Session 2: Norway begin title defence with victory against China

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Norway opened the defence of their title with a 9-7 win over China in Saturday evening's second session of round robin play at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship 2015 being held in the Scotiabank Centre, Halifax, Canada.

Norway began their title defence with a win against China Photo: WCF/CC/Michael Burns

However, with a second victory of the day - by 9-3 over Scotland, Japan top the standings as the only team on two wins.

In his team's game against China, Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud opened his account in the third end when he delivered an angle raise take-out to score three points and take a 3-2 lead.

In the fifth end, he scored three more points with a hit to extend his lead to 6-3 before going on to win by 9-7.

After this win, Ulsrud said: “That was a tricky game for us. We struggled at the start, figuring out the ice, but once we got a handle of it we pretty much controlled the game and scored multiple points in a few ends. I thought we were going to be cruising but they came back pretty strong so I had to make a pretty good last shot to win."

In their game against Scotland, Japan took a 4-1 lead into the fifth-end break when their skip Yusuke Morozumi drew in the fifth end to score two points.

After Scotland had reduced the Japanese lead to one point in the seventh end, at 4-3, Morozumi hit out Scotland skip Ewan MacDonald's second stone in the eighth end to score five points, at which point the Scots conceded, with the score at 9-3 to Japan.

After his team's victory, lead player Kosuke Morozumi said: "It's very good for us (to have two wins from two). This is the second time we have beaten Scotland (at World Championships) and we played well again."

Hosts Canada were taken all the way to an extra end before beating USA by 11-10 in a high-scoring match-up - the first appearance of the Championship by both teams.

In the fourth end, USA skip John Shuster made an angle raise take-out to score four points for a 9-7 lead.

Later, in the ninth end, Canada's skip Pat Simmons played a double take-out to score three points and take a 10-9 lead which brought the crowd of over 4,000 fans to their feet in appreciation.

Eventually, after an extra end, Canada emerged as 11-10 winners.

Later, Canada's Simmons said: "That had to be up there in entertainment value for the fans to watch. We didn't play that bad, but they played outstanding. John Shuster was unbelievable tonight and it was a shame someone had to lose that game - he looked spent after that last rock...it was a tough battle."

In what was a second game of the Championship for both teams, the Czech Republic faced Finland.

In the second end of this game, Czech skip Jiri Snitil drew his second stone into the house to score two points and level the score at 2-2. The Czechs then went on to win by 8-7.

Afterwards, Snitil said: "Is it nice to get our first win? Yes, big time after the first loss this afternoon. This was very important for us. To keep a loss until next day almost hurts more."

RESULTS
Session 2:
Norway 9, China 7; Japan 9, Scotland 3; Finland 7, Czech Republic 8; USA 10, Canada 11.

STANDINGS
After 2 sessions of play:

1. Japan 2-0
2. Canada 1-0
2. Italy 1-0
2. Norway 1-0
2. Sweden 1-0
2. Switzerland 1-0
7. Czech Republic 1-1
8. China 0-1
8. Russia 0-1
8. USA 0-1
11. Finland 0-2
11. Scotland 0-2

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.

Results, news, videos and photos from the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2015 can be seen here on the World Curling Federation’s official event website: http://www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2015

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

Social Media
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WorldMensCurlingChampionship
Twitter: @worldcurling
Hashtags: #wmcc2015 #curling

The 2016 Ford World Men's Curling Championship will be staged in Basel, Switzerland starting on Saturday 2nd April.
 Session 2 Statistics (Supplied by Curling Canada)
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