United States women, Germany and Scotland men qualify for semi-finals

Team Germany @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

Men’s Session Seven

On Thursday morning the men played their seventh round-robin session at the World Junior Curling Championships in Jönköping. Norway met Scotland, Canada took on Korea, Switzerland saw Germany and Italy played New Zealand. In the fifth game of the session, Sweden faced off against United States.

The Norway versus Scotland game was a battle of table-toppers, as they both had a five-one win-loss record, sharing top spot with Germany.

This morning, however, Scotland outplayed the Norwegians. The Scots forced Norway to single points in the first and third ends, while scoring threes in the second and fourth ends to take a 6-2 lead after four.

Scotland continued putting the pressure on Norway in the fifth and as a result, stole two. The Scots stole a further point in the sixth to take a 9-2 lead. This was enough for Norway who conceded defeat.

This was Scotland’s sixth win of the championship which keeps them on top of the rankings, tied with Germany. Norway are now on five wins and two losses and sit on third place.

Both Canada and Korea had a three-three win-loss record coming into the game and they both wanted to pick up a fourth victory to keep their play-off hopes alive.

The teams were tied at 1-1 after three ends, following the exchange of single points and a blank third end. From the fourth, Canada played a textbook game, scoring two with last stone and forcing Korea to a single when the Koreans had hammer.

This led to a three-point gap after nine ends, at 7-4 in Canada’s favour. With this score Korea conceded defeat and handed Canada their fourth win of the event. Canada is now fourth on the rankings, tied with Switzerland.

Prior to their game against Switzerland, Germany shared top stop on the standings (5-1) with Norway and Scotland. The Swiss were looking for their fifth win of the competition sitting in fourth place.

Germany were leading the game by 4-0 after four ends and forced the Swiss to take a single in the fifth for 4-1. Later, this proved to be the only point for Switzerland, as Germany scored two in the sixth and after a blank seventh, stole three in the eighth.

Switzerland conceded the game after eight ends. It was Germany’s sixth win of the event, and it keeps their top spot on the standings, now shared with Scotland only. The Swiss kept their fourth place with this loss.

After their victory, German lead Magnus Sutor said, “We are always in a good mood after a win, but we are really excited to hopefully make play-offs.”

Talking about their simple off-ice routine, he added, “Before our game tonight we will eat something, go to bed, sleep, and then eat something again.”

Team Switzerland @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

Italy strove to improve on their two-four win-loss record when they met New Zealand. The Kiwis were looking for their first victory of the Worlds.

The Italians came out firing, and after a big score of four in the second, they stole three in the third for a 7-1 lead. New Zealand took another single in the fourth, and the teams went into the break with 7-2 after a blank fifth end.

In the sixth, Italy continued to put the pressure on New Zealand, filling the house with yellow stones. When he came to play his last, Italian skip Giacomo Colli was facing a sole red stone in the house, surrounded by five yellows. As he was successful with his take-out attempt, Italy scored five points.

Having 12-2 on the scoreboard after six, New Zealand conceded defeat.

After their third win of the week, Italy skip Giacomo Colli said, “We needed a win to keep our play-off dreams alive. We played really good yesterday against Sweden, so it was important to have a strong performance today too.

Looking ahead, he added, “Tonight against USA will be a key game. The mentality is one game at a time, but the play-offs are always in the back of my mind. We need to stay focused game per game, stone per stone.”

Team New Zealand @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

Hosts Sweden (1-5) and United States (2-4) were both hoping for a win to move up on the rankings, and produced the only really close game of the session.

The teams traded the lead seven times in the first eight ends. Going into the ninth, United States were leading by 8-7.

Sweden managed to score a single and equalize the game at 8-8. In the tenth end, the Americans capitalized on their hammer and scored a single for the win.

The 9-8 victory for United States means that they are now on three wins and four losses, sharing seventh place on the rankings with Italy and Korea.

Women’s Session Seven

In the sole women’s session of the day, play-off spots were up for grabs. Switzerland faced Denmark, United States played Canada in the battle of North America, Scotland met Korea, Latvia played Sweden, and Japan saw Norway.

United States continued their strong showing here in Jönköping, in their game against Canada. After being down by one after the second end, United States scored two in the third, followed by steals of one in the fourth and fifth, and a steal of two in the sixth.

Canada scored a single in the seventh end followed by a steal of two in the eighth after the American team came up short on a draw.

In the ninth end, American skip Delaney Strouse made a hit to score four, prompting the Canadians to concede with a final score of 11-5. This win made United States the first team to qualify for play-offs.

Team United States @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

After their win, United States skip Delaney Strouse said, “I definitely think my team really set it up well for me, to the point where I could just lob some rocks under those guards, they set it up for those steals.”

When asked about communication processes in the team, she added, “Our team has been together for three years, two national championships, and we’re all really just best friends and so that really helps the communication, it’s so natural for us. That’s what works for us.”

Denmark was hungry for their first win in their game against Switzerland. With blanks in the first, third and fifth ends, it was a low-scoring first half. In the seventh end, Denmark earned the first score of multiples, with a two-ender.

Switzerland responded with a three-ender in the eighth to tie the game at 4-4. Denmark reclaimed the lead in the ninth end with a score of two.

Despite scoring one in the tenth, Switzerland couldn’t catch up to Denmark, conceding at 6-5 to Denmark.

As this marks Denmark’s first win of the championship, Danish skip, Karolina Jensen expressed, “We feel really good. It’s been a tough week for us, and I think we just really needed that win.”

