SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — Canada’s Chelsea Carey and her Calgary-based rink won’t win gold at the women’s curling world championship.
But they have gained perspective.
Carey mounted a late charge against Russia’s Anna Sidorova but came up short in a 7-4 loss on Saturday afternoon in the 3-4 Page playoff of the international event. Carey and her teammates offered their hands in the 10th end after it was clear they would not be able to tie it and force extra ends.
"It’s been an amazing ride," said Carey after the loss. "We really wanted to come here and get into the final and have a chance at a gold medal for Canada. I’ve never been more humbled and honoured by anything in my life as I have been by wearing the Maple Leaf this week."
Russia and Canada will meet again on Sunday in the bronze-medal game. Sidorova lost to Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa 7-5 in 11 ends in the tournament's semifinal on Saturday night.
Switzerland's Binia Feltscher will play Fujisawa in the final on Sunday after beating Japan in the 1-2 Page playoff.
"Obviously, we'd like to change the result of it but the experience has been absolutely outstanding," said Carey. "Spectacular. Blew every expectation I had out of the water."
Winnipeg's Jennifer Jones was the last Canadian to win a world title back in 2008. Canada will still earn points toward Olympic qualifying, with more points being awarded to a higher finish at the world championship.
Carey and her rink have had an impressive run in their inaugural season.
Carey, who previously curled in Manitoba and Edmonton, replaced two-time Canadian champion Heather Nedohin as the rink's skip. With Carey at the helm, lead Laine Peters, second Jocelyn Peterman and third Amy Nixon rolled through Alberta's playdowns and then won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts to become national champions and represent Canada at the worlds.
"It's been an incredible season and certainly there's a chance tomorrow to still do something that I'd be very, very proud of," said Nixon, while holding her daughter in her arms. "I never could have imagined many times this season that I'd be standing here in front of you people today with a chance at a bronze medal tomorrow.
"That's OK. That's OK."
Sidorova threw a blank in the first end to keep the hammer, then threw an easy draw for a deuce and a 2-0 lead after two ends. A pair of misplayed rocks put Canada in a difficult position in the third end, with Carey's attempted hit and roll on the last rock rolling through the house with Russia sitting two.
That gave Sidorova a commanding 4-0 lead.
"We couldn't buy one," said Carey. "Everything that could go wrong, did. Sometimes that happens."
Slow rocks continued to frustrate Canada, but Carey threw a simple draw in the fourth to make it 4-1.
Carey almost got a steal of one in the fifth end, but a hit and roll by Sidorova was found by the measuring stick to be slightly closer to the button. Canada opted for a blank in the sixth end to keep the hammer heading into the seventh.
A double takeout by Carey in the seventh end scored Canada a deuce, making it 5-3. Sidorova replied with a deuce of her own on a hit and roll to make it 7-3 in the eighth. Carey threw a slow draw in the ninth end for a single to make it 7-4.
The Rider Pep Band, decked out in the green and white jerseys of the Canadian Football League's Saskatchewan Roughriders, provided entertainment during television timeouts.
Curling Canada's mascot Slider, a man in curling tights with a large curling rock for a head, also entertained the fans in the stands at Credit Union iPlex.