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Gold Medal for Fowler's Team Canada at World Seniors

Wednesday Apr 22 2015
by Curling Canada Release

PHOTO: WCF/C?line Stucki Photo

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SATURDAY SUMMARY: Lois Fowler and her Brandon team (Maureen Bonar, Cathy Gauthier, Allyson Stewart) have won the World Senior Women's Championship Gold Medal with a 6-2 final game victory over Italy in Sochi, Russia. Deuces on the first and third ends gave the Manitobans a 4-2 lead at the mid-game break enroute to the 6-2 victory. In the semi-final, Team Canada was dominant, scoring three three's in an 11-2 win over Sweden. Earlier they had beaten Switzerland 5-2 in their quarter-final.

On the men's side, undefeated Team Canada and undefeated Team USA met in the final with USA posting a 9-4 victory.

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Friday - Fowler's Team Canada WIns, Improves to 4-1 and Into Playoffs: All three Canadian teams have booked their playoff berths at the World Seniors and Mixed Doubles Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia. Lois Fowler’s team from Brandon, Man., was the last to do so on Thursday at the Iceberg Skating Palace, wrapping up the round robin with a 12-3 win over Slovakia to finish in second place in Group B and set up a quarter-final match with Switzerland’s Susan Limena (4-2, third in Group A) on Friday at 6 a.m. CDT.
 
 Rebounding from a loss to the U.S. on Wednesday, Fowler and her team of third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier, lead Allyson Stewart, with team coach Brian Fowler and national coach Bill Tschirhart went straight to offence, scoring four points in the first end. A steal of four in the fifth end gave the Canadians a 12-2 lead, and Slovakia, skipped by Margita Matuskovicova, could only manage one more point before conceding after six.
 
 With the win, the Canadian women finish in second place in their pool, behind the U.S. (5-0), seeded directly to the semifinal.
 
“We're in good shape,” said Fowler after the win. “It would have been nice to be 5-0 but we just rolled a smidgen too far in that game against the U.S. We're back in the swing of things and ready for playoffs.
 
“Before we came, our goal was to make playoffs, No. 1, and we've had good games and good practices in the evening,” she added. “The ice has been a challenge but we seem to be picking up on it OK.”
 
Sweden’s Gunilla Arfwidsson Edlund (5-1) finished on top of Group A to clinch a semifinal berth, while the Group A second-place team, Finland’s Kirsti Kauste (4-2), will await the winner of a tiebreaker between England’s Judith Dixon and Italy’s Fiona Grace Simpson, who tied for third place in Group B with 2-3 records.
 
 In the final game in the men’s round robin, Alan O’Leary and his Halifax team of third Andrew Dauphinee, second Danny Christianson, lead Harold McCarthy and coach Tschirhart took the lead over Italy’s Danilo Capriolo after three ends and never looked back, earning a 7-2 win to remain undefeated and cement their first-place position in Group A heading into the playoffs.
 
 The Canadians finished the round robin with a 7-0 record to book a berth in the final eight. (The playoff formats are different for the men and women due to the men having 24 teams over three pools while the women had 13 teams in two pools).
 
 Playoffs begin on Friday with tiebreakers (2 a.m. ET) and qualification games (7 a.m. ET).  Quarter-finals begin at 2 p.m. ET.
 
 Meanwhile, the Canadian pairing of Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas finished round-robin play in the World Mixed Doubles on a winning note on Thursday at the Ice Cube Curling Centre to head into the quarter-finals on a high note.
 
 The Calgary duo, backed by coach Jim Waite, finished with a 12-3 win over South Korea’s Lee Hyain and John-Chul Beak. Leading 7-2 at the break, the Canadians put the game away with a steal of four in the final end when Beak’s draw came up short of the four-foot.
 
 It was another strong performance from the Canadians, who lost only one game during the round robin, finishing with an 8-1 record.
 
“Charley’s playing really well so that's helping, and I seemed to get my first rock in place a little bit better this game,” said Park after the game. “That always plays in well with our strategy, so that really helps if I make that first shot. And we’re just getting the draw weight as soon as possible so that always helps.”
 
Park said she and Thomas will prepare for Friday’s quarter-finals by reviewing a few games online, then head to the rink.
 
“We’re going to come practise at 11 a.m. to keep ourselves fresh and feeling good and then go into the quarter-finals really confident,” she said. “We don’t have a preference (of opponent). They’re all good. We’re going to be expecting 100 per cent from anyone we play, so we’ve just got to focus on ourselves and hope for the best.”
 
