Canada starts curling winless, Purcell and Marks fall to South Korea, Switzerland

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – A snowy Saturday in Lake Placid didn’t bring the tournament start that Canada’s curlers were hoping for. 

Canada’s Team Abby Marks fell in their opening game to South Korea, while the men’s Canadian rink of Team Owen Purcell blanked three ends in as they faltered against Switzerland. 

Team Abby Marks falls to South Korea 

It wasn’t quite the start that Team Abby Marks looked for in the women’s curling tournament, falling to South Korea 6-5.

After holding South Korea to just a point in the first end, Canada’s Marks threw to the button to draw a pair for Canada, giving them a lead after two ends. Yet, a failed hit-and-stick attempt in the fourth end gave Korea a 4-2 lead that they didn’t relinquish.

Things didn’t get better from there, as Team Marks surrendered a steal in the fifth, and despite Catherine Clifford throwing a double to sit three in the seventh, Korea took the insurance point to seal their victory.

“I think the team definitely played really well. I just need to kind of get it together a little bit more,” Marks said after the game. “I’m happy with our start, and I think we can only go up from there.”

“We knew [South Korea] were going to be a really strong team, and hopefully, we get to play them again.”

Team Marks, representing the Alberta Pandas, qualified for the FISU Games by winning Curling Canada’s FISU qualifier in Ottawa in September, defeating the Regina Cougars in the final.

While they couldn’t force extra ends against South Korea, the Canadians look ahead to a busy Saturday, with a 9:00 am ET clash against USA’s Team Strouse and a 7:00 pm ET game against Team Japan. 

Team Owen Purcell blanks three, beaten by Switzerland

Canada’s Team Owen Purcell, scored three points in the fourth end. Still, it wasn’t enough to establish any insurance over Switzerland, as they blanked the final three ends and dropped their opening game 7-4 at the Saranac Lake Civic Centre.

Canada trailed early in the game but scored their first in the second end, bringing the deficit to 2-1, and it wasn’t until a close measurement call in the fourth end for the triple that Canada got the lead at 4-3 over the Swiss. 

With Switzerland earning a steal and holding hammer, Team Purcell couldn’t post any more points, falling to the Swiss 7-4. 

“I thought that the game was pretty well played from both teams, they came off really hot from the beginning of the game, and I thought that we actually struggled a bit early on, but we started to get our footing a little bit, get our feet under us,” Purcell said. 

“They played a really solid game; my teammates played really well and just couldn’t quite put it away. We played pretty well, but they were the better team today.”

Representing the Dalhousie Tigers and Team Canada, Purcell leads vice-skip Jeffrey Meagher, second Adam McEachren, lead David McCurdy, and alternate Caelan McPherson. The Halifax rink qualified for the Games with a FISU qualifying over the Laurier Golden Hawks in September. 

Team Owen Purcell will try to grab Canada’s first curling win of Lake Placid 2023 when they return to the pebbled ice on Saturday to take on Czechia at 2:00 pm ET.

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