Canada's woes at the women’s world curling championship in Calgary continued but with a small reprieve Monday.
Skip Kerri Einarson and her Gimli team lost their fourth consecutive game — a 6-2 decision to Germany in the morning draw but followed up with an 8-4 triumph over South Korea in the afternoon.
Einarson broke a 4-4 tie with a steal of one in the seventh end before adding two in the eighth and one more in the ninth to beat the Koreans.
The 2-5 Canadians, consisting of Einarson, third Val Sweeting, second Shannon Birchard and lead Briane Meilleur, are tied for 10th place with the Koreans in the 14-team round-robin competition and face long odds if they plan to make the playoffs.
Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones was the last Canadian representative to win at the worlds, earning gold in 2018 when the event was held at North Bay, Ont.
Einarson’s team entered the worlds as one of the favourites after winning a second straight national Scotties title in late February, which was also staged at Calgary’s WinSport Arena.
Only the top six teams advance to the playoffs, which begin Friday.
Up 4-2 after eight ends, Germany stole two points in the ninth when Einarson was heavy on a draw and the teams shook hands.
It’s been a hard-luck theme for the Canadians.
"We really needed that win to just boost our confidence," Einarson told reporters. "We were playing so well and we just weren't getting those breaks. In this game, we did get those breaks and we really capitalized on them when we did."
A win by the Germans was a stunning result for the team skipped by Daniella Jentsch. Germany was reduced to a three-person team after two members of the team tested positive for COVID-19 before the championship began.
The two affected players remain in isolation but the rule mandating teams had to start with four players was waived in order for the Germans to continue.
"Obviously we knew that they were struggling," said Jentsch. "We’ve also seen the stuff that’s on social media and it’s tough when you have the Maple Leaf on your back. Everyone has big expectations for them. They’re a great team and they’re just not quite there this week.
"For us, it’s easy to play against a team that’s already broken a little bit. And we have nothing to lose — we’re a three-person team right now — so we can just go out there and play. That’s never a good, fair playing field."
Meilleur was still hopeful.
"It's still in our hands and all we can do is win out the rest of the games and then wait and see what happens," she said. "And that's all we can do at this point (and) that's what we're going to try and bring our game, every game and put ourselves in that position to hopefully be in the playoffs at the end of this."
Added Einarson: "Sometimes you play the best when your backs against the wall. You just gotta go out there firing and you know, feed off of each other and celebrate those small things out there."
Next up for Canada is a Tuesday morning matchup with Italy followed by an evening showdown against Scotland.
Meanwhile, play continued at the worlds despite an absence of television coverage when four members of the event’s broadcast team tested positive for COVID-19 Sunday.
TSN broadcasts are not expected to resume until Wednesday.
"We’ve heard the news and we feel for the people that are in this situation but we also know how well it’s being handled so far and we’re trusting Curling Canada and we’re (expecting) that they will do the right stuff," said Jentsch Sunday. "I mean, they know what they’re doing and I think we just have to trust them."
— staff / The Canadian Press