On Friday, playoffs get underway with tie-breakers at 1 a.m. ET, qualification games (if necessary) at 8:30 a.m. ET, and quarterfinals at 1 p.m. ET.
 
 Semifinals (3:30 a.m. ET) and medal games will take place on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
 
 Selected playoff games from the World Mixed Doubles will be streamed live on the event website, wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/.
  
 For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2015.curlingevents.com/, and for the same from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/. 
 
**
Wednesday - First Loss for Team Fowler at World Seniors / Two Canadian teams playoff-bound at World Mixed Doubles, Seniors in Sochi: Two of the three Canadian teams competing this week in Sochi, Russia, at the World Mixed Doubles and World Senior Curling Championships have clinched playoff berths, and the third is on the verge despite a loss on Wednesday. The mixed doubles pairing of Charley Thomas and Kalynn Park of Calgary won twice on Wednesday at the Ice Cube Curling Center to clinch its pool title and a berth in the quarter-finals while Alan O’Leary’s Halifax foursome clinched its senior men’s pool title with a victory of its own on Wednesday at the Iceberg Skating Palace.
 
 Lois Fowler’s senior women’s team from Brandon suffered its first loss on Wednesday but still remains in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth.
 
 After losing their first game of the competition on Tuesday, Thomas and Park rebounded with two decisive wins on Wednesday.
 
 Against Romania’s Iulia Traila and Cristian Matau, Thomas and Park, with coach Jim Waite, took control from the first end and led 6-1 by the break. The Romanians, with only one win in the round robin to date, weren’t able to generate any offence in an 8-3 win for Canada.
 
 Against winless Belarus, Canada opened the scoring with a single in the first and stole four ends on the way to an 8-1 victory, completing a successful bounce-back day for Park and Thomas and clinch first place in Group C.
 
“It was one of our better games I think,” said Thomas. “We got our rocks in really good positions, and I think that was the difference. We are perfectly balanced with our two wins today.”
 
On Thursday, the Canadians will finish off the round robin against Korea’s Hyein Lee and Jong-Chul Beak, who are currently tied with Spain’s Irantzu and Gontzal Garcia Vez for fourth spot in Group C with a 5-3 record.
 
 Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Championship will be streamed live online. Go to the event website, wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/, to see the games and broadcast schedule.
 
 Meanwhile, O’Leary’s Canadian senior men squeaked out a 6-5 extra-end win over Scotland’s Gordon Muirhead on Wednesday morning.
 
 The turning point for Team Canada – O’Leary, third Andrew Dauphinee, second Danny Christianson, lead Harold McCarthy and coach Bill Tschirhart – came in the seventh end when, trailing by two, they scored a big three points after Muirhead just missed on a take-out.
 
 Muirhead tied it up in eight to force the extra end, but O’Leary was able to score his single for the 6-5 win.
 
“Scotland played well and we got a little bit lucky in the seventh end when he hit one a little too thin,” said O’Leary. “We’ll take the breaks.”
 
With the win, Canada remains undefeated (6-0) and will claim sole possession of first place in Group A, with Scotland (4-2) right behind.
 
“My boys are comfortable peeling on this ice, which is really nice for the skip,” said O’Leary after the game.  “It makes you confident calling the shots.  I think (we’re) guaranteed top place in our section but we'll just keep rolling.”
 
In other action on Wednesday morning, Fowler saw her three-game winning streak end with a 6-5 loss to the U.S.’s Norma O’Leary.
 
 Fowler, third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier, lead Allyson Stewart, with team coach Brian Fowler and national coach Bill Tschirhart led 5-3 after six ends, but the Americans tied it up with a deuce in seven and then stole the winning point in the final end.
 
 The loss moves the Canadian women into second place in Group B with a 3-1 record, behind the USA (4-0).
 
 On Thursday, the final day of round-robin play, Fowler will play Slovakia’s Elena Jancarikova, who is still looking for her first win, while O’Leary faces Italy’s Danilo Capriolo (2-3).

 
 For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2015.curlingevents.com/, and for the same from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/.

**
Tuesday - Canadian Seniors Still Perfect, Mixed Doubles Team Takes First Loss at Worlds in Sochi: Canada’s teams went 2-1 on Tuesday in Sochi, Russia, at the World Seniors and World Mixed Doubles Curling Championships. On the seniors side at the Iceberg Skating Palace, Lois Fowler and her Manitoba team continue to dominate the opposition, stealing their way to a 10-2 victory over England on Tuesday morning.
 
