Session 14: Canada and Norway qualify for 1v2 Page Play-off

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Defending champions Norway and hosts Canada qualified for the Page 1v2 Play-off thanks to wins in Wednesday evening's 14th session of round robin play at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2015 in Halifax, Canada.

Canada qualified for the 1v2 play-off after defeating Scotland Photo: WCF/CC/Michael Burns

Canada’s win against Scotland and Norway’s victory over Czech Republic meant that these two teams finished day five of the Championship with eight wins and one loss and share top spot in the standings with only three sessions of round robin play remaining.

Against Scotland, Canada built their lead through single point steals in four ends with Scottish skip Ewan MacDonald long on two draw-shots, short on another and having a complete miss on a take-out attempt for the fourth.

Eventually, when MacDonald once again came up short with a draw attempt in the eighth end to give up a steal of two more points, the Scots conceded with the score at 7-1 to Canada.

After the game, Canada skip Pat Simmons said: "That was a good day today. We’re happy with everything. We want to keep this momentum going tomorrow. We’re not going to assume Norway is going to lose, because they’re playing very well."

In the fifth end of his team's game against the Czech Republic, Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud played a delicate tap-back on one of his own stones to score three points from the end and take the lead, at 5-3, for the first time in the game.

After this, a score of two points in the seventh end, a steal of two points in the eighth end and a further steal of three points in the ninth end were enough to give Norway their win.

Ulsrud spoke after the game saying: "It was back and forth. Jiri (Snitil from the Czech Republic) played some really good shots and they got some momentum going. Finally we managed to win in the end there, with a big steal of two in the eighth end. That was pretty much the game there as we were tied up until then."

The USA stole two points in the third end of their game against Japan to take a 4-2 lead.

While they never were able to completely break away from their opponents, they never went behind after that, with single point scores in the fifth and seventh ends and a further two points in the ninth end being enough to seal their 8-6 victory.

After this fourth win for the USA, their lead player John Landsteiner said: "If we want to have any chance at a tie-breaker then we can’t lose any more games. We have to also rely on other teams as well. It’s life or death so this win is ultra significant."

Finland and China shared fifth place on the standings when they met in this session.

In the seventh end, Finnish skip Aku Kauste's draw shot was well swept by his team as he scored two points to take a 6-5 lead.

In the tenth end China's skip Zang Jialiang had a draw to score two points and win the game but his stone came down heavy to tie the game at 7-7 and force an extra end.

In that extra end, Finland's Kauste played a nose-hit to score the one point that gave his team the 8-7 win that keeps his team in the battle for Play-off places.

RESULTS
Session 14:
Canada 7, Scotland 1; Norway 12, Czech Republic 5; Finland 8, China 7; USA 8, Japan 6.

STANDINGS
After 14 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Canada 8-1 (Qualified for Page 1v2 Play-off)
1. Norway 8-1 (Qualified for Page 1v2 Play-off)
3. Sweden 6-3
4. Finland 5-4
4. Switzerland 5-4
6. Japan 4-5
6. USA 4-5
8. China 3-6
8. Czech Republic 3-6
8. Italy 3-6
8. Scotland 3-6
12. Russia 2-7

During the round robin portion of a competition, teams with the same win-loss record will be listed alphabetically, by their three letter code, and ranked equal.

Video Highlights: Highlights from games throughout the Championship will be available to watch courtesy of World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation.

WCTV will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters around the world from Halifax. The full broadcast schedule is here: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2015/schedule

In addition, curling fans around the world will be able to follow selected live coverage of the 2015 World Championship events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

The 2016 Ford World Men's Curling Championship will be staged in Basel, Switzerland starting on Saturday 2nd April.