7 December 2018

Scots send Team Hasselborg to another defeat on day two

Celine Stucki / WCF

Team Muirhead take control of Group B while Team Sinclair top Group A

Team Eve Muirhead inflicted a second successive defeat on Sweden’s Olympic and European champions Team Anna Hasselborg on day two of the Curling World Cup in Omaha.

Since finishing runners-up in September's opening leg in Suzhou, Hasselborg’s rink have entered five events and won the lot, but their winning run is in peril after today’s 6-2 defeat to the Scots.

Scotland’s victory means they have won both of their opening games and top Group B alongside Japan, who beat China 10-2 in a lopsided affair in day two's final session.

Muirhead, who returned only recently to the ice after hip surgery in May, called it “a really big win for us” after a run of modest results this season.

The 27-year-old said: "Anna and her team of course have had a great couple of seasons and they are the team on form. To get a solid win for against them is good for us, it builds our momentum a bit. The girls were excellent - we played well out there.

“I think we got our stones in good spots and we put a lot of pressure on them. We are really pleased we got a handle on the ice and the ice is excellent. I love this format - this quick play. We kind of know each other’s games inside out now so the interesting thing when you go to play is it all comes down to who makes the shots on the day, and today it was us.”

Earlier in the day, United States' Team Jamie Sinclair went 2-0 in Group A after winning a hugely tense battle with Russia’s Team Alina Kovaleva.

It went down to the final stone of the last end. With scores locked at 5-5, skip Sinclair produced a short raise take-out to grab two for a 7-5 victory, leaving Russia still without a point.

Sinclair said: “They’re a really strong hitting team, so we kind of expected that going into it. We just tried to force them into a couple of draws and we’re fortunate to get a few mistakes.

“I think in this event it’s really important to get a head start. We’ve done that so far. So it’s definitely put us in a really good mindset.”

In the day’s opening session, Korea got their first win in Group A with a fine win over Canada’s Team Fleury.

Canada never recovered from a steal of four by Team Minji Kim in the very first end, although a hit-and-roll by Fleury to steal one in the fourth did reduce arrears to 4-3 at the halfway stage.

Fleury battled hard and stole one in the penultimate end but a tremendous double take-out by Kim in the last end saw Canada offer their hands.

Minji Kim reflected: “At the start of the game we made some mistakes but we talked a lot during the game to get better. We were nervous in Suzhou, but now we feel much better than before. We would love to be in the final but we always try to be humble so we can learn because we are still young.”

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