SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. — There’s no need for Chelsea Carey to make any excuses.
When you win both the games you play in a day at the women’s world curling championship, you can walk away with your head held high.
But after grinding to two difficult victories, Carey admitted that a dramatic change in ice conditions between Tuesday morning’s 7-5 win over Germany and a 5-4 victory over Italy in the afternoon draw had taken a toll.
“This morning we came up against a team that played really well and we had to be patient and wait it out,” Carey said. “(This afternoon) it was like being in a different club. We were just really fooled by how hard we had to throw ends.”
If the Canadian team — which includes third Amy Nixon, second Jocelyn Peterman and lead Laine Peters — comes away with a gold medal at the end of the week, nobody’s going to remember the struggles along the way.
But it was still striking to see Canada needing a point in the 10th end to beat the winless rink from Italy.
Carey had been lights-out against Germany, curling 92 per cent and largely masking the struggles of some of her teammates. Against Italy, Carey was missed big in the first end and was frantically trying to figure out how hard she needed to throw her draws.
“I looked like a fool in the first end,” Carey said. “I threw it exactly how we wanted me to, and I looked like an idiot because I came up 10 feet short.”
Packed houses at the Credit Union iPlex and temperatures outside that have mostly been unseasonably high made keeping the ice consistent a huge challenge for the ice-makers crew in Swift Current.
Carey was sympathetic to the difficulties and insisted she wasn’t blaming them for the problems. But the conditions Tuesday afternoon forced her team to abandon the finesse game they usually play to beat the less-experienced Italians.
And it’s unlikely that the ice will gain consistency as the weekend’s playoffs creep closer.
“It’s very frustrating to look like an idiot half the time,” Carey said. “We’re going to have to play a bunch more games in those conditions, so we need to figure it out.
“I actually think with the ice the way it is, it’s much more of a mental grind than it is physical because everyone’s going to miss a ton of shots, there’s just no two ways about it.”
The win improved Canada’s record to 6-1 and kept them tied atop the standings with Switzerland.
Canada will face South Korea (2-4) on Wednesday afternoon and has an evening date with Finland (1-5).