their game a lot - I’ve known them for a long time. They have now changed their positions within the team – I think they played very well but maybe we were a little bit better.”

He continued: “It was very important to get that first win, very important for our confidence. When you have a record of 1-1 you have a different feeling inside (compared to losing two games). Yesterday was the worst day in my career. The game was absolutely incredible. We were not on the ice yesterday. Yesterday’s game gave us the extra focus and concentration needed to win this game. We gave our best, we were a little bit lucky but I am happy with my team’s performance.”

Results, news and photos from throughout the World Wheelchair Curling Championship 2015 can be seen on the World Curling Federation’s official event website: http://www.wwhcc2015.worldcurling.net

The local organising committee, in cooperation with the Finnish Curling Association, will also be webstreaming some games. For more details, visit: http://wwhcc2015.worldcurling.net/video

RESULTS
Session 2:
Slovakia 7, USA 9; Norway 3, Russia 8; Scotland 6, Sweden 2; Germany 6; Canada 4; Finland 4, China 8.

Standings after 2 sessions of play (W-L):
1. China 2-0
1. Russia 2-0
1. Scotland 2-0
4. Finland 1-1
4. Germany 1-1
4. Sweden 1-1
4. USA 1-1
8. Canada 0-2
8. Norway 0-2
8. Slovakia 0-2

Rankings
Rankings are determined by rule C9 of the World Curling Federation's ‘The Rules of Curling and Rules of Competition’. Details can be obtained at http://www.worldcurling.org/rules-and-regulations

Social Media:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldWheelchairCurlingChampionships
Twitter: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #wwhcc2015 and #curling

Paralympic Winter Games 2018
This Championship will be the first opportunity for nations to gather qualification points for the Wheelchair Curling competition at the Paralympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, Korea in 2018.
For more information about Pyeongchang 2018, visit:
http://pyeongchang2018.com
http://www.worldcurling.org/curling-at-the-paralympics

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