Spallumcheen’s Ina Forrest has three Paralympics wheelchair curling medals to her credit.
She will play for a fourth.
Forrest and Team Canada punched its ticket to the semifinals Thursday morning, March 10, with a dramatic come-from-behind 7-6 win over Norway, finishing with a 7-3 record and a guaranteed spot in the top four.
Trailing by three with three ends to play, Canada scored two, bringing the Norwegians within one. A great hit and roll by Canada’s Jon Thurston forced Norway to one in the seventh, meaning Canada would play the eighth down two, with the hammer.
A perfect end by the Canadians and a costly miss from Norway left Canada sitting three with two rocks to come. Norwegian skip Jostein Stordahl attempted a freeze, but left enough room that a well placed Canadian takeout could remove it, and win the game.
And that’s exactly what happened. After the dust had settled, Canada scored three and completed the comeback win, 7-6.
“I just stuck to my process. I really wanted to confirm the weight and the path,” said Thurston, who throws fourth stones for Canada, to Curling Canada. “We talked it out so I was clear on what I was trying to do. I threw it nice and positive, and we got the result we wanted.”
A Canadian loss would not have guaranteed elimination, but it would have made a mess of the leaderboard, as several teams are hovering around the four loss mark with two draws left to play. There were dozens of potential permutations, but the Canadian victory means that all those situations will be avoided.
Canada has now completed its 10-game round robin, but due to the space in the draw left by the banned team from Russia, some teams still have two games to play. While China, Sweden, and Canada are confirmed playoff teams, the fourth and final playoff spot won’t be decided until late Thursday night (early Thursday morning Eastern Time).
“I think we thought we should be a playoff team, so it’s great that we officially are,” said Forrest, third for Team Canada. “I think we just go forward playing the same no matter who we play – treating every shot like it matters, and do your best on every single one. We don’t ever quit, so we’re always going to be there.”
But first, the team will take some time to decompress.
The semifinals are slated for Friday, March 11, and the gold-medal game goes Saturday, March 12.
• Lumby’s Logan Leach and guide Julien Petit had no official result for Canada in the Para Alpine men’s visually impaired giant slalom race Thursday morning, March 9.
Leach, at 19, the youngest member of Team Canada’s Paralympians, and Petit got through the course in one minute 5.85 seconds in their first run, but did not finish the second run for no official result.
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