Fowler and her team from Brandon, Man., which includes third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier and lead Allyson Stewart, with team coach Brian Fowler and national coach Bill Tschirhart, stole the first end and were never in trouble. A score of four points in the sixth end put the game out of reach and keep a three-game winning streak alive.
 
On the men’s side, Alan O’Leary and his team of third Andrew Dauphinee, second Danny Christianson, lead Harold McCarthy and coach Tschirhart needed an extra end in a tough battle against Ireland’s Bill Gray to win by a score of 6-5.
 
O’Leary started strong with a deuce in the first, but a steal of two by Ireland in the third meant the Canadians had to chase. A steal in seven put Canada ahead by one, but Ireland tied it up to force the extra end. With hammer, O’Leary scored his single for the 6-5 win.
 
“They played well,” said O’Leary. “I gave up a two in the third and that changed the momentum a bit, but we stole one in seven so that meant they had the hammer. But I told everybody to keep it clean and finish it off in the extra end. We're 5-0 so I think we're pretty close to being in the top three. Scotland will be a big game tomorrow, so we'll need to try to make sure we get first place. We're going to be up for that game. We've got Italy to finish, so hopefully we can just keep it going.”
 
On Wednesday, Fowler will play the USA’s Norma O’Leary, while the men face off against Scotland’s Gordon Muirhead, with both games at midnight CDT.
 
 Meanwhile, they made it close, but Canada’s mixed doubles team came up just short in a 9-6 loss to Scotland Tuesday morning at the Ice Cube Curling Center.
 
 Calgary’s Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas, with coach Jim Waite, came into the fourth day of competition undefeated at the top of Group C with a 5-0 record, but Scotland’s Judith and Lee McCleary (2-3) opened the game with a steal of two and never looked back.
 
 Park and Thomas struggled through the first four ends and trailed 5-1 at the break. They fought back with a single in the fifth, then stole three in the sixth when Lee McCleary’s final draw slid too far, tying the score at 5-5.
 
 But with a chance to keep the pressure on in the seventh, Park’s final draw was heavy, and the Scots answered with three points of their own to take a three-point lead into the final end.
 
 In the eighth, Park had a difficult run-back to score three, but the shot just missed. Instead, the Scots stole a point for the 9-6 win, handing the Canadians their first loss of the competition.
 
“I cannot say why Scotland was better than us today,” said Park. “We just did not play up to our usual standards.”
 
On Wednesday, Canada plays Romania’s Iulia Traila and Cristian Matau (1-5) at 1 a.m. CDT and Belarus’s Ekaterina Kirillova and Dmitry Kirillov (0-6) at 10 a.m. CDT.
 
 Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Championship will be streamed live online. Go to the event website, wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/, to see the games and broadcast schedule.
  
 For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2015.curlingevents.com/, and for the same from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/. 
 
**
Monday - Canadian teams setting pace at World Mixed Doubles, World Seniors in Sochi: With three days of competition completed at the World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors Curling Championship, the Canadian teams continue to be pace-setters in Sochi, Russia. Calgary’s Kalynn Park and Charley Thomas remain at the top of the mixed doubles leaderboard with a 5-0 record, while both Canadian senior teams are still unbeaten.
 
 The Canadian mixed doubles duo, supported by coach Jim Waite, kicked off their game against Spain’s Irantzu Garcia Vez and Gontzal Garcia Vez, the 2014 bronze-medallists, with five points in the first end and never looked back. The Spaniards answered with a deuce, then stole a point in three, but a missed take-out allowed Park an open draw for four in the fourth end. Leading 9-3 at the break, the Canadians stole two more ends and walked away with an 11-3 win.
 
 "We made a lot of draws early on and they kind of got behind the 8-ball,” said Thomas. “They had trouble making some of their shots — that's what made the difference."
 
 "You need to play smart,” said Park about jumping into a lead early. “You need to keep things as open as possible and when you get the opportunity to make a run-back or a double, you take it."
 
 Against Poland, the Canadians scored one in the first end and stole points in the next two ends. Opponents Karoline Florek and Szymon Molski fought back with a deuce in four to trail 3-2, but Team Canada kept the pressure on, taking five points in the next two ends for an 8-2 win.
 
 On Tuesday, Canada has only one game, against Scotland’s Judith McCleary and Lee McCleary (6:30 a.m. CDT), a game that will be streamed live on the event website,
wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/.
 
