LONDON, Ont. — When you’re hot at the OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup, presented by Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing, you can always turn it up another notch.
Team Europe’s Scottish duo of Eve Muirhead and Bobbie Lammie were absolutely red-hot during their Saturday afternoon mixed doubles draw at The Sports Centre at Western Fair District.
They followed up a four-ender with a steal of three against Team Canada’s Rachel Homan of St. Paul, Alta., and Ben Hebert of Cherstermere, Alta., cruising to a 10-2 win.
In other games Sweden’s Agnes Knochenhauer/Rasmus Wranaa salvaged a 7-7 tie with Selena Njegovan/B.J. Neufeld, both from Winnipeg; while Swiss pair Melanie Barbezat/Peter de Cruz handled Canada’s Lisa Weagle (Ottawa)/John Epping (Toronto) 8-4.
With Team Europe’s 2.5-0.5 session win the team extended its lead to 17.5-6.5.
“It definitely wasn’t lucky,” said Muirhead, who gladly accepted when Team Canada offered to end the game after six ends. “We just outplayed them. We played great. We just dominated the game every end. When you can get four in the first end, it puts you in an upward mood already. We played really well, so I’m delighted to get another point for Team Europe.”
Whatever Team Europe’s game plan was coming into this week, they’re managing to execute it well, giving Team Canada no breathing room at all after the first eight of 11 sessions.
“Yeah, we are doing it well,” said Muirhead. “We’re having such a lot of fun here. We have such a close-knit team and we’re all friends as well. Having fun is the key, but when they step on the ice, the plan is to win. It’s good. Everything’s going well.
“We’re kind of in a position we want to be in. A lot is at stake tomorrow. We know the skins. We’ve got to keep going like it’s never over until the last stone is thrown.”
Looking at an unprecedented back-to-back European win in the 16-event history of the OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup could do a lot to help boost the sports already raising profile across the pond.
“We all know the Continental Cup is a big event in the curling calendar,” said Muirhead. “A lot of effort going into making this event possible. For Europe to win last year in Vegas was fantastic. We’re coming into this year with the same sort of expectations. We know we’re a good team. Having never won it back-t0-back, it would be something really cool to do.”
Lammie, who plays second on Bruce Mouat’s team, also had a good outing.
“We knew as long as we controlled the game and made the key shots after that (four-ender), we could hold on and finish off,” said Lammie. “We had good control of the weights on the ice, got the draws into the right spots and that won it for us.
“Going into that game, we really thought it was going to be a hard game and we thought we were going to have to grind it out. Thankfully, we were on our A-game and finish it off quite convincingly.”
Helping curling gain a higher European profile is always in the back of the minds of its representatives who put their reputations on the line at these types on international events.
“That would be pretty special if we could go back-to-back,” said Lammie. “It would definitely be good for the sport in Europe to promote it and get as much TV time as possible.”
The 2020 OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup continues with a draw today at 7:30 p.m. (all times EST).
TSN/TSN2 and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of the OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.
The OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup format pits Team Canada against Team Europe in a series of team play, mixed doubles, scrambles and skins games. Teams earn points by winning games and the first to score 30.5 points is declared the OK Tire & BKT Tires Continental Cup champion.
For ticket information, as well as team lineups, go to https://www.curling.ca/2020continentalcup/
This story will be posted in French as soon as possible at: https://www.curling.ca/?lang=fr