USA and Switzerland join and complete play-off line-up

  • USA skip John Shuster Photo:© WCF / Richard Gray

In Thursday’s (6 April) tense 15th session of round-robin play in the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 – being staged in the Northlands Coliseum in Edmonton, Canada – the final qualifiers for the weekend’s Page play-offs were determined.

They are Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and USA.

Canada maintained their 100% record with a six-end 9-2 win over Italy. Canada’s skip Brad Gushue perfectly executed an angle raise take-out, nudging two stones on the way into the house, in the fourth end, to score five points from the end.

Elsewhere, USA qualified with a last-stone 6-5 win over Netherlands. In this game, USA skip John Shuster started well when, in the opening end, he gently came around some front guards to knock out a Dutch stone and claim two points. Then, in the tenth end, Shuster’s double take-out and stay sealed the win that put USA into the play-offs.

Switzerland beat Japan by 6-5 in this session and, in the third end, Japan’s skip Yusuke Morozumi played an open hit to score two points and level the score at 2-2. Not to be outdone, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz produced an open hit for two points, in the sixth end, to give his team a 4-3 lead. With Sweden already qualified and sitting out this session, a score of one in the tenth end, from a hit by Schwarz was enough to give Switzerland the win that confirmed their place in the last four.

In the fourth game of this session Germany beat Russia by 9-7. This win was sealed when their skip Alexander Baumann successfully delivered a raise take-out off the wing with his last stone of the game. This result leaves Russia at the foot-of-the-table, still looking for a first win, with two session of round-robin play remaining.

With the play-off line-up determined, the focus for all the teams now turns to finishing as far up the table as possible, in order to earn enough Olympic Qualification Points to take one of the seven Olympic places available from this event.

They said it

Matt Hamilton; second, USA (after 6-5 win over Netherlands): “This was the goal going into the week – trying to make the play-offs. It’s a new tournament from there, so the fact that we’ve made it already is good. Those Netherlands guys just got better with every game. They played us real tough – they made all their draws when they needed to and made the big shots when they needed to. It came down to the last one.”

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 6-5 win over Japan): “To qualify for the play-offs was our goal coming into the competition. We had a rough start against Canada but we knew if we kept playing our game we would win a few, so we’ve won seven in a row now, so that’s pretty good, and Japan played really, really good today.”

Results after session 15: USA 6-5 Netherlands; Russia 7-9 Germany; Japan 5-6 Switzerland; Canada 9-2 Italy

Standings after session 15:

Q CAN - Canada 10-0
Q SWE - Sweden 8-1
Q SUI - Switzerland 8-2
Q USA - United States 7-3
JPN - Japan 5-5
CHN - China 4-5
NOR - Norway 4-5
SCO - Scotland 4-5
ITA - Italy 4-6
GER - Germany 3-7
NED - Netherlands 1-9
RUS - Russia 0-10

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: USA v Sweden (Thursday 6 April at 14.00, -6 UTC)