Session 15: USA and Finland remain in Play-off hunt despite contrasting results

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For immediate release: 2 April 2015

The USA kept their Play-off hopes alive with an important win against the Czech Republic Photo: WCF/CC/Michael Burns

HALIFAX, Canada – Despite contrasting results in Thursday morning's 15th session of round robin play, Finland and the USA still retain Play-off hopes at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2015 being held in the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Canada.

When they faced the Czech Republic, the USA knew that only a victory would keep their slim hopes alive.

In the second end of the game, their skip John Shuster drew his last stone into the house to open the scoring with two points and set the tone for the rest of the game.

USA was never headed and eventually won 6-2.

Afterwards, Shuster said: "We came out with a lot of energy, won the hammer and made it count early. We did the classic - get two when you have the hammer and make sure you don’t give up deuces. All we can do is win our two (remaining games) and hope for the best."

Finland were sharing fourth place in the standings with Switzerland before they went head to head with hosts Canada. This game was tight all the way, with the lead changing hands four times.

In the ninth end, Finland's skip Aku Kauste drew his last stone into the house to score two points and take a 5-4 lead.

Then, in the tenth end, Canada's skip Pat Simmons drew his last stone to take second shot with a little nudge just inside a Finnish stone to score two from the end and win by 6-5.

After this loss, Finland's Kauste said: "That hurts quite a lot. It was a very even game. We had several places where we could have gotten better results. Now we must win. I still think there hope for the tie-breaker, but we need to win the last one."

Scotland and China faced each other, both on three wins so far, and in the sixth end China's skip Zang Jialiang had an open hit with his second stone to score four points from the end and take a 7-2 lead.

In the eighth end, Jialiang promoted one of his own front stones to take out a Scottish stone near the button to score three points from the end.

Scotland then conceded, with the score at 10-3 to China.

Defending champions Norway faced Japan and in the third end, with the scores tied at 2-2, Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud drew his last stone into the house to score three points and take a 5-2 lead.

The Japanese continued to fight and in the ninth end their skip Yusuke Morozumi drew his final stone into the house to score three points in the end and reduce Norway's lead to 9-8.

Despite Japan's efforts, Norway went on to win by 10-8.

Norway and Canada remain tied at the top of the table after this session and about his latest win, defending champion Ulsrud from Norway said: "We had control of the game then suddenly my last rock in the ninth end picked. We were just going to make an easy hit to give him two, but it picked and it was game on. But one up with hammer coming home we still managed to pull it off."

RESULTS
Session 15:
Czech Republic 2, USA 6; Scotland 3, China 10; Norway 10, Japan 8; Finland 5, Canada 6.

STANDINGS
After 15 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Canada 9-1 (Qualified for 1v2 Page Play-off)
1. Norway 9-1 (Qualified for 1v2 Page Play-off)
3. Sweden 6-3
4. Switzerland 5-4
5. Finland 5-5
5. USA 5-5
7. China 4-6
7. Japan 4-6
9. Italy 3-6
10. Czech Republic 3-7
10. Scotland 3-7
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.

 Draw 15 Statistics
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