Team USA had the night off, but six other teams faced off Thursday, with Denmark, Korea and Sweden all coming away with much needed victories.
Denmark 9, Canada 8
Canada and Denmark both came into Thursday’s game needing a win. Both went through their first two contests with two disappointing losses. While Denmark isn’t expecting to be medal contenders, Canada definitely is, and falling 0-3 in round robin play is not the way they want to start their gold medal defense.
It took an extra end, but mistakes by the Canadian team helped Denmark pull off the upset, 9-8 in 11.
It was all Denmark early. After a blanked end in the first, Canada scored two in the second off of another takeout hammer throw by skip Rachel Homan. But Denmark scored three of their own in the third and stole another in the fourth after Homan failed to reach the circles on her hammer throw.
All of Canada’s struggles seemed to fall away in the fifth end. Down two and looking very much not like themselves, Homan gave her team new life, coming up with a huge double takeout to put four points on the board and give her team their first lead, 6-4.
Denmark scored twice in the sixth to tie the score at 6-6, but Canada retook the lead by scoring once in the seventh and once more in the eighth. Madeleine Dupont had a chance to score a point for Denmark in the ninth with an open house, but instead opted to throw through to maintain hammer in the 10th.
Canada had the chance for the win throwing hammer in the 11th. But Homan hit Denmark’s guard on her final two throws, reminiscent of mistakes the Canadian team made throughout the night.
The two teams tied once and exchanged five leads through the 11 ends of play.
Canada, easily the gold medal favorites coming into PyeongChang, now falls to the bottom of the standings at 0-3. Denmark picks up their first win of the tournament to improve to 1-2.
Korea 7, Switzerland 5
Korea continued to prove they’re a team to watch in their hometown Olympics, defeating No. 2 ranked Switzerland 7-5.
The Korean team never scored more than a single point in any end until the ninth, but it didn’t matter. They held Switzerland to three points through seven ends to take a 5-3 lead.
After Switzerland scored one in the eighth to cut the lead in half, Korea answered, landing their hammer throw in the ninth just inches closer than the Swiss stone for two points and a healthy 7-4 lead with one end to play.
Switzerland tried to go for two in the 10th, but had just one stone on the button as their second sailed past the side of the house for just one point.
Korea, an automatic qualifier into the Games, improves to 2-1 overall. Switzerland, the fourth place team in Sochi four years ago, falls to 1-2.
Sweden 5, Team OAR 4
Points were tough to come by in a contest between unbeaten Sweden and Team OAR. After blanking the first three ends, each team traded single points for five straight ends. After needing to play an extra 10 throws, Sweden eventually came away with the 5-4 victory.
Sweden was able to get a little separation after scoring two in the ninth end to go up one heading into the 10th, but OAR’s Victoria Moiseeva floated her hammer throw right onto the button in the 10th for the third tie of the game.
In the extra end, Sweden needed just an easy throw onto button for the win. They remain unbeaten, improving to 3-0.
OAR falls to 1-2 overall.