2 February 2019

Norway stun Russia to set up Canada final

© WCF / Céline Stucki

Kristin Skaslien aiming for back-to-back Curling World Cup victories.

‘Perfect’ Kristin Skaslien has reached her second consecutive Curling World Cup mixed doubles final alongside new partner Thomas Ulsrud.

Russian pairing Maria Komarova and Daniil Goriachev were in pole position going into day four but were stunned by the newly-formed Norwegian team, losing 8-4.

Joining Norway in the final will be young Canadian couple Kadriana Sahaidak and Colton Lott, who produced a dramatic win over Korea to top Group A.

Reflecting on his venture into the discipline, Ulsrud said: “I told Kristin before coming here that I suck at mixed doubles, but she has shown me the ropes and we are getting better and better after every game.

“It is more intense when you play mixed doubles, if you miss one shot you are in big trouble so I can really understand the temperature can get high out there.

Omaha winner, Skaslien, added: “It has been a lot of fun. Playing with a new partner you have to find your own way and we struggled at the start, but we are improving and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Their opponents in the final were decided after a compelling third session in which Switzerland went into top of the standings and needed to beat Sweden to progress.

However, Sweden redeemed their defeat to Jenny Perret and Martin Rios from earlier in the week, winning 8-2, to provide Canada an opportunity to book their spot in the final.

And Canada grabbed the opportunity with both hands, recording a 7-5 victory over Korea’s Hyeri Jang and Chiwon Choi.

It took a moment to sink in, but when it did, the young pair embraced and shortly afterwards celebrated with Sahaidak’s grandparents in the crowd.

Colton Lott admitted they "definitely glanced once or twice" over at the Switzerland game and were pleased they "decided our fate".

Sahaidak said: "My grandparents have been here all week. It’s really great to have them here and share this with them.

"I’m not too worried or nervous about the final because it’s anyone’s game and we’re glad to be in the final and just do our thing. Whatever happens, happens."

United States ended their time in Jonkoping in fine fashion with a 7-4 win over China and finish second in Group B.

The Hamilton siblings fell one point short of Norway on 11 Curling World Cup points but still earn $USD 3,500 for their week's work.

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