Team Kim return to form with definitive 10-5 win over Japan
Team Kim snapped their run of bad luck in spectacular fashion on Monday night, beating Japan by such a large margin the second-placed team was forced to concede after nine ends.
Korea played like a completely different team to the one that had lost two straight games to China and the United States over the previous 24 hours, beating Japan 10-5 in a dominant performance against their PyeongChang Olympics rivals.
Team Kim didn't waste any time at the National Aquatics Centre on Monday, stealing a point in the first end despite Japan winning the hammer to start the game.
Japan kept the hammer in the second end, scoring two points to take the score to 2-1, the only time Korea gave up the lead throughout the game.
Korea responded immediately, taking three points in the third end and then stealing a fourth point in the fourth end to take the score to 5-2 with less than half of the game played.
Japan attempted to rally with two points in the fifth but Korea still held the lead, cementing it with an additional two points in the sixth. Korea then stole yet another point in the seventh end before Japan was able to get one back in the eighth.
Team Kim were able to add two more points in the ninth to take the score to 10-5 and Japan were left with no choice but to concede the game without a tenth end.
The dramatic win against a high-ranked team snaps Korea's run of bad luck that started on Sunday afternoon.
Having lost their first game to Canada and then beaten Great Britain and the ROC, Team Kim were looking strong going into their game against China on Sunday. Despite a close-fought game, however, Korea ended up dropping that game 6-5 for their second loss of the tournament.
The game against China was followed by an even more disastrous one against the United States on Monday morning. Although the score again remained close — ending at 8-6 — Team Kim hugely underperformed, with skip Kim Eun-jung's draw rate dropping to 65 percent and the overall team draw rate falling to 75 percent.
Whatever caused problems for Korea on Monday morning was nowhere to be seen on Monday evening, when Kim threw up an impressive 85 percent draw rate, with the team rate only slightly lower at 84 percent.
With six games now played, Korea remain in sixth place with three wins and three losses, just behind Great Britain and Sweden in joint fourth with three wins and two losses each as of press time.
In the women's curling tournament, each team plays a total of nine games in the round robin tournament, with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals. Games are played daily, although the draw may leave some teams with multiple games on one day and none on another.
Team Kim will get a day to rest on Tuesday before returning to the ice on Wednesday for a challenging penultimate day of the round robin tournament. Korea will first face the top-ranked Switzerland at 10:05 a.m., and then return to the ice in the evening to take on Denmark at 9:05 p.m.
BY JIM BULLEY [firstname.lastname@example.org]