Canada defeats Scotland at World Mixed Doubles

Five teams with 3-0 records lead the field

   

Canada upended Scotland 6-3 at the World Mixed Doubles in Cortina

Photo by Mario Facchini
 

April 20, 2009

 

CORTINA D’AMPEZZO, Italy – Canada stole three points in the seventh end on the way to a 6-3 victory over Scotland at the 2009 World Mixed Doubles Curling Championship.

 

Sean Grassie (Winnipeg) and Allison Nimik (Calgary) exchanged single points with Scotland’s Keith MacLennan and Vicki Sloan through much of the contest. But while the scoreboard indicated a superlative match, both pairs of players begged to differ.

 

“That was a wild one,” said Grassie.

 

“It was a little spotty in the level of play but entertaining.”

 

MacLennan was more blunt.

 

“It was a really good game featuring some really bad curling,” said the former world junior competitor.

 

“We were swapping ones for the first six ends when it should have been twos and threes.”

 

Scottish first and fifth thrower Sloan was drawing against three in the seventh but came up short, handing the Canadians the triple score and the match.

 

“It’s a bit scary,” said Nimik, who had moved to Calgary before her Manitoba team won the Canadian Mixed last fall.

 

“We’re not playing as well as we can. We have to put it together… I think some practice ice is in order.”

 

“We’re a bit upset with that one,” said MacLennan.

 

“We felt we had control of the game. But the show must go on.”

 

Scotland fell to 2-1, while Canada sits atop the standings of the 27-team championship at 3-0 along with Denmark, Latvia, Russia and Switzerland.

 

In other Monday mid-day matches, Denmark beat Norway 8-5, Finland clubbed England 9-2, Russia outscored hosts Italy 9-6, Korea thumped Pacific rivals China 9-1, France upended Austria 9-7, Latvia dumped Wales 8-3, the Czech Republic defeated Slovakia 6-3 and defending champions Switzerland scored seven straight singles over seven ends, all without last rock advantage, for a 7-0 win over Poland.

 

Grassie was counting up the positives of the Mixed Doubles discipline, which had its inaugural world championship last year in Vierumaki, Finland.

 

“It’s hard to defend leads,” said Grassie. “Nothing is safe.

 

“It’s a very quick pace, you’re always in motion. You’re never just waiting around. It’s a good workout.”

 

The Canadian representatives in Vierumaki, Dean Ross and Susan O’Connor of Calgary, eventually placed fifth.

 

The field is split into three nine-team pools, with the semifinals scheduled for Friday April 24 and the gold and bronze medal finals on Saturday, April 25.

 

The Olympic Ice Stadium, located in this ski resort area in northeast Italy, has been refurbished since hosting the 1956 Olympic Winter Games.

 

The venue will also play host to the 2010 Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship, less than one month after next year’s Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

 

Live scoring and other event information is available at http://wmdcc2009.it

 with results mirrored at the WCF Results website: http://results.worldcurling.org

 

 

Mixed Doubles features two players per team as opposed to traditional four-person curling teams. Each game consists of eight ends with variations from the regular game.

 

Each team delivers five stones per end with one player delivering the first and fifth stones and the other team member throwing the stones in between.

 

Prior to the start of each end, one team shall instruct the game umpire to place their team's stationary stone and the opposing team's stationary stone either as a guard outside the house bisecting the centre line or on the back half of the button. The positioned stones cannot be removed until the fourth stone.

 

Sweeping is allowed but with just two players that means either the thrower will sweep their own stone or the other team member will leave the house to sweep.