Einarson's five-game win streak ends with loss to Japan at world curling playdowns

·3 min read

CALGARY — Kerri Einarson's five-game winning streak came to an end Thursday afternoon as Canada dropped a 7-5 decision to Japan's Sayaka Yoshimura at the world women's curling championship.

Einarson, who earned a wild 10-8 victory over Denmark's Madeleine Dupont in the morning draw, fell to 6-6 as she clung to the sixth and final playoff spot.

Denmark (5-5) was alone in seventh place but could still leapfrog Canada since it has two games in hand. Germany's Daniela Jentsch and South Korea's EunJung Kim were next at 5-6 and China's Yu Han was 4-6.

Canada will close out round-robin play Friday morning against China.

Depending on the result, the Manitoba-based team of Einarson, Val Sweeting, Shannon Birchard and Briane Meilleur may have to do some scoreboard watching later Friday to see whether they'll be playing on the weekend.

Japan made a nice angle raise to score two in the eighth end for a 6-3 lead. Canada responded with a deuce in the ninth but Japan used hammer coming home to make a hit for the win.

"When they are making everything, it's quite hard," Einarson said. "They played really well and got us in some tough spots. I missed a couple of mine, which is unfortunate."

In the morning game, Canada stole a single in the ninth and played a strong 10th end to force Dupont to concede before throwing her final stone.

The top six teams in the 14-team field will also earn Olympic berths for their respective countries at the 2022 Beijing Games. A last-chance Olympic qualifier will be held in December.

Dupont opened with a three-point first end after Einarson was wide with a runback. Canada answered with a five-point end before Denmark reclaimed the lead with another three-ender in the third.

"The opposition is making great shots in front of us and making us make big ones," said Canada coach Heather Nedohin.

Einarson's highlight-reel angle-raise for a pair in the eighth end gave Canada a lead it wouldn't relinquish.

"That was my only shot and sometimes when that's your only shot, you will make it," Einarson said.

Four sessions of round-robin play remain. There will be an evening draw Thursday and three draws Friday.

The World Curling Federation announced that television and streaming coverage will resume Friday afternoon. It was stopped last weekend after seven members of the event's broadcast staff tested positive for COVID-19.

The broadcast crew is staying at a different hotel than the teams.

After other staffers provided another round of negative COVID-19 PCR test results Thursday, a proposal for a modified broadcast production plan was approved by Alberta Health, the WCF said.

Qualification and semifinal games will be played Saturday at WinSport's Markin MacPhail Centre. The medal games are set for Sunday.

Canada is looking to return to the podium for the first time since Jennifer Jones won gold at the 2018 playdowns in North Bay, Ont.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 6, 2021.

The Canadian Press