March 13, 2014, Sochi, Russia (ISN) – On the last day of round robin matches in wheelchair curling, Canada’s day in the Ice Cube can only be described as “interesting.”
After downing Slovakia decisively with a score of 16-0, Canada went on to lose to last place Finland (1-6) by a score of 12-1.
Canada set two Paralympic Winter Games records for most points scored and the highest margin of victory in their 16-0 rout of Slovakia. But according to skip Jim Armstrong, the lopsided victory was not intentional.
“We don’t like to run the score up, but we had the opportunity to use it to find our own game and that was the important part,” he said.
Now that the two days of rain have stopped and the temperature has dropped, the ice makers at the Ice Cube are able to provide a more consistent surface for the curlers. Jim Armstrong noticed the difference in the ice and used it to the team’s advantage.
“We’ve been struggling all week and all of a sudden we’ve got an opportunity where the conditions are much more favorable and our confidence is anywhere but up,” said Armstrong. “So we had an opportunity to throw and remind ourselves what we’re capable of.”
In the afternoon match, things went off the rails very quickly for the Canadians. The first frame of the contest saw Finland put two on the board. But the next end, the Finnish skip made a nice clearing to force the Canadian team to draw in the eight foot. Armstrong’s shot missed and Canada gave up a steal of five points. Finland led 7-0 after two and the rest was history.
Armstrong, who is the consummate gentleman of the game, summed up the defeat.
“My mother told me there would be days like this,” he said. “It happens. We were just on the wrong side of it the whole day. Fortunately, it was a game that didn’t have a lot of impact. It’s not the first game and it won’t be the last.”
Canada finishes the week in second place behind Russia and will face China in the semi-finals on Saturday at 9:30. Russia takes on fourth place Great Britain. The gold medal game will be played on Saturday at 15:30.
For full information about Team Canada at the Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games, please visit paralympic.ca/team-canada.
Photo: Matthew Murnaghan / CPC