Canada continued to march towards the weekend medal games and an unbeaten round-robin record on Wednesday afternoon at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championships in Regina, Canada, with their ninth straight victory, a 10-6 win over Sweden, one of the teams fighting to join them in the Play-off stages.
The Canadian win was largely set up by a score of four in the second end, which they added to with a further three points in the fourth.
After this game, Canadian skip Jeff Stoughton said, “it’s been a great week so far and we’ve got lots of work left still to do. We’re not going to let the train stop and we’re going to keep on rolling. We’ve got two great games tomorrow, and while it may look convincing for us out there, you’re just grinding away”.
Meanwhile Swedish skip Niklas Edin said, “we wanted a tight game, win or lose. We just wanted to have a good game and that was not a good game”. Looking forward, he added, “all the games are important now. Bouncing back is not going to be a problem. I think we’ve got a good chance in the rest of the games.”
At the same time, second-placed Scotland were comfortably in control of their game against Denmark as they ran out 7-3 winners, while France’s charge to the medal stages was halted – at least temporarily – by Germany who won a tight game by 6-5, to keep their own medal hopes alive.
After the game against Denmark, Scottish skip Tom Brewster said, “it’s nice to win after last night (loss to Canada) and keep a pretty good record at the top. That’s a big win”.
However, in their evening session later, the Scots went down by 5-7 to a Norwegian team fighting for Play-off survival. Crucially in this game, Scotland gave up a three in the fifth end and a steal of one in the sixth when, not for the first time in the week, Brewster’s final draw was short.
After this game, Brewster said, “that doesn’t hurt us from a standing point of view, but it would have been nicer to have a win, and it would have been good to put them (Norway) out, they’re a good team”.
In the fourth game of the afternoon session, China beat Korea in the all-Asia face-off, winning by 9-6, a win which was secured through a score of four for China in the fourth end.
Five teams still in contention to join Canada in the play-off stages – including Norway and Scotland - were in action in the evening session.
Germany’s Andy Kapp kept his Play-off ambition alive through a 7-4 win over Switzerland, after which he said, “we’re staying alive against really good Swiss guys. We lost twice against them at the Europeans and we said it’s now our time”.
Germany concludes the round-robin programme on Thursday against two teams now out of contention- Denmark and the Czech Republic - but Kapp is wary of the task ahead. “None of these games is easy. We don’t know if Denmark are playing just for fun, and sometimes this is more difficult than in other games. This Czech team is really playing well, so there are no easy games tomorrow. But we are in a good position now, if we keep playing like we did today, I hope we can make it”.
Meanwhile, back on after his earlier loss to Canada, and after a crucial pick-up on a last shot in the tenth end that would have given him victory, Sweden’s Niklas Edin had a final promote shot in an extra end that went wrong, as he lost by 5-6 to the Czechs. Afterwards, a still shell-shocked Edin said, “we should not have been in the extra end, the pick in the tenth was so unfortunate. We’re going to play the same tomorrow, hopefully we’ll win, and hopefully no picks”.
These results leave France, who sat the evening session out, in a clear third place with six wins.
With each team having two more games to play in Thursday’s finals round-robin day, second-placed Scotland, on seven wins, are in the strongest position behind Canada and ahead of third-placed France; while Germany , Norway, Sweden and Switzerland, all on five wins, are still battling away to reach the weekend’s medal games.
In the fourth game of the evening session, China beat USA by 5-4, although neither can now make the medal stages.
Standings after 14 sessions:
United States 3-6
Czech Republic 3-6
Session 13: Canada 10, Sweden 6; Germany 6, France 5; Denmark 3, Scotland 7; Korea 6, China 9.
Session 14: USA 4, China 5; Norway 7, Scotland 5; Germany 7, Switzerland 4; Czech Republic 6, Sweden 5.
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