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World Junior Curling Championships 2011 Men’s Playoffs and Challenge

Benoit Schwarz and Peter de Cruz (SUI) and Oskar Eriksson (SWE) photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Sweden’s Oskar Eriksson booked his place in Sunday morning’s men’s final (09:00 local time) at the World Junior Curling Championships in Perth, Scotland with a 7-3 win over defending champions Switzerland in the Page 1 v 2 Play-off game on Friday evening.

Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz now plays in Saturday evening’s semi-final, against Canada’s Braeden Moskowy, who beat Norway’s Steffen Mellemseter by 10-4 in the Page 3 v 4 Play-off game.

In this game, the Norwegians were 3-1 up after five ends, but big scores by Moskowy – four in the sixth, three in the eighth and a steal of two in the ninth – turned the tide. Norway now await the semi-final losers, to play for bronze medals on Sunday morning.

After the Page 1 v 2 game, Eriksson said, “it feels very good to be one game away from the title. This time round, we put some pressure on the Swiss fourth player, making him hit instead of playing the draws.”

For his part, Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz said, “We are kind of used to this now, I have to say. We’ve played the 1v2 game four or five times and we’ve always lost it. We played well and it was just one inch here and one inch there. It just wasn’t meant to be – that’s life”.

An elated Canadian skip Moskowy said after his win, “still alive! Backs against the wall, but we’ve been doing that for quite a while here now. We pulled it off and get to play tomorrow”.

Afterwards, Norway’s Steffen Mellemseter was bitterly disappointed with the loss. “It’s difficult to accept this defeat because we were actually playing better than Canada for half of the game until we gave up that four.”

In the challenge game, the Czech Republic scored the two points they needed for victory in the tenth end and beat Denmark’s Mads Norgaard by 6-5 to grab the last available European place in next year’s World Junior Championship field in Oestersund, Sweden. Denmark must now go to the European Challenge event to re-qualify.

Czech skip Lukas Klima said, “We were struggling and we weren’t playing how we wanted – we were thinking all the time about a better positioning but finally we’ve made it to Oestersund so we’re happy.”

Junior Men’s Standings after Page Playoffs & Challenge

1. Sweden 9-1
2. Switzerland 7-3
3. Canada 7-3
4. Norway 6-4
5. Scotland 5-4
6. USA 4-5
7. China 4-5
8. Finland 3-6
9. Czech Republic 2-8
10. Denmark 1-9

RESULTS:
Junior Men’s Page-Playoff: (3v4) Norway 4, Canada 10; (1v2) Sweden 7, Switzerland 5.

Challenge Game: Czech Republic 6, Denmark 5. Czech Republic qualifies for WJCC 2012. Denmark relegated to European Junior Curling Challenge 2012.

Next games:
Men’s Semi-Final: Switzerland v Canada – 18:00 (local) Saturday – LIVE WEBCAST
Men’s Bronze: Norway v loser of semi-final – 09:00 (local) Sunday
Men’s Final/Gold: Sweden v winner of semi-final – 09:00 (local) Sunday - LIVE WEBCAST

Event website: http://www.wjcc2011.com
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2011
Results/Linescores/Standings: http://www.wjcc2011.com/draw-and-results
Results are mirrored on the WCF results database: http://results.worldcurling.org/default.aspx
Live webcast: http://www.worldcurling.org/wjcc-2011-web-coverage