Canada rolls into mixed curling semifinal vs. Norway
Kaitlyn Lawes, John Morris finish round robin with 6 consecutive wins
By Devin Heroux, CBC Sports
Canada is making a statement on the curling ice in South Korea.
Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris have outscored their opposition 46-17 during a six-game winning streak to close out the round robin in mixed doubles and lock up first place.
They finished the round-robin portion of the tournament with a 6-1 record after a 7-3 win over Korea Sunday morning in Pyeongchang.
Lawes and Morris have been in a curling world of their own since an opening-game loss to Norway.
"We feel good. We love the speed. We've had a great week so far and we're confident with how we're throwing the rock," Lawes said after the win.
Click on the video below to watch Canada clinch 1st place:
Canada will now play Norway — the only team to beat them — in the semifinals at 7 p.m. ET Sunday. The winner advances to the gold-medal game while the loser will play for bronze.
The Norwegians defeated China in a tiebreaker to claim the final semifinal spot.
Is redemption on the Canadians' minds against Norway?
"We're going to prepare for a grind in that semi," is all Morris would say. "We wouldn't expect anything less."
In the other semifinal, Switzerland will play the Olympic Athletes from Russia at 6 a.m. ET Monday. Canada defeated both teams in just six ends during the round robin.
"We've played a lot of games and have been in a lot of pressure situations if you want to call them that," Lawes said. "What an opportunity. We're in a semifinal at the Olympic Winter Games."
Nobody really knew what to expect coming into the Olympic debut of mixed doubles curling. Sure, Canada is always a favourite when it comes to throwing granite at the Games but never before had any Canadian team won gold in the new discipline at an international event.
It didn't start the way Lawes and Morris wanted it to though following a 9-6 loss to Norway in the first-ever mixed doubles draw at the Olympics.
It was somewhat disastrous. Lawes and Morris were, by their own admission, off.
"I didn't play well in that game," Morris said. "One thing I like about our team is we learn really quickly and communicate very well."
Perhaps a wake-up call.
"We're patient and always trying to learn from our mistakes. We know we're not going to be perfect but if we can find ways to get better all the time, we'll win a lot of game," said Lawes.
Morris won gold with Kevin Martin's team in 2010. Lawes won gold four years ago with Jennifer Jones. They're now trying to become the first Canadians to capture two Olympic curling gold medals.
But both are not letting that massive prize be the focus right now.
"We're trained not to think about that final result," Morris said. "We're going to sit back, relax and prepare as best we can for the semifinal."
Lawes is just staying present and in the moment.
"What an opportunity to showcase this new sport of mixed doubles and to be a part of it is an honour."