 Meanwhile, Alan O’Leary and his team of third Andrew Dauphinee, second Danny Christianson, lead Harold McCarthy and coach Bill Tschirhart defeated Japan 6-4 to hold on to first place in their grouping at the World Seniors.
 
 The Halifax foursome now sit at the top of Group A with a 4-0 record, just ahead of Ireland’s Bill Gray and Scotland’s Gordon Muirhead. Denmark (Group B) and the USA (Group C) are the only other undefeated teams.
 
 The Japanese, skipped by Masayasu Sato, put the Canadians to the test in a close game that saw both teams score with hammer. Tied 3-3 after four ends, O’Leary took a deuce in five and held Sato to a single in six. With the hammer back, the Canadians blanked seven and scored their single in eight for the 6-4 win.
 
 On Tuesday, the Canadian men have one game, against Ireland’s Bill Gray (8 a.m. CDT).
 
 Lois Fowler and her team from Brandon, Man., which includes third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier and lead Allyson Stewart, with team coach Brian Fowler and national coach Bill Tschirhart, had a day off on Monday but return to action on Tuesday, facing England’s Judith Dixon (midnight.,CDT).

 For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2015.curlingevents.com/, and for the same from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/. 
 
**
Sunday: Canadian teams remain undefeated at World Seniors, Mixed Doubles - Canadian teams skipped by Alan O’Leary and Lois Fowler remain undefeated after two days of round-robin play at the World Senior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia. Meanwhile, the Canadian pairing of Charley Thomas and Kalynn Park of Calgary also has an unblemished round-robin record in the World Mixed Doubles Championship in Sochi.
 
Fowler and her team from Brandon, Man., which includes third Maureen Bonar, second Cathy Gauthier, lead Allyson Stewart and coach Bill Tschirhart, overwhelmed New Zealand’s Wendy Becker with steals in the second and third ends to lead 5-1 at the break. In the fifth, Fowler took four points to put the game out of reach. The 11-1 win leaves the Canadian women with a 2-0 record, tied with the United States at the top of Pool B.
 
“That was a nice win,” said Fowler. “There was a frost element out there tonight. You really had to be careful where you were playing and you certainly needed to have good rotation on the stones or it would cost you.
 
“Two wins so far but U.S.A. has two wins also. Anyhow, it was a good game and it's all going according to plan, that's all we can say.”
 
On the men’s side, O’Leary and his Halifax team of third Andrew Dauphinee, second Danny Christianson, lead Harold McCarthy and coach Tschirhart scored four with hammer in the first end, then went on to steal the next five ends for a 12-0 win over Kazakhstan’s Viktor Kim in their first game of the day.
 
In his second game of the day, O’Leary got off to another quick start against the Czech Republic’s Mat%u0113j Neznal, scoring three in the first end and stealing a single in the second. With a 5-1 lead after four, the Canadians kept it simple and finished with a 5-2 win.

“We adapted well and we're getting more comfortable with the ice with each game,” said O’Leary afterwards. “The boys stayed on top of every end and we made them chase us. All round, that was our best game so far.”

Monday is a quiet day for both Canadian senior teams. The men will play Japan’s Masaysu Sato in their only match (noon CDT), while the women have no games scheduled.
 
Thomas and Park, meanwhile, posted two wins on Sunday to remain undefeated in World Mixed Doubles pool play.  In the first game of the day, Park drew the four-foot with her final rock in the seventh to score five and secure an 11-3 win over England’s Lana Watson and Alan MacDougall, who are still looking for their first win.
 
 "We struggled a bit,” Park said afterwards. “But we figured out the ice, and from there we just took off.”
 
The Calgary duo, backed by coach Jim Waite, continued to dominate against undefeated Maile Moelder and Erkki Lill of Estonia. Leading 4-2 at the break, the Canadians kept the pressure on and stole the next three ends for a 9-2 win.
 
 Canada now sits at the top of the standings in its pool with a 3-0 record, tied with Spain and South Korea.
 
 On Monday, Team Canada meets Spain (4:30 a.m. CDT) and Poland (11:30 a.m. CDT).

Selected games from the World Mixed Doubles Championship will be streamed live online. Go to the event website, wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/, to see the games and broadcast schedule. Canada’s games against Spain and Scotland (Tuesday, April 21, 7:30 a.m. ET) will be televised.

 For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2015.curlingevents.com/, and for the same from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to wmdcc2015.curlingevents.com/
 



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