Canada’s curlers hit a dicey patch

Canada's skip Amber Holland calls for sweepers during their match against the Czech Republic at the...

Canada's skip Amber Holland calls for sweepers during their match against the Czech Republic at the World Women's Curling Championships in Esbjerg March 20, 2011. (REUTERS/Bob Strong)

JIM BENDER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 PM ET

Something is starting to rot for the Saskatchewan squad in the state of Denmark.

Team Canada's Amber Holland lost to a pair of lower-ranked teams Sunday at the World Women's Curling Championship in Esbjerg, Denmark.

Holland heads into Monday's play with a dicey 1-2 record and in a four-way tie for eighth place. Yes, eighth.

Holland gave up steals of two in both the sixth and seventh ends as she blew a 3-1 lead in bowing to Denmark's Lene Nielsen 8-5.

"This is probably not the start I wanted," Holland told the Canadian Curling Association website. "I'd like to be more in the win column than in the loss, but it's a long week and lots can happen."

It was the first win of the week for the hometown favourites.

"It's amazing when you've never played Canada before," Nielsen said. "We just went out there and gave it all we've got. It's amazing to have so much support, even when we'd lost the first two games."

Earlier Sunday, Russia's Liudmila Privivkova cracked a three in the fourth end to take a 5-1 lead, then coasted to a 9-4 upset victory over the Canucks. Privivkova played so poorly at last year's Worlds in Swift Current, Sask., that she was benched for a couple of games and was later inserted on the front end. Holland was not a happy camper after that loss, either.

"That's called not being very sharp," she said. "We just didn't make many shots today. We had trouble getting our rocks in the right places. They got their rocks in some good spots and we didn't counter with the right shots afterwards.

"I think it's just a little bit about getting comfortable with the ice and comfortable with what we need to do here "¦ We had a few players who were struggling a little bit and that doesn't help, because you've got to be firing on all four cylinders."

Canada faces Scotland and Norway in critical contests Monday.

Meanwhile, China's former world champ Bingyu Wang upset Germany's defending champion Andrea Schopp 8-2 to move into a seven-way tie for first at 2-1. Germany fell to 2-1, meaning there are no more unbeaten teams in Denmark. The Czech Republic's Anna Kubeskova also surprised Norway's Linn Githmark 7-5 in an extra end.


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