Denmark, Japan and USA secure play-off places as round-robin concludes

  • Rasmus Stjerne celebrates reaching the play-offs Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Denmark skip Rasmus Stjerne and his team beat defending world champions Sweden 8-7 with the final stone of the last round-robin game in Basel, Switzerland on Thursday (7 April) evening. This is the first time in five years that Sweden will not be in the play-offs.

Denmark skip Rasmus Stjerne made an angled-raise in the sixth end, which levelled the score at five-points apiece. Then in the tenth end Stjerne threw a double takeout that gave his team the two points needed to win by 8-7. This victory means Denmark will play Canada in Friday’s Page 1-2 play-off at 19.00 (Central European Time).

Canada completed the round-robin with a 8-2 win over hosts Switzerland.

Japan set a team record at a World Men’s Curling Championship by winning eight of their 11 games and qualified for the play-offs for the first time. They won 7-5 over Finland.

Morozumi executed an angled-raise takeout to score three points in the fifth end and establish a 4-2 advantage, before making a hit for two points in the seventh end, which gave Japan a 6-3 lead. Another hit for one point in the ninth end by Morozumi took Japan’s lead to 7-5, at which point Finland conceded the game.

After missing the play-offs for the past six years, USA secured a place in the Page 3-4 game with Japan – that will be played on Saturday (9 April) at 14.00 (CET) – by winning 6-5 over Germany.

They Said It

Rasmus Stjerne; Denmark skip (after 8-7 win over Sweden): “ Playing a tight game, against the world champions, Niklas Edin’s team is one of the best teams in the world and you have to win to stay alive. This is such a relief. I’m really amazed that we stuck together, kept playing, kept putting on the pressure. It’s been a really emotional ride for us but I am so proud that we can say we made it to the play-offs.”

Kevin Koe; Canada skip (after 8-2 win over Switzerland): “It’s a pretty tough field, lots of good teams, and obviously we would have taken (10-1) at the start of the week. It’s been a great week and now we’re looking forward to the play-offs. Last Sunday seems like a long time ago now; we had a couple games that we probably could have lost and we somehow snuck them out. Since then, we’ve been rolling pretty good, we’ve been playing well and the ice has been getting better as well. That’s what we like to see; I like where we are right now.”

Kosuke Morozumi; Japan lead (after 7-5 win over Finland): “I feel great. This is a record for Japan, eight wins in 11 games. We played very good [tonight] in the fifth end particularly.”

John Shuster; USA skip (after 6-5 win over Germany): “All season we came out with a goal to become a top ten team in the world and results would follow. We’ve worked our way in the Year to Date (Order of Merit) standings up to the top ten and the results are showing. We’ve been able to win games coming from behind or by holding leads. It’s a pretty special team.”

RESULTS, session 17

Canada 8-2 Switzerland; USA 6-5 Germany; Finland 5-7 Japan; Denmark 8-7 Sweden

STANDINGS after session 17

Canada 10-1: qualified Page 1-2
Denmark 8-3: qualified Page 1-2
Japan 8-3: qualified Page 3-4
USA 8-3: qualified Page 3-4
Norway 7-4
Sweden 6-5
Scotland 5-6
Finland 5-6
Switzerland 4-7
Korea 2-9
Russia 2-9
Germany 1-10

WCTV highlights: Next broadcast on Page 1-2 Play-off, Denmark v Canada at 19.00 (CET, Friday 8 April)