China record first win as Canada top-the-table

  • China curling at the Northlands Coliseum Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

Following Sunday (2 April) evening’s fifth session of round-robin play in the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 in Edmonton, Canada, the hosts moved into a clear lead at the top-of-the-table.

This was with an 8-6 over Sweden. Meanwhile, at the other end of the rankings, China recorded their first win so far, beating Russia by 9-6.

Canada and Sweden came onto the ice with both teams undefeated so far and sharing top spot on the rankings, along with Japan.

In the game, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin showed his intentions early, drawing his last stone of the first end onto the button to open the scoring with two points. Later, in the sixth end, Canada’s skip Brad Gushue also played a good draw with the same result – two points – to bring his team back level in the game, at 4-4. Canada went on to win by 8-6. This means they are now the only team to remain undefeated so far.

By contrast, when China and Russia faced each other in this session, neither of them had recorded a win so far, and it was China who made the break-through, thanks largely to a score of four points in the eighth end, when their skip Rui Liu hit out a Russian stone to take a 9-5 lead. After this China emerged as 9-6 winners.

Japan were unbeaten and shared top spot with Canada and Sweden when they came on to face Scotland. In the second end of the game, their skip Yusuke Morozumi promoted one of his own stones into the house to score two points and take a 2-1 lead.

In the seventh end, Morozumi played a hit and stay for one point that reduced Scotland’s lead to 6-4. But, in the ninth end, Scotland’s skip David Murdoch played a draw within two Japanese stones already in the house, to score one point for a 7-4 lead. This remained the final score when Scotland ran Japan out of stones in the tenth end.

Norway faced Netherlands in the fourth game of this session and in the second end, Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad played a raise tap-back on one of his own stones to push it into place to take the second point of the end and open the scoring. In the sixth end, Walstad hit out a Dutch stone to score three points, which took the scoreline to 8-2 in Norway's favour. Before Norway went on to win by 8-3.

They said it

Rui Liu; skip, China (after 9-6 win over Russia): “That was a difficult game and we are really happy to have our first win. Now we just have to do our job and win the next game!”

Brad Gushue; skip, Canada (after 8-6 win over Sweden): “I thought Niklas’ [Edin] team played really good. I got lucky in the sixth end to make a good draw and have him miss one to get a deuce. Anytime you play Niklas you have to play well – they are one of the best teams in the world.”

Steffen Walstad; skip, Norway (after 8-3 win over Netherlands): “We just made more shots than we did earlier today and we got paid for it. Our first game today wasn’t very good, but we’ve had two really good games – against Scotland and now [Netherlands] – so hopefully we can keep that up.”

David Murdoch; skip, Scotland (after 7-4 win over Japan): “It’s been a tough day against USA and Japan, two teams that were in the play-offs last year and we came out today and played really solid. For us two and one is pretty good and we’ll take it – it’s a tough field here and we knew we needed two wins today to keep our play-off hopes alive.”

Results after session five: China 9-6 Russia; Canada 8-6 Sweden; Norway 8-3 Netherlands; Japan 4-7 Scotand

Standings after session five:

Canada 3-0
Italy 2-1
Japan 2-1
Norway 2-1
Scotland 2-1
Switzerland 2-1
Sweden 2-1
China 1-2
Germany 1-2
USA 1-2
Netherlands 0-3
Russia 0-3

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WCTV highlights next live game: Scotland v China (Monday 3 April at 09.00, -6 UTC)