|Harri Lill and Marie Turmann. Photo © NZ Curling / Rob Potter|
30 Aug 2017 – Estonia and defending champions Canada will play for the gold medal at the Audi quattro Winter Games NZ Mixed Doubles curling tournament this afternoon.
They earned their places with hard-fought wins in this morning’s semifinals, both decided on the last stone at Naseby’s Maniototo Curling International rink.
The unbeaten Team Canada lined up against the strong Norway side of Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who have five consecutive top-ten World Championship results to their name. But once Kalynn Park picked out an opponent’s stone to score 4 in the second end, the Canadians were never behind in the match.
| • Audi quattro Winter Games NZ website
• 2017 Mixed Doubles curling tournament
Park hit out a Norway stone in the final end to secure a 9-8 win.
“It was tough, we battled initially until we got that four,” said Canada’s Charley Thomas after their game. “The ice was a little bit straighter there and we took a while to catch on, but then we started to make our shots.”
“We’re feeling good and doing our thing,” he added, “and it just seems to be working for us. So we’re looking forward to the final.”
The lead changed hands five times in the match-up between Estonia and the previously unbeaten Koreans.
The breakthrough for Estonia came in the seventh end when they made the most of their powerplay, hitting and rolling behind guards to score three and get the buffer they needed for an eventual 8-5 victory.
“We were really nervous,” said Estonia’s Marie Turmann when she came off the ice. “Both teams really wanted to win, it was make or break for both of us.”
When asked about their prospects for the final she replied, “Well we almost beat Canada in the round robin, so maybe it’s time for us to go one better today!”
The gold medal match at 3:30pm this afternoon will be televised live on TVNZ Duke.