Kerri Einarson and her Canadian teammates are back-to-back world championship bronze medallists following Sunday’s 8-5 victory over host Sweden in Sandviken.
A year ago, Einarson also eked out an 8-7 win over Anna Hasselborg in an extra end for bronze in in Prince George, B.C.
“I feel pretty excited to come here and medal,” the Manitoba-based skip told Curling Canada on Sunday. “I know it’s not gold like we wanted, but at least it’s a medal. To win bronze two years in a row is pretty special.”
Canada built momentum early in the week at Goeransson Arena before struggling to string together wins later but stepped up when it mattered most to reach the medal podium.
Vice-skip Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard, lead Briane Harris, Einarson alternate Krysten Karwacki and head coach Reid Carruthers posted a 7-5 record in round-robin play.
A semifinal loss to Norway kept the Canadians short of the gold-medal game but an early 3-0 advantage on Sunday paved the way to bronze.
“We put ourselves in a good position [Saturday] and it was really hard to lose that semifinal,” Sweeting said. “But I’m super proud of how we came out today and getting up against the hometown team isn’t easy either.
Building block for success
“We have a really good support crew here with our coaching and families and everything and it definitely helped us get through that.”
Einarson and company believe this tournament will be another building block in long-term success.
“The fact that we were able to still get the bronze with not our strongest performance this week is big for our team,” Birchard said. “It’s lit a fire under us. We want to come back and we want to challenge for the gold, obviously.”
Switzerland skip Silvana Tirinzoni and Norwegian counterpart Marianne Roervik were to meet in the title match later Sunday.
After Canada made a pinpoint draw to the side of the button to score two in the first end, Sweden had a chance to score in the second but rolled out on a hit and gave Canada another point.
Canada forced Sweden to one in the third end and repeated its deuce with hammer and steal combo in the fourth and fifth to take a five-point lead into the fifth-end break.
In the fourth end, Canada was sitting five counters, but an excellent draw from Sweden forced Canada to play a long angle raise to score two. In the fifth, Sweden attempted a runback to score but left Canada sitting one.
Hasselborg was far from out of it in the second half of the game and hung on until the 10th end. The teams traded deuces in the sixth and seventh ends, then Sweden scored a single with hammer in the eighth and stole a point in the ninth to get within three.
Einarson ran Sweden out of stones to claim the win.
WATCH | Einarson talks worlds on CBC Sports’ ‘That Curling Show’: