What to watch in mixed doubles curling semifinals

What to watch in mixed doubles semifinals

Canada and Norway will meet Sunday night at 7:05 p.m. in the first mixed doubles semifinal game.

Canada, the No. 1 seed in the semis, ran though round robin play with just one loss in the first game of the tournament. That loss, however, came at the hands of Norway, now the No. 4 seed in the semis.

Norway reached the semifinals after defeating China 9-7 in a tiebreaker game Sunday morning.

Since that loss, Canada has proven to be by far the best team in the tournament, allowing just 15 points in the final six games, and a total of 26 so far in PyeongChang. That’s 14 goals fewer than the next best defensed team. Norway was the only team in round robin play to score more than four points against Canada.

Canadian team members Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris also had the best shot success percentages in the tournament, with Morris shooting 82 percent and Lawes shooting 76 percent.

Canada was so dominant in round robin play they needed to use just two power plays in seven games. Team conceded the final ends against Canada in their final five games.

Morris and Lawes have both won Olympic gold in the past in the team events – Morris in 2010 and Lawes in 2014. They joined forces just a month ago after Morris’s first partner, Rachel Homan, was forced to give up on mixed doubles to focus on the Canadian women’s team.

Norway, on the other hand, is still the only team to get the best of Canada, though it’s been an up and down tournament for the Norwegians thus far. After winning three straight games and starting 4-1, Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten suffered a big 10-3 loss to the U.S. and a 9-3 loss to China in their final two games to force a tiebreak game.

Skaslien and Nedregotten have competed in the last five world championships together, and won bronze in 2015. In round robin play, Nedregotten was second among men with a 78 percent success percentage, while Skaslien was fourth among women at 70 percent.

Norway is looking for the country’s fourth Olympic curling medal. They’ve won one gold, one silver and one bronze.

Canada, on the other hand, has dominated curling since it became an Olympic sport, winning three golds and two silvers, one medal for each Games.

Semifinal 2: Switzerland vs. Russia

The second mixed doubles semifinal game will pit the last two world champions against one another. Switzerland, the 2017 champs, will face off against Team OAR, the 2016 champs.

Switzerland has won six of the last 10 world mixed doubles championships. In the Olympic debuts for team members Jenny Perret and Martin Rios, they went 4-3 in round robin play, narrowly avoiding having to play in the tiebreak after coming away with a come-from-behind 9-8 win over OAR in the final game of round robin play.

Switzerland was third among all teams in PyeongChang with 45 points scored and second with 40 points allowed. They’ve stolen 11 ends in seven games.

Team OAR also finished 4-3 in group play, though their numbers weren’t as strong, with just 36 points scored and 44 allowed, a differential of -8. All of Russian’s wins were by one or two points, whereas they suffered a 9-3 loss to the U.S., and an 8-2 loss to Canada. As a team, OAR was lowest among everyone in PyeongChang with a 67 percent shot success percentage.

Switzerland and OAR will meet up on Monday at 6:05 a.m. EST.

The winners of the semifinals games will play in the gold medal game Tuesday at 6:05 a.m.

 

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