Norway debutants begin with a win in Edmonton

  • Skip Steffen Walstad delivers for Norway Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

After the first day of play in the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017, being held in the Northlands Coliseum, in Edmonton, Canada, no early leaders have emerged.

Each of the teams that played twice on Saturday – Germany, Italy, Switzerland and USA – all matched each other’s one win, one loss tally.

Both Scotland and Norway were making their first appearances in the event when they faced each other on Saturday (1 April) evening and, in what proved to be the turning point, in the fourth end, Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad hit out a Scottish stone to score three points and take a 5-2 lead.

Another hit by Walstad in the seventh end produced two more points to move Norway’s lead to 7-5. Norway then went on to win by 9-6 – the ideal start for Walstad and his team, who are competing at their first World Men’s Curling Championship.

Germany, who had won in the first session, faced Italy and in the seventh end their skip Alexander Baumann drew his final stone into the house to score one point to reduce Italy’s lead to 4-3. However, in the tenth end Italy’s fourth player Amos Mosaner played a double take-out to score one point and take the win, at 7-5.

China and Sweden were both making their first appearances and Sweden opened with a score of three points when their skip Niklas Edin played a hit in the first end. Another hit by Edin in the third end produced three more Swedish points, which took their lead to 6-1. The Swedes then went on to win by 10-7.

Switzerland had lost in the opening session to Canada, while USA had won their opening game. In the fourth end in the game between these two teams, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz played a draw-shot to score two points and take a 3-1 lead. Another draw by Schwarz in the seventh end produced another two points, this time to move Switzerland’s lead to 5-3, on the way to an eventual 7-4 win.

They said it

Steffen Walstad; skip, Norway (after 9-6 win over Scotland): “It was a major win for us because they are one of the European teams we haven’t been able to beat in the last couple of years. So, to be able to beat him [Scotland's skip David Murdoch] in our first men’s worlds game is good.”

Joel Retornaz; skip, Italy (after 7-5 win over Germany): “The steal of two was the turning point, and we were not expecting that. I think the team got pumped up after that steal and we performed pretty well.”

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 10-7 win over China): “We played well in the first end, found our draw weight quite quickly and that enabled us to get an early five-point advantage. But, the frost crept up and the pebble started to wear down so it made it a bit harder to find draw weight. It was definitely tough out there!”

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 7-4 win over USA): “I think out there the ice is a little difficult. We were able to adapt a bit better than the other team and we made one or two extra shots per end – that made the difference.”

Results after session two: Scotland 6-9 Norway; Italy 7-5 Germany; China 7-10 Sweden; USA 4-7 Switzerland

Standings after session two:

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

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of these championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel,

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WCTV highlights next live game: Japan v Netherlands (Sunday 2 April at 09.00, -6 UTC)