TEAM MUIRHEAD CROWNED HDF SHOOT-OUT CHAMPIONS
Team Muirhead have got their Olympic season off to a sensational start after winning the HDF Shoot-Out tournament in Canada.
Their title win followed a strong semi final performance at the Grand Slam of Curling tour event last week which was their first competitive outing of the season, where they narrowly lost out to the rink led by Anna Hasselborg. However when they met the Swedish Olympic representatives for PyeongChang in the final in Edmonton, it was the Scots who prevailed this time around beating the Swedes 7-5.
Having finished as runners up at the event in Alberta last year, claiming the crown this time around and their first tour win of the season bodes well for the rink selected as the Team GB standard bearers for the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.
Skip Eve Muirhead said after their first overseas campaign, “After a solid semi final at the Grand Slam last week in Regina, we built on that coming into this week in Edmonton. Playing well throughout we showed grit and great team unity to come out on top!
“It feels great to have a tour win under our belts this early in the season and all we can do now is build on that for the coming events.”
Fellow Team GB representatives Team Smith were also continuing their Canadian campaign, competing in the Shorty Jenkins Classic in Ontario where they reached the quarter finals and were beaten 6-5 by Norway’s Team Walstad.
Team Smith’s coach Viktor Kjell reflected on the team’s performances: “It was a good week in Cornwall and they played some of the best curling so far this season and it was a little disappointing not to make it pass the quarters and we felt we had something good going.
“As a coach I am very pleased with where we are at this stage of the season and the training we did in August is definitely starting to pay off and we still have areas to improve on so I am excited to see what the next few weeks has to give.”
Team Stirling Gin skipped by Greg Drummond who were drawn in the same pool as their fellow Scots, went a stage further before they were beaten in the semi-final 6-3 by Olympic champions, Team Jacobs who went on to win the title. Drummond, who formed a new look team this year with Team Smith’s alternate Glen Muirhead stepping in for Gregor Cannon at this event, said after the game: "Overall we very satisfied with our performance this week in Cornwall.
“Glen slotted into the team nicely at second and gave a solid performance all week. We learned quite a lot about ourselves over the three weeks in Canada and this week we used those learnings to produce seven high quality games.
“Our win over Team Gushue was a high point of the week as it confirmed our qualification into the quarter finals. The game was a high quality exchange and came down to a perfectly swept draw to the button in the extra end.
“We faced a very good team Jacobs in the semi final and came up just short. We are pleased to have picked up some valuable order of merit points and look to take this form into our next event.”
In the women’s event Team Fleming also made it to the knock out stages of the Shorty Jenkins Classic, picking up valuable tour points. They lost their quarter final 8-6 to Team Duncan from Toronto.
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