Swedes making shots when they count

Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson shouts at teammates to sweep during their game against China at...

Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson shouts at teammates to sweep during their game against China at the World Women's Curling Championships in Lethbridge, Alta., March 21, 2012. (ANDY CLARK/Reuters)

CON GRIWKOWSKY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:21 AM ET

LETHBRIDGE, QMI AGENCY - A quiet confidence seems to follow the Swedish contingent at the world women's curling championship.

According to the stats, the team is ranked only No. 4.

Yet, with Margaretha Sigfridsson skipping and Maria Prytz delivering last rock, the team has demonstrated an uncanny ability of making the right shot at the right time.

The Swedes (7-2) have completed their schedule against their fellow front-runners -- beating Canada and Switzerland, losing only to Korea.

"If we keep on winning our games, we will keep our place at the table, so that's what's most important," Sigfridsson said. "I think there's a little room to get better in focusing a bit more and doing the stones a little bit better."

With a playoff position clearly in sight, Sigfridsson has as good a chance as any team to get into the 1-2 game.

"It's important, of course," she said. "That's what we're aiming for, but we would be happy to reach the playoffs."

Sigfridsson was chosen ahead of 2011 world champion Anette Norberg to represent Sweden this year. The decision was based on the team's performance during the season, which included a second-place finish at the European championship in Moscow.

"We've played a few finals at home and performed very well, so that was good," Sigfridsson said. "We did the analysis from Moscow and thought about why we didn't perform well in that (championship) game, but we're through that.

"Of course, we want to play better here, if possible."

Swiss skip Mirjam Ott (6-3) stumbled with a loss to Denmark in her afternoon game Wednesday and her playoff placement will be decided when she faces Korea Friday morning.

"You can't say now how it will turn out," said Ott, a two-time Olympic medallist. "It's still pretty close together. It's surprising, for sure, Korea (7-2). I didn't expect Korea to do this well."

In its three previous appearances at the worlds, Korea had only five wins.

China is now out of the picture and Korea remains the only Asian nation in the lead pack.

"Maybe lucky," skip Ji-Sun Kim said. "Maybe very lucky. Yeah, very unbelievable."

With its momentum building, the U.S. (5-4) seems ready to grab a playoff spot if a frontrunner should falter.

"We just stopped worrying about everybody else," said skip Allison Pottinger, who was born in Brampton, Ont. "We're just staying within ourselves a bit."

Pottinger has rattled off five wins since dropping her first four games.


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