Canadian men defeat Germany, now 4-0
Scottish women make comeback at World Juniors

March 7, 2009

VANCOUVER – China’s Jianliang Zang walloped Scotland’s Graeme Black 9-3 in just eight ends to earn his first win at the 2009 World Junior Curling Championship at the Vancouver Olympic Centre.


Zang, the lead on Fengchun Wang’s Chinese national men’s team, led his junior squad into a 4-0 lead after the first three ends, and then added a three count in the fifth end for a 7-2 lead.


China and Scotland are both at 1-2.


Meanwhile, Canada’s Brett Gallant earned another close-fought victory, this time an 8-6 win over Germany’s Konstantin Kaempf to move to 4-0.


Gallant’s team from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island broke an eighth-end, 5-5 tie by scoring a deuce. Following a German single in the ninth, Canada kept things clean through the final frame, and Gallant made a last-rock hit for the final point.


“Yeah, we’ve been off to a slow start most games, missing a few shots, but were playing well overall,” said Gallant.


“But we’re rolling now. We want to win the majority of our games and get into the playoffs.”


In other matches, Denmark’s Rasmus Stjerne beat Russia’s Andrey Drozdov 7-5 and 2008 fourth-place finisher Kristian Rolvsjord of Norway made a last-rock draw to edge Switzerland’s David Baertschiger by a 5-4 count.


Denmark is a game behind Canada at 3-0, while Sweden and the United States share third place at 2-1. Norway is 2-2, the Swiss share a 1-2 record with China and Scotland, and both Germany and Russia are 0-3.


In women’s play, day three of the championships opened with a big come-from-behind win for the two-time defending women’s titleholders.


Eve Muirhead’s Team Scotland overcame deficits of 4-0 and 9-5 to claw out a last-stone 11-8 victory over the to the United States foursome skipped by Alexandra Carlson.


The Americans jumped into the lead with a big four-ender in the second end, but Scotland stole the fourth end and another two in the fifth to tie the match.


In the second half, Carlson added a deuce in the sixth and scored a big three points on a double-raise runback in the eighth for a 9-5 lead.


But Muirhead would not be denied, as she grabbed a three-ender in the ninth and then made a magnificent freeze to lie three in the 10th end. Carlson had virtually no shot on her final attempt.


“We’re quite good at making comebacks, actually,” said Muirhead.


“We knew we’re going to get mistakes from them, so we just had to be patient and wait for those mistakes.”


An irritable Muirhead took a whack at the ice and broke a brush head after a missed shot in the fourth end.


“I didn’t even hit it hard at all,” Muirhead protested. “The official said he’s seen a lot worse.”


In other games, Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg scored a five-ender en route to a 10-4 win over France; Russia’s Margarita Fomina outscored Switzerland’s Martina Baumann 7-5 and Japan’s Satsuki Fujisawa lost her third straight game, 6-5 to Denmark’s Mette de Neegaard.


Canada’s Kaitlyn Lawes was idle and sits in first place at 3-0, with Scotland at 3-1. Denmark, Russia and Switzerland are all 2-1, while three teams – the Czech Republic, Sweden and the United States – are all 1-2.


France is now 1-3 and Japan sits last at 0-3.


The Vancouver Olympic Centre will host the curling and wheelchair curling competitions at the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games next year.


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