Session 5: Canada defeat Sweden to move top, while China get first win

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Canada beat Sweden 9-6 in Sunday evening's fifth session of round robin play to take an outright lead in the standings and remain the only unbeaten team at the Ford World Men's Curling Championships, being staged in the Scotiabank Centre, Halifax, Canada.

China picked up their first win of the championship this evening Photo: WCF/CC/Michael Burns

They opened with a three-point score in the first end when skip Pat Simmons hit out a Swedish stone.

Sweden skip Niklas Edin then scored one point in the second end with a tight double take-out that just avoided disturbing his own stone sitting on the button to reduce Canada's lead to 3-1.

In the sixth end Edin drew his last stone into the house to score two points and reduce Canada's lead to 5-4.

After this, in the eighth end, Edin hit and rolled his own stone into place to score two points to tie the game at 6-6.

But despite Edin's efforts, Canada emerged as 9-6 winners, their third win from three games so far.

Speaking after his win, Simmons said: "We had a few bad breaks and just hung in there, but kudos to them because they stuck in and pushed us for sure - I'm happy to have just hung on."

Defending champions Norway faced Russia in this session, with both of these teams on a one win, one loss record.

In the fifth end of this game, Norway's skip Thomas Ulsrud drew his last stone into the house to score two points for a 4-2 lead.

The teams were tied at 6-6 after ten ends and went into an extra end.

With last stone advantage, Ulsrud eventually delivered a delicate tap-back with his last stone to score the one point needed for a 7-6 win.

Ulsrud spoke after the game, saying: "That was a tough one and we really had to work hard. I thought we had a pretty good chance in the tenth but we had to go to an extra end. We had a pretty tough shot coming home - it's not often I'm sitting in the hack thinking 'I'm not looking forward to this one' but I just pulled it off."

On their performance overall, he added: "I'm happy with where we are right now - we're in the mix."

Italy shared top spot with Canada as they went into their game against China in this session, but it was China who played a stronger game.

In the eighth end their skip Zang Jialiang drew his final stone into the house for one point and a 5-2 lead on the way to a 6-2 win.

Later, Jialiang said: "The team is getting better, step by step. I think it was very important to get this first win. Every one of us wanted to get it and we will continue to try our best in this championship."

The fourth game of the session saw Switzerland face the USA, with both teams sharing the same won one, lost one record.

It was the Swiss who opened stronger, using last stone advantage to score two points in the first end when skip Marc Pfister played a raise double take-out.

After this, Pfister drew his last stone of the eighth end into the house to score three points and take a 9-3 win.

Following their win, a pleased Pfister said: "It's nice to be here. We've never played in front of such large crowds and it's the first time we've ever played arena ice, so I'm a little bit surprised about how we have been performing. We've been a little bit lucky, but we are enjoying the week."

RESULTS
Session 5:
Switzerland 9, USA 3; Norway 7, Russia 6; Canada 9, Sweden 6; Italy 2, China 6.

STANDINGS
After 5 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Canada 3-0
2. Czech Republic 2-1
2. Italy 2-1
2. Japan 2-1
2. Norway 2-1
2. Switzerland 2-1
7. China 1-2
7. Finland 1-2
7. Russia 1-2
7. Sweden 1-2
7. USA 1-2
12. Scotland 0-3

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 5 Statistics
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