CALGARY – John Morris’ time in Calgary’s curling bubble has come to an end.
The Canmore curling star and teammate Danielle Schmiemann of Edmonton won bronze at the 2021 Home Hardware Canadian Mixed Doubles after being defeated Thursday (March 25) in the semifinals to Brad Gushue and Kerri Einarson, 7-6, at the WinSport Arena.
“Percentage-wise, that was the best a team played against us all week,” said Morris in a press release.
“They were probably a few percentage points better than us. It was a very well-curled game. I think it was entertaining, a lot of shots made. But when you’re going up against 90 per cent curling in mixed doubles, we’re in for a battle and we have to match them shot for shot, and we didn’t quite do that.”
Tied at 6 in the eighth and final end, the intense game concluded when Einarson, with the last stone, made her draw to edge out the foes and advance to the finals.
“As soon as Danielle was throwing (her last stone), I was already eyeing it up,” said Einarson in a press release. “I knew exactly where I was going to need to hit it, so I felt very comfortable throwing it.”
Morris and Schmiemann take home $20,000 for bronze.
Morris, a two-time Olympic gold medallist including at the 2018 mixed doubles, and Schmiemann finished 5-1 in their pool, advancing to the playoffs with a first round bye.
In an interesting battle, Morris' new tandem would defeat his Olympic gold medallist partner, Kaitlyn Lawes, in Pool E action last Friday.
"We still have a ton of respect for each other and we’re both competitors and as excited as I’m sure we both were to play each other, we were giving ‘er,” said Morris.
From pool play to the qualifying round, the duo eliminated the teams of Catlin Schneider and Shannon Birchard, and Kirk Muyres and Laura Walker, and then were one win away from the gold medal game – twice.
They lost 7-6 to Colton Lott and Kadriana Sahaidak in the Page playoff 1-2 game, getting bumped to the semis matchup against Gushue and Einarson
Lott and Sahaidak face Gushue and Einarson in the gold medal game Thursday at 7 p.m.
Schmiemann, a 2015 world junior curling championships gold medallist, replaced Morris’ regular mixed doubles partner, Rachel Homan, who’s out due to being late into her pregnancy.
“The approach I’m trying this week is that I’m just really grateful to be here,” said Schmiemann.
“Being here with John has been such an amazing learning experience and I’m so excited to take all of the things that we worked on together and that he’s passed on to me, and take that forward in not only mixed doubles, but also fours curling.”
Morris playfully added: “I almost gave her all my secrets, but I still kept a few in the bank just in case we play each other one day.”