Denmark celebrate their first win at the championship @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

Norway had a tough game against the Japanese, who held a 4-1 lead by the fifth end. Japan forced Norway to one in the fifth, and then scored two of their own in six.

In the seventh end, Norway took advantage of a missed shot by the Japanese to score three, making it a one-point game in Japan’s favour.

Despite closing the gap, Norway had a tough eighth end, giving up four, and ultimately handing the win to Japan. The final score was 10-5.

The match between Scotland and Korea was intense as the teams exchanged the lead five times. Korea started on top with a score of two, that was followed by a Scottish two. The Koreans then scored one, which the Scottish followed with one of their own. After the fifth end, the score was tied at 3-3.

Though Korea gave up a steal of one in the sixth end, they bounced back with a score of three in the seventh.

Once again, Scotland matched this with their own three in the eighth end, bringing the score to 7-6.

In the tenth end, Scotland scored one to take the game to an extra end. With the hammer, the Koreans made an open hit for the 9-8 win.

Latvia were looking to earn a win in their game against Sweden, after a rough two-loss day yesterday.

A powerful start by the Latvians gave them three in the second end, which Sweden followed with a two in the third.

Single-point exchanges took place in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth ends, until Latvia stole two in the ninth. With a final steal of one in the tenth, the Latvian team claimed the 9-5 victory.

Their skip, Evelina Barone said after the game, “We’re really happy with this fifth win because in the last championship we got four wins and that wasn’t enough to stay in the A group. So we really hope that we now have secured our spot in the A group and now it’s time to fight for play-offs.”

There has been a shift in the standings with United States claiming first place with a record of six wins, one loss, and a semi-final spot. Japan, Latvia and Norway are now tied for second place with records of five wins, two losses.

There is another three-way tie for fifth place between Korea, Sweden and Switzerland, who share records of three wins, four losses. Canada and Scotland sit in eighth spot with two wins, five losses. Denmark remain in tenth place with one win, six losses.

Men’s Session Eight

In the evening, the men played their eighth round-robin session. New Zealand took on Germany, Scotland played Sweden, Korea met Switzerland, Norway and Canada played each other, while Italy and United States faced off.

New Zealand were looking for their first win of the event against table-toppers, Germany. After blanking the first end, Germany scored two in the second and fourth, while forced New Zealand to take singles in the third and fifth. The teams therefore went into the break with 4-2, Germany leading.

After a German miss in the seventh, the Kiwis scored four to tie the game a 6-6. However, Germany responded with their own four, followed by a steal of three. As Germany were leading by 13-6 after nine ends, New Zealand conceded defeat.

After their win and play-off qualification, German skip Benjamin Kapp said, “We are very happy. We are excited for the play-offs and hopefully we can keep the level up. We struggled a lot. The ice got a bit different and our opponent played really well, so it wasn’t easy, but we made it. So we are happy.”

Scotland shared first place on the rankings with Germany prior to their game against Sweden, knowing that an eventual win would mean play-off qualification to them.

In the first half of the game, the Scots forced Sweden to take their single each time they had hammer. On the other hand, Scotland were able to put two-point scores on the board each time they had last stone. The teams therefore went into the half-time break with 4-3 in Scotland’s favour.

In the second half, the Scots switched gears and scored three in the sixth and four in the eighth for 11-4. At this point, Sweden conceded the game and Scotland earned a spot in the semi-finals.

Afterwards, Scottish lead Niall Ryder said, “It feels really good. We all set our goals at the start of the week and ticking off the first goal is always good. We were focused on making play-offs, and now off to the play-off stages which we’re looking forward to.”

Both Switzerland and Korea were in the middle section of the rankings before their game. Switzerland were the first to go on the board with a score of two in the second. They followed that up with a single steal.

Korea got on the board with their own two in the fourth to close the gap to a single point.

The Swiss still held a one-point lead, at 4-3, after seven ends. In the eighth however, the Swiss put five on the board, after which Korea conceded. The final score was 9-3.

Norway were sitting third on the rankings (5W-2L) prior to this session, and they were followed by Canada (4W-3L). After a low-scoring first half between the two teams, Canada were leading by 2-1.

After the seventh, Canada were still leading by one point, at 4-3.

In the eighth, the Canadians made a breakthrough and scored five. At this point, Norway conceded defeat, making 9-3 the final result.

A Team Canada supporter @ WCF / Cheyenne Boone

Italy and United States both had a 3W-4L record going into their match-up needing a win to keep they play-off hopes alive.

The teams were tied at 3-3 after four ends. In the fifth, United States scored two and followed that up with a single steal in the sixth to lead the game, 6-3.

The teams went into the tenth end with 8-6, United States leading and having hammer. They managed to score three in this end, making the end result 11-6, and keeping their play-off hopes alive.

Men’s Session Seven results: Canada 7-4 Korea; Switzerland 1-9 Germany; Italy 12-2 New Zealand; Sweden 8-9 United States; Norway 2-9 Scotland

Women’s Session Seven results: Switzerland 5-6 Denmark; United States 11-5 Canada; Scotland 8-9 Korea; Latvia 9-5 Sweden; Japan 10-5 Norway

Men’s Session Eight results: New Zealand 6-13 Germany; Scotland 11-4 Sweden; Korea 3-9 Switzerland; Norway 3-9 Canada; Italy 6-11 United States.

Click here for the Standings.

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Jonkoping, Sweden

19 May 2022
World Juniors