The Canadian Mixed Doubles Curling squad bounced back from losing its opening match, first with a 7-6 win over Norway and then a dominant outing against Switzerland. While Canada beat Switzerland 7-5, the performance was far more convincing than the score makes it seem.
With the first-end steal of three, John Morris and Rachel Homan were never really challenged. After trading singles in ends 2-4, the Canadians led 4-2.
In End five, Homan had the hammer in hand while Canada lay two. It looked as if Canada would go up 7-2 but the final rock was the slightest bit heavy and nudged out a sitting stone, leaving Canada up 6-2.
End six saw the Switzerland squad convert their power play for two. With Canada laying one, Switzerland’s Jenny Perret played her team’s best rock of the game, keeping the side in the match as Canada led 6-4 with two ends remaining.
Electing to save their power play until the final end, just in case it was needed, Canada’s strategy was to surrender a single in the seventh end. However, a combination of Switzerland’s uninspired play and a slightly errant hammer from Homan gave Canada a single, and a three-point lead coming to the final end.
Because Perret and Martin Rios held the hammer in end eight, the Canadians had no use of their power play. With a full house as Perret held the game-ending hammer, there was a very longshot play that may have evened the match, but Switzerland was not able to turn the tide.
An eighth end Switzerland single left it at 7-5 Canada, moving Morris and Homan to 2-1 and leaving the pair from Switzerland at 1-3. It was the first game on an internal sheet for Team Canada. Gone was any sense of the difficulties the Canadian side faced against the Brits.
In fact, both Morris and Homan looked strong start-to-finish, staying aggressive in the middle ends, they barely missed several attempts to further increase their lead. Playing on a middle sheet meant avoiding the uneven ice surface of the end sheets in the converted aquatics center.
In this duel, it was the Switzerland side that faced difficulty throughout. Not only did they permit Canada to steal three in the first end, but they also did so by missing on all five rocks.
Despite a history of success and years playing together as Mixed Doubles specialists, Rios and Perret simply could not get on track against the red and white.
Homan and Morris next take on the team from China as the pair from Ottawa look to retain Canada’s spot at the top of the podium in Mixed Doubles Curling.