Canadians overcome shaky start to roll into mixed doubles curling gold medal game


GANGNEUNG — Kaitlyn Lawes was having a miserable start and was feeling the heat under the bright lights of the biggest stage.

An hour later she was basking in the glory of the knowledge she and her partner John Morris have locked up a second curling medal at the Olympic Winter Games.

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Lawes and Morris guaranteed Canada at least a silver medal Monday morning with an 8-4 win over Norway’s Kristin Sasklien and Magnus Nedregotten in the mixed doubles curling semifinal.

It was Canada’s seventh straight win, but it almost didn’t happen as Lawes curled just 41 per cent through four ends, missing three shots that would have given Canada more points. Fortunately, the 29-year-old from Winnipeg felt great support from her teammate, settled down and made several clutch shots in the final four ends to secure the win.

“I was obviously a little bit frustrated with not being able to finish it off with my last rock,” Lawes said. “I tried not to get too frustrated and let it bug me. John was a huge support and he kept saying ‘Be patient, let’s figure it out, we’ve got eight ends and we can use all eight.’

“I kept asking myself why I was missing. I felt good with my line and it was just my speed that I felt I needed to make some adjustments with. Was it the rocks or me? It was a little bit of both so we moved some rocks around and once I was able to get a pair that I was more comfortable with, I could just park that and throw and John allowed me to have that confidence by making a ton of shots to set me up for that situation.”

Both Canadians have a chance to win their second career Olympic gold medals — Lawes won with Jennifer Jones in 2014, Morris with Kevin Martin in 2010 — when they take on either Switzerland or Russia in the gold medal game Tuesday night (6:05 a.m. ET in Canada) at the Gangneung Curling Centre.

Russia and Switzerland were playing the other semifinal Monday evening (6:05 a.m. ET in Canada) to determine Canada’s opponent.

“It certainly helps to have played in big games,” Lawes said. “It could be so easy to just continue down that path and not make your shots, but I want to enjoy this experience and leave it all on the ice and have no regrets. I would have regretted it if I didn’t give myself a chance to make those shots.”

Along with serving as a calming influence for his partner, Morris played a terrific game for Canada. The 39-year-old firefighter from Canmore, Alta., has fallen in love with the mixed doubles game and now he’s a win away from winning a gold medal.

“It means the world,” Morris said.

“That sudden-death semi is probably the most pressure-packed game that there is in curling. We all want to be in that …read more

Source:: Nationalpost


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