Scotland, the birthplace of curling, won its first world title in the mixed doubles discipline on home ice Sunday afternoon.
Jennifer Dodds and Bruce Mouat won a 9-7 championship final over Norway’s Kristin Skaslien and Magnus Nedregotten, who won Olympic bronze in 2018.
The final was a see-saw affair in which each pair scored a three-ender plus a total of three deuces.
Trailing 7-5 in the seventh end, Scotland went to their power play and were rewarded straight away when Skaslien ticked a guard on her first stone. The Scots held the three-ender in play throughout the end and led 8-7 coming home.
With Norway’s time clock down to 19 seconds, Skaslien threw a runback for the attempted deuce and the win but her tying stone spilled too far. A measurement confirmed the Scottish steal and the 9-7 victory at the Curl Aberdeen facility.
“We can’t quite believe it right now, we’re still a wee bit in shock,” said Dodds. “But getting a three with our power-play was massive.”
“That was such a tough game,” said Mouat. “We were maybe scrappy for a wee while, but mixed doubles is a game that you can kinda stay in it even if you’re down a few. We both felt we could win it, and that’s exactly what happened.”
It’s the first world titles for both Dodds and Mouat. Dodds plays second for Eve Muirhead’s Scottish women’s (four-player) team, and has won silver in European and world junior play. Mouat skips the Scottish men’s (four-player) squad that lost the 2021 world final to Sweden a month ago, and which won the Europen Championship in 2018.
The mixed doubles marked Mouat’s fourth appearance in a championship final in four events played over two pandemic curling “bubble” events. In addition to the world men’s final in Calgary, Team Mouat also won two consecutive Grand Slam of Curling championship titles, the Champions Cup and Players’ Championship.
Earlier on Sunday Sweden’s mixed doubles pair of Almida De Val and Oskar Eriksson won the bronze medals with a 7-4 win over Canada’s Kerri Einarson and Brad Gushue.
The Swedes took the early advantage, scoring four points in the opening end. They held a 6-2 lead at the break.
“After a tough loss (in the semifinal) it was really good to go out there today, have fun, and play as well as we know we can,” said Sweden’s Almida De Val. “This week has been so much fun and I’m really proud of how we’ve been playing.”
“We played a lot of really good games,” said Oskar Eriksson. “Unfortunately we lost to Norway yesterday, but they have been one of the best teams here all week. We’re just happy winning 10 out of 11 games.”
The Canadians had qualified for the semifinals after a stunning victory over Switzerland, in which Einarson threw a runback quadruple that Gushue called “one of the best shots I’ve ever seen.”
While the red-hot Scots made quick work of Canada in one semifinal, Norway defeated Sweden 7-6 in the other.
“I’m very proud of how Kerri and I battled throughout the week,” said Gushue. “There was no doubt we were tired and not at our best, but we left it all on the ice and that’s all you could ask for.
“We’re disappointed not to earn a medal, but are proud to have earned the Olympic spot for Canada.”
The championship qualified Canada, Czech Republic, Great Britain (via Scotland), Italy, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland for spots at Beijing 2022. China holds a berth as host nation, and the final two berths will be determined at an Olympic Qualification Event to be announced.