Canada defeats Norway, heads to mixed doubles gold medal game

Canada wins 8-4 after struggling in the first half

The first half of Monday's mixed doubles semifinal was all about missed opportunities for Team Canada.

In the second half, though, they didn’t miss.

The Canadian team of Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris scored a decisive three points in the seventh end to put Norway in a four point hole from which they wouldn’t recover as Canada advanced to the gold medal game with an 8-4 victory.

Lawes and Morris have both won Olympic gold in men’s and women’s curling in the past, but now they’ll play for the first ever gold in mixed doubles. The win also guarantees Canada a medal in the Pyeongchang games, continuing a streak of the country medaling in each Games that curling has been played.

Canada started the game with the hammer based on their being the No. 1 seed in the semifinals, but had to settle for just two points in the first end after their final throw went through the house, missing out on a potential third point.

The Canadian team missed a chance to steal three more in the second end. After surrounding the button with three rocks, Norway’s Kristin Skaslien landed the hammer throw in the middle of the three rocks for a Norwegian single.

Norway stole another point in the third after Lawes’s final shot failed to curl, leaving Norway’s rock on the button sandwiched between two red Canadian stones.

Canada was able to regain a point in the fourth, but again missed on a chance at a possible second after Lawes’s final shot came up short of the house. Canada led just 3-2 at the midway point.

But, there was a reason Canada had won six games in a row coming into Sunday, and they proved why they’re the team to beat in Pyeongchang over the final three ends. Morris told reporters during the halftime break that he had “nothing but faith” in his teammate, and she proved him right in the fifth and seventh ends.

Lawes had a takeout on her final throw in the fifth to land two Canadian stones near the button, and Skaslien’s hammer hit the guard, giving Canada two stolen points.

After Norway scored twice in the sixth to cut Canada’s lead to 5-4, Canada had their best end of the game in the seventh. Norway missed two takeouts on two straight throws, and Lawes made them pay on her hammer throw that she swept herself for a takeout and eventual three points.

Norway conceded the game midway through the eighth to put Canada in the gold medal match.

Canada will now await the winner of Team OAR and Switzerland to be played Monday evening.

Norway will play the loser of the other semifinal game for the bronze medal.

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