Six days complete and three to go.
Now the excitement and competitiveness reach a whole new level at the women’s world curling championship in Prince George.
Round-robin play wraps up tonight.
There are no tie-breaking games so the top six move on.
Defending champion Switzerland has been the class of the field.
At 10-0, Switzerland has clinched first in the round-robin and an automatic berth in the semi-finals.
The second-place team will also get a spot in the semis Saturday night at 7:00 and that will likely come down to either 8-3 Sweden, 7-3 Canada, or 7-3 South Korea.
Teams three to six play in the qualification games Saturday afternoon at 1:00 with the losers out.
Medal games go Sunday at 11:00 a.m. (for bronze) and 4:00 p.m. (for gold) at CN Centre.
As most of us that follow the game thought, Kerri Einarson and her Canadian championship team from Manitoba, are a contender.
They had a five-game winning streak snapped last night (Thursday) when they lost to Korea 8-7 in an extra end as Korea stole a point in both the 10th and extra end.
Canada Skip @KEinarson of @EinarsonTeam chats with the media after 8-7 loss to South Korea @worldcurling @CurlingCanada #WWCC2022 #curling #CityOfPG #PrinceGeorge #northernbc pic.twitter.com/Nn2RHq6QDG
— My Prince George Now (@mypgnow) March 25, 2022
It is clear they are playing better than a year ago when they finished with an overall 7-7 record at the worlds in Calgary and failed to reach the final four.
Curling percentages can be misleading but they give some kind of indication as to how well the individuals and teams are doing.
After Thursday’s play, Canada as a team is third at 83.3% with two games left before the playoffs.
All of the team stats can be found here.
Einarson is 3rd among Skips (78.8%), Val Sweeting is 4th among Thirds (82.9%), Shannon Birchard is 5th among Seconds (83.9%) and Briane Mueller is sixth among Leads (87.5%).
These Canadian numbers are in line with where they are in the standings.
Attendance has been as one would expect with higher numbers when Canada plays.
According to the World Curling Federation, attendance (which I imagine is tickets sold) at CN Centre has been:
1,415 fans (Canada game) and 1,465 fans (Canada game) for the two draws on Saturday;
1,082 fans, 1,351 fans (Canada game), and 1,527 fans (Canada game) in that order for the three draws on Sunday;
867 fans, 1,106 fans (Canada game), and 941 for the three draws on Monday;
885 fans, 1,257 fans (Canada game), and 1,010 fans for the three draws on Tuesday;
and 1,494 fans, (Canada game) and 1,090 fans for the first two draws on Wednesday.
On Wednesday night, Canada was scheduled to play Scotland but that was ruled a forfeit victory.
Last night (Thursday) there was a tournament-best 1,734 fans to watch Canada play South Korea.
In the one big disappointment of the championship, with no one at fault, Scotland was forced to pull out after just two games due to a COVID-19 outbreak on the team.
The mypgnow.com website reporters made a commitment to not only cover Canada but the entire tournament, draw-by-draw, feature-by-feature.
Here are just a few feature examples: the Denmark sisters, Italy with just 330 curlers in the country, Turkey getting its first taste of world women’s curling competition, and the man responsible for ice and his nearly 50 years experience.
In total, since the start of the tournament, mypgnow.com has had over 20 game reports and features, which can be found right here.
Nine of the 12 teams are sitting .500 or better, still in the hunt for one of six playoff berths with just one day to decide who will advance.
Entering this morning’s draw, only Italy, the Czech Republic, and Turkey have been mathematically eliminated.
Competitiveness brings out the best in everyone.
Even the bottom teams in this championship, while posting few wins, have been mostly able to compete on the world level with competitive efforts.
There may not be a Cinderella story yet but don’t be surprised if something out of the ordinary happens this weekend with medals on the line.
One missed shot or one remarkable shot can change a team’s fortunes as the pressure builds.
Sure it has been fun the past week for Prince George to enjoy not only excellent curling but worldwide attention.
The good news is the best is yet to come.
The full standings are right here.
The full schedule and results are right here.
Cat Scan podcast:
One of the @PGCougars owners, Eric Brewer offers his assessment of the team, and also discusses attendance, winning back fans, the importance of making the playoffs, keeping emotions in check & more in this week’s Cat Scan #podcast. https://t.co/LjTgiKMiYj
— Hartley Miller (@Hartley_Miller) March 24, 2022
Royals complete sweep of Rockets . . . Ice alone on top of WHL standings . . . Coaching vacancy in MJHL https://t.co/Tg28u9YAW6
— Gregg Drinnan (@gdrinnan) March 24, 2022
FROM THE QUOTE RACK:
After 41 days of retirement, Tom Brady is going back to play for the Buccaneers. Apparently hanging out in a mansion with a supermodel is not everything it is cracked up to be.
*Comedy writer Alex Kaseberg
When Giselle Bundchen was asked what Tom Brady did during his brief retirement, she didn’t provide any specifics. But she did mention something about scissors and paper dolls.
*Contributor Bill Littlejohn of South Lake Tahoe, California
But watching the insanity with Panthers, Saints, Falcons, and the on and off retirement of Tom Brady, with the Bucs, “TBD” may well be a regular notation for 2022 starting QBs in NFC South.
*Comedy writer Janice Hough of Palo Alto, California www.leftcoastsportsbabe.com
Some $3.1 billion will be bet — legally or illegally — on this year’s NCAA tournament, according to the American Gaming Association. Or was it the Bettor Business Bureau?
*Dwight Perry of the Seattle Times http://www.seattletimes.com/author/dwight-perry/
In Case You Missed It:
Miami Dolphins players reportedly have a book of fines where one of the biggest penalties is for passing gas. Think of it as a fragrant foul.
*Western Canadian comedy writer RJ Currie www.Sportsdeke.com
Hartley Miller is the news and sports director/supervisor plus morning news anchor for 94.3 the GOAT and Country 97fm. He also is the radio color commentator for P.G. Cougars’ home games. Hartley has been on the Prince George airwaves since 1979 and is the author of You Don’t Say (sports quotes).