Canada’s Kerri Einarson made the shot of the World Mixed Doubles Championship en route to a key comeback victory over Switzerland.
The qualifying round victory put the Canadians into the semifinals of the 2021 championship, where they face hosts Scotland.
After recovering from an 5-1 deficit, Einarson and teammate Brad Gushue tied the match in the sixth end. Switzerland’s Jenny Perret and Martin Rios were forced to a single in the seventh end, but rallied in the eighth and final frame to leave Einarson facing a seemingly impossible situation.
Urged on with positivity from her partner—and with only 45 seconds remaining on the time clock—Einarson fired a bullet down the ice, and used a yellow Switzerland stone to remove three Swiss counters to tie the match and force an extra end.
“It was one of the best shots I’ve ever seen,” Gushue declared. “You had to throw it really hard to make it and she hit it absolutely perfect.”
“I saw it the whole entire time,” said Einarson. “I said, ‘Okay, there is a quad here, I can get these rocks going if her guard over curls’ and it did, and left me the shot.”
In the extra end, two runbacks from Rios cleared things up and when Einarson’s last draw for the steal attempt slipped heavy to expose the button, Perret delivered her draw for the win. However, her throw was light and despite a dual sweeping effort, the stone overcurled by an inch and Canada stole the thrilling 7-6 victory.
It was a huge win for the Canadians, who had been playing “wishy-washy” according to Gushue while assembling a 7-2 round robin won/loss record. Scotland’s Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat went 8-1 to win their group, while Italy’s Stefania Constantini and Amos Mosaner finished 7-2.
The Swiss, world champions in 2017 and Olympic silver medalists three years ago in PyeongChang, went 5-4 to finish third in B Group behind 9-0 Sweden (Almida De Val and Oskar Eriksson) and 8-1 Norway (Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten).
In the other qualifying match, Norway defeated Italy 7-5 to book their semifinal place. The Norwegians, Olympic bronze medalists in 2018, will face Sweden.
In relegation matches, Hungary beat Finland 10-4 and Japan defeated Korea by a 7-5 count. Hungary and Japan are guaranteed places at the 2022 World Mixed Doubles Championship, while Finland and Korea will be forced to qualify.
During this week’s play at Curl Aberdeen in northeast Scotland, the top six teams qualified their nations for the mixed doubles curling competition at the 2022 Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. USA’s Tabitha Peterson and Joe Polo (5-4) will face Czech Republic’s Zuzana Paulova and Tomas Paul (5-4) in a playoff for the final Olympic berth available at this competition.