Junior Women Session 9 Roundup

USA defeat Switzerland to force playoff qualification tie-breaker Photo © WCF / Richard Gray 2015

Scotland and Sweden joined already-qualified Canada in the women's Page Play-offs when they both had wins in the ninth and last session of women's round-robin play at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia.

Scotland beat England by 7-3 while Sweden defeated the Czech Republic by 10-3.

In the same session, USA beat Switzerland by 7-3 and this result meant that the USA and Switzerland finished on five wins from the round-robin programme, as did Korea and Russia. However, in comparing the record of wins among these four teams, USA emerged top and Switzerland in second place, thereby qualifying to take part in a tie-breaker to decide which of them will take up the last place in the Page Play-off line-up.

With poorer records among the four teams, Russia and Korea will also play in a tie-breaker - this time to determine which of the two will finish sixth and therefore take the last available direct qualification place in the line-up for next year's World Junior Championships, with the other finishing seventh and therefore moving to next year's pre-Qualification event.

In their game against Korea, Canada blanked the first two ends and then opened the scoring with one point in the third end. They then went onto a succession of steals, scoring one point in each of the fourth, fifth and sixth ends and then stealing three points in the seventh end for a 7-0 lead. Korean skip Eun Bi Kim then scored a single point in the eighth end after which Korea conceded the game.

After her win, Canada's defending champion skip Kelsey Rocque conceded: “We got a little fortunate when they hit and rolled out a couple times."

There is always extra tension when Scotland meet England in any sport, but against England, Scotland's Gina Aitken delivered her sixth win of the round-robin in straightforward fashion. She opened by drawing for one point and followed that up with a single point steal when England's Hetty Garnier could only remove one of two counting Scottish stones.

In the eighth end, Garnier hit out a Scottish stone to score one point, but with the score at 7-3 in Scotland's favour, shook hands. This result - and her better record against Sweden, who also finished on six wins, put the Scots into the Page 1-2 Play-off game to face Canada.

Aitken was pleased with this result, saying: “It feels really good to be in the 1-2 Play-off, it’s a nice place to be."

Sweden faced the Czech Republic and moved into a clear lead with a single point steal in the third end. A score of two points in the fifth end and a further single point steal in the sixth end gave them a 5-1 lead. The Czech Republic responded by taking two points from the seventh end, but when Swedish skip Isabella Wranaa hit out a Czech Republic stone in the ninth end, to score five for 10-3, the game was over.

Afterwards, Sweden's third player Jennie Waahln said: “We are finishing the round Robin with another win, which feels great. We had the control through the entire game and played really stable. We know that we still can step up our curling another level and in the playoffs we will try to stay a bit more calm."

Switzerland opened with last stone advantage in their game against the USA and scored one point in the second end, After this, USA took control, taking the lead with two points in the third end then stealing single points in the fourth, fifth and sixth ends.

They stole a further two points in the seventh end for a 7-1 lead, and although Switzerland's fourth player Briar Huerlimann hit out a USA stone in the ninth end for one point, it was not enough, and Switzerland conceded with the score at 7-3 to USA.

This game set up the Page tie-breaker between these two teams and USA skip Cory Christensen said: “All we can do is really concentrate on what we have to do to win the game and I think that’s exactly what we did. I think we have a lot of good momentum going into our next game and we just need to start sharp again and continue that into this next game."

Russia played Estonia in the fifth game of this session and took control immediately, scoring three points in the opening end and stealing a single point in the second end for 4-0.

After Estonia blanked the third, Russia stole two points in the fourth end and followed that up with single point steals in the fifth and sixth ends. Estonia finally scored two points to get on the scoreboard in the seventh end, and then conceded with the final score 8-2 to Russia.


Session 9: Scotland 7, England 3; Estonia 2, Russia 8; Canada 7, Korea 1; Czech Republic 3, Sweden 10; USA 7, Switzerland 3.

Standings after 9 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Canada (9-0) Q
2. Scotland (6-3) Q
3. Sweden (6-3) Q
4. USA (5-4) TB (Tie-Breaker for playoff qualification)
4. Switzerland (5-4) TB (Tie-Breaker for playoff qualification)
6. Korea (5-4) B-TB (Tie-Breaker for relegation to Junior-B Championships event)
6. Russia (5-4) B-TB (Tie-Breaker for relegation to Junior-B Championships event)
8. Estonia (2-7) B
9. England (2-7) B
10. Czech Republic (0-9) B

B - Teams now drop into the World Junior-B Curling Championships 2016 event taking place in Lohja, Finland in January 2016. The three medal winning teams from this qualification event will then participate in the World Junior Curling Championships 2016.

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