LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK – As Pepas blares over the speakers and bleeds into Luke Bryan’s Country Girl, Canada’s Team Abby Marks gets ready to roll in the roaring game.
The University of Alberta Pandas rink, representing Canada in women’s curling at the Lake Placid 2023 FISU World University Games, has overtaken the warmup songs at the Saranac Lake Civic Centre. On Saturday, it led them to their first win.
“We thought the DJ was awesome, and she came to ask if we had any requests,” skip Abby Marks told 49 Sports. “So Serena helped us create a playlist with some of our favourites, and now they play them for the whole arena.”
Indeed, there might be something to a little music to get Canada in the groove, as Team Abby Marks picked up their first win of the Games, defeating Japan 9-2 through six ends, after dropping their opening two contests against South Korea and the United States.
“It’s great to get that breakthrough because you don’t like to start losing twice like we did,” Marks said. “I think we know what we need to do now and to just keep building towards that.”
The loss to USA’s Team Delaney Strouse started the day for the Canadians, but they righted the ship against Japan’s Team Sae Yamamoto.
Canada held Japan to single draws in the opening and third ends and led 4-2 after four ends before doubling their lead and sealing the game, scoring four on the steal when Japan was light on its final throw.
“We were much better at stringing shots together through all the positions, and that made our lives a little bit easier, and I hope that momentum carries,” Marks said.
With the win, Team Abby Marks moved up to fifth place in the women’s curling standings and gets set to take on Team Spain in their single game of Sunday’s draw.
Yet, with their custom rhythms blaring over the speakers during the warmups, the Canadians might just be hitting their stride in the women’s curling competition.
Men’s curling picks up win over Czech Republic
Canada’s Team Owen Purcell of Dalhousie University picked up their first win of the Games, defeating Czechia on Saturday, defeating Team David Jakl 8-1 to get the first victory hurdle out of the way.
While Canada blanked the first two ends, they held off Czechia through the first five, while stealing a point in the fourth and drawing two in the fifth to take the game out of reach for the Czechs.
Sitting third in the standings after the first two draws, Team Owen Purcell has a Sunday morning meeting with Brazil, before taking on Japan in the evening session.