Finland win women’s and men’s B-Division to secure promotion

  • Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Both Finland’s women’s and men’s teams won their respective B-Division finals at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2017 in St Gallen, Switzerland on Friday (24 November) afternoon.

In the women’s gold medal game, the Finns edged a Latvia team who produced a strong comeback having been 7-1 down after four ends, to level the game 7-7 after nine ends. In a decisive tenth end the contest was decided, at 8-7.

In the men’s final, Finland took a commanding 8-3 win over Poland. Aku Kauste’s side led 5-0 early on, with three points in the seventh end securing victory, as the Poles conceded with two ends remaining.

In the bronze medal matches, Czech Republic men took third place after an 8-4 win over Spain. The women’s match saw Norway and Estonia go into the tenth end level at 4-4, with Marie Turmann leading her Estonian team to a 5-4 victory in the extra end.

The medal winning teams are:

G Finland women: Oona Kauste (skip), Eszter Juhasz (third), Maija Salmiovirta (second), Jenni Rasanen (lead) and Lotta Immonen (alternate)
S Latvia women: Iveta Stasa-Sarsune (skip), Ieva Krusta (third), Santa Blumberga (second), Evelina Barone (lead) and Madara Bremane (alternate)
B Estonia women: Marie Turmann (skip), Kerli Laidsalu (third), Victoria-Laura Lohmus (second), Erika Tuvike (lead) and Heili Grossmann (alternate)

G Finland men: Aku Kauste (skip), Kasper Hakunti (third), Pauli Jaamies (second), Janne Pitko (lead) and Kalle Kiiskinen (alternate)
S Poland men: Borys Jasiecki (skip), Krzysztof Domin (third), Damian Cebula (second), Bartosz Lobaza (lead) and Knorad Stych (alternate)
B Czech Republic men: Jiri Snitil (skip), Lukas Klima (third), Martin Snitil (second), Jindrich Kitzberger (lead) and Samuel Mokris (alternate)

World challenge series commences

Italy men took a first step towards next year’s World Curling Championship with a 6-2 win over Finland at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2017 in St Gallen on Friday evening.

In the first of their best of three game, skip Joel Retornaz’s team scored one point in each of the first four ends before extending their lead to 6-0 after the fifth-end break. Despite a two-point collection at the end of the eighth end, the Finnish conceded shortly afterwards.

In the women’s draw, a tight contest saw Denmark beat Finland to take a one-nil series lead after an 8-5 win. In what was a close contest, the B-Division winners pushed the Danes to the tenth end, before a final single point for skip Madeleine Dupont’s team confirmed victory.

Elsewhere, in the men’s B-Division, Estonia beat Denmark 9-7 in their first relegation play-off match. They’ll play Belgium at 09:00 on Saturday (26 November) morning after they lost to Slovenia 10-6.

These results confirm Denmark’s relegation to next year’s C-Division, while Slovenia remain in the B-Division.

With the women’s B-Division now complete, Poland and Belarus are relegated and will play in the 2018 C-Division.

Denmark women and Italy men book World Curling Championships places

Denmark women's team and Italy's men will compete at the 2018 World Curling Championships in North Bay, Canada [17-25 March] and Las Vegas, United States [31 March-8 April] respectively. These two teams join the seven other European Member Associations who had already booked their spots by finish between first and seventh place in the A-Division rankings.

Though, both Denmark and Italy finished in eighth place in the A-Division, they both had a challenge from Finland - women and men; the winners of the B-Division championships - for the world places.

Denmark women took a one-nil lead in the world challenge series on Friday (24 November) night. In a close second contest, the B-Division winners led by skip Oona Kauste scored two points in the opening two ends, with Finland leading 5-4 at the scheduled break. However, three points in the sixth end for the Finns put the Danes under pressure, with Madeleine Dupont’s concession coming at the conclusion of the ninth end, with the score at 9-6.

Finland got off to the perfect start in the third and final match, scoring four points in the second end but, Denmark rallied well with the score 5-5 at the interval. Then, with the scores tied at 7-7 going into the tenth end, a single point was enough to give the Danes an 8-7 win, which confirmed their place at the Worlds.

Italy men will appear at this season’s Worlds after a 7-2 win over Finland in the Curling Center St Gallen.

The victory saw Joel Retornaz’s team take the series two-nil, carrying on from Friday’s 6-2 result in the first of the best of three world challenge matches. Italy, who scored three points in the third and seventh ends, pinned back a Finnish side who were too far behind to challenge, with Aku Kauste conceding shortly after the eighth end.
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