Defending champions, Sweden join hosts in European play-offs

  • Sweden's lead Christoffer Sundgren Photo: © WCF / Eakin Howard

After Wednesday (22 November) afternoon’s second-last session of men’s round-robin play at the Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2017 in St Gallen, Switzerland, the semi-final set-up has become clearer.

Defending champions Sweden sealed their qualification and join Switzerland in the play-offs, while, at the other end of the table, the relegation issue is now resolved, with both Austria and Slovakia heading back down to 2018’s B-Division.

Sweden faced Norway in this session, with both teams in a position to qualify for the semi-finals. It was the Swedes who put their mark down first, when skip Niklas Edin played a hit to score four points – giving his team a crucial early lead. They went on to win by 9-7.

Hosts Switzerland had already qualified for the semi-final when they faced Scotland, but were still defending their unbeaten record. In the fifth end of this game, the Swiss took the lead for the first time, scoring three points. This took the score to 4-2. The Swiss then stayed ahead and won by 9-4.

Austria faced Slovakia, with both teams looking for their first win. Austria won when their skip Sebastian Wunderer angled his final stone onto the button for a 9-4 victory. In the other games, Netherlands beat Italy by 6-5 and Germany beat Russia by 7-2, a result that keeps German semi-final hopes alive.

The next live game, on national broadcasters and World Curling TV (note geo-blocking applies), at these championships will be Scotland v Switzerland women at 19:00, Central European Time (+1 hours, Greenwich Mean Time) on Wednesday (22 November) night.

They said it

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 9-7 win over Norway): “It was really important to get a good start against Norway, they are a strong team, especially when they get going. We got a four out of the first end and that made it easier for us – we could play the easy shots and they had to play the tough ones. They were going all in for almost every end, but we just had to keep calm.”

Sebastian Wunderer; skip, Austria (after 9-4 win over Slovakia): “Our preparation this season has not been so good and I think it shows in our performance here. We played well against the wrong teams. I won’t know how I feel about this week for a few days now, but it was important to get that one win."

Men’s session eight results: Russia 2-7 Germany; Scotland 4-9 Switzerland; Italy 5-6 Netherlands; Norway 7-9 Sweden; Slovakia 4-9 Austria

Standings after men’s session eight (W-L):

Q Switzerland 8-0
Q Sweden 7-1
Germany 5-3
Norway 5-3
Scotland 5-3
Netherlands 4-4
Russia 3-5
WCC Italy 2-6
>B Austria 0-7
>B Slovakia 0-7

WCC – Qualify for World Challenge Games
>B – relegated to 2018 B-Division

WCTV highlights