Switzerland men reach World Junior play-offs as round-robin concludes

  • Switzerland's lead Reto Schoenenberger © WCF / Richard Gray

Scotland beat Sweden by 7-3 in Thursday evening's final men’s round-robin session to complete their programme undefeated with nine wins and qualify for the World Junior Curling Championships 2018 semi-finals in first place.

Second-placed Canada and the third-placed Americans also won, as Canada beat Germany by 4-2 while United States had an 8-2 win over Norway. These two will now face each other in the semi-finals at 19:00 (Greenwich Mean Time) on Friday.

At the start of this session, Germany, Norway, and Switzerland were all tied in fourth place, but Switzerland was the only one of the three to win in this session, beating Russia by 7-5 for their fifth win. This moved the Swiss into a clear fourth place on their own, meaning they will now face leaders Scotland in the other semi-final.

Germany finished fifth while Norway placed sixth overall. These two teams shared the same won four, lost five record, but Germany’s earlier defeat of Norway meant they finished higher than the Norwegians.

In the fifth game of the session, China beat Korea by 8-7 with a last-stone open draw by their skip Zhiyu Wang. This gave them a final record of three wins and six losses, the same as Sweden. However, Sweden’s earlier win over China gave them the crucial seventh-place ranking to directly qualify for next year’s World Junior Curling Championships, while China ranked eighth and now join ninth-placed Korea and tenth-placed Russia in having to qualify for next year's event in Liverpool, Nova Scotia, Canada through the Junior-B event.

Next live men’s game on World Curling TV: Scotland v Switzerland on Friday 9 March at 19:00 (Greenwich Mean Time)

They said it

Andrew Stopera; skip, United States (after 8-2 win over Norway): “We know it’s going to be a good game against Canada. We’ve played them a bunch of times before and they always give us a run for our money. We’re looking forward to it. Last year we were a first-year team in this event and didn’t really know what to expect. Now we kind of know what it feels like to be in those big moments. Any kind of experience you can get on this kind of stage with this crowd and this environment is helpful.”

Tyler Tardi; skip, Canada (after 4-2 win over Norway): “We were a little devastated last year with the result that we didn’t exactly want. I’m proud of how we’re doing this year, one goal down and two games left to go. I’ve known Luc [Violette] since I was about 11 because we had competitions between our two clubs growing up. We’re good friends on the ice and off the ice, so it’ll be good. To us having the hammer is huge. They keep it a little more open than other teams and we usually have a big momentum boost when we have it.”

Jan Hess; skip, Switzerland (after 7-5 win over Russia): ”We’re pretty excited for play-offs now. That game was a fight, but we’re now looking ahead. Last game against Scotland we had some bad rocks. If we play a little bit better then we’re for sure going to force them to play a really good game. We have nothing to lose. We’ll give our best, and if it’s enough, it’s enough.”

Ross Whyte; skip, Scotland (after 7-3 win over Sweden): "It’s terrific. We had a really good game plan right through the round-robin and we managed to stick to it, so we’re really pleased and hopefully we can carry on to the semi-final. We’re going to have to really re-focus and get back into a really sharp mood. We’ll plan out the 24 hours before the semi-final tonight."

Men session nine results: Russia 5-7 Switzerland; United States 8-2 Norway; Germany 2-4 Canada; Korea 7-8 China; Scotland 7-3 Sweden

Final standings after men’s session nine (win-loss):

Q Scotland 9-0
Q Canada 7-2
Q United States 7-2
Q Switzerland 5-4
Germany 4-5
Norway 4-5
Sweden 3-6
>B China 3-6
>B Korea 2-7
>B Russia 1-8

Q – qualified for play-offs
>B – relegated to Junior-B event

For all the curling action from World Junior Curling Championships 2018 follow the World Curling Federation on Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) Twitter and Instagram (@worldcurling) and use the hashtags: #curling #WJCC2018