Lawes looks to rebound

JIM BENDER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:01 AM ET

Canada's Kaitlyn Lawes is hoping that yesterday's loss will just be a minor setback.

Lawes dropped a 7-4 decision to Sweden's Anna Hasselborg in her last game of the round robin at the World Junior Curling Championships in Vancouver.

"That was disappointing because a win would have put us in first place," Lawes said from Vancouver. "But we accomplished Step 1 so we're happy with it."

Lawes clinched a playoff spot on Wednesday but the loss yesterday dropped her into third place with a 6-3 record. She will face Russia's Margarita Fomina in the Page playoff three-versus-four game today at 9 p.m. CDT.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Lawes, supported by third Jenna Loder, second Laryssa Grenkow and Breanne Meakin. "I'm looking for revenge because Russia beat us in the three-four game last year."

With a different skip this year, Russia also finished with a 6-3 record after dropping a 9-6 decision to the Czech Republic but was relegated to fourth because Lawes had beaten her 6-4 in the roundrobin. Lawes believes she will be awarded the hammer for finishing third.

Hasselborg cracked a three in the sixth end to take control of the game that she never relinquished.

"I still felt we played pretty well but their skip was deadly on everything," Lawes said. "She was nailing every double, everything."

Lawes, who curls out of Manitoba, did not seem concerned that her foursome is heading into the playoffs on a losing note.

"We're in the playoffs and that's all that matters," she said. "I guess, at the end of the week, we're where we want to be."

The winner of tonight's three-four game will play the loser of the one-two playoff in tomorrow's semifinal. The loser will face the semifinal loser in Sunday's bronze-medal match.

Switzerland's Martina Baumann defeated Japan's Satsuki Fujisawa 7-5 to clinch first place with a 7-2 record. Scotland's two-time defending world junior champion Eve Muirhead finished second at 7-2. They will play each other in the one-two playoff today (9 p.m.). The winner will advance to Sunday's final.

Canada's Brett Gallant had already clinched a berth in the junior men's Page playoff one-two game with an 8-1 record heading into last night's draw.

None of the playoffs will be televised.

Lawes, meanwhile, has been enjoying play at the Vancouver Olympic Centre, where the 2010 Olympic curling will be held.

"It's beautiful," she said. "It's been fun. It's a great arena and a great place to curl."

Although the juniors are following an Olympic schedule at an Olympic venue using drivers and organizers who will be at the Olympics, Lawes does not feel like she is at the Olympics.

"I feel like a junior still," she said. "Not an Olympian."

Mind you, Lawes might change her mind if she is able to upgrade from a bronze to a gold medal.

"That would be wonderful," she said.

jim.bender@sunmedia.ca


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