Defending champions Sweden to face Switzerland in ECC men's final

  • Niklas Edin into fifth ECC final as skip Photo: WCF / Laura Godenzi

In Friday (27 November) afternoon's men's semi-finals of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015, held in ther Granly Hockey Arena, Esbjerg, Denmark, Switzerland beat Finland to reach the final while, after an extra end, defending champions Sweden beat previously-unbeaten Norway to join them.

In the seventh end of what had been a tight game between Norway and Sweden, Norway levelled the score at 5-5 when their skip Thomas Ulsrud played a draw-shot to score three points from the end.

After this, Sweden moved into a 7-5 lead when their skip Niklas Edin tapped-back in the ninth to score two points from the end, Norway then levelled again in the tenth when Ulsrud hit-out a Swedish stone to score two points to tie the score at 7-7 and force an extra end.

In that extra end, Sweden's Edin used the last stone of the game to hit-out one of two Norwegian stones lying in the house and score the one point needed for the 8-7 win that put his team into the Gold Medal final.

In the other semi-final between Finland and Switzerland, the teams swapped single points in the first two ends and then Switzerland made the first break-through in the third end when their fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit-out a Finnish stone to score three points and take a 4-1 lead. After blanking the fourth end, the Finns responded in the fifth, when their skip Aku Kauste had a hit to score two points and reduce Switzerland's lead to 4-3.

In the sixth end, Switzerland's Schwarz played a draw-shot to score three points and extend his team's lead to 7-3. Another three points for Switzerland in the eighth end gave them a 10-4 lead, at which point Finland conceded, putting the Swiss team into Saturday (28 November) morning's Gold Medal final against Sweden, at 10.00 (CET). Before that Finland will face Norway for Bronze Medals this evening, at 19.00 (CET).

Claudio Paetz celebrates Switzerland winning their semi-final Photo: WCF / Richard Gray
They said It:

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 10-4 win over Finland):

"It feels amazing to be in the final. We started out pretty shaky but we still believed in it. We knew we were playing pretty good and we knew where we wanted to be performance wise, so we're pretty happy. We were really prepared for that game. We've played a lot of important games during the season and we just considered that to be another one of those games. We were completely thrashed by Finland during the round-robin, unfortunately for them, they just didn't turn up today."

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 8-7 win over Norway):

"I'm really glad we could step it up and play as well as we have in the previous championships and the Worlds last year. I'm really proud of my whole team for their shot-making and effort. We haven't played as well as we'd hoped, and Norway went 9-0 in the round-robin, it's the best we've seen them play in a while. We knew we'd have to make almost every shot to win this game."


B-Division Highlights:

Denmark held off Austria in the men's B-Division final for a 6-4 win, earning the Danes the Gold and qualifying them for the three-game World Challenge Games against Italy, who finished eighth in the men's A-Division round-robin. Latvia beat Israel by 13-3 in eight ends for the Bronze medal.

Italy won the women's B-Division Gold with a 7-6 victory over Czech Republic, in an extra end. The Italians will now meet Norway in the World Challenge Games. Latvia defeated England by 8-7 to take the Bronze.

The World Challenge Games are played between the men's and women's teams that finished eighth in the A-Division and the teams that won the B-Division, at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015. The teams play a best of three to determine the final men's and women's teams, from the WCF European Zone, to qualify for the World Curling Championships 2016.

They Said It:

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 6-4 win against Austria):

"We just had one goal for this week, to put ourselves in this game and to give ourselves a chance. I feel we played a good game, I think we were kind of ahead for the most of it but they kept the game tight. We've been in the A-Division for the past few years and we wanted to be in the main event on home ice, but we just had to reset and think, 'let's go for it," and it paid off."

Federica Apollonio; skip, Italy (after 7-6 win against Czech Republic):

"We were always on top and we had the chance to maintain our points and to be in control. Now we've won, we are here and we're fighting to get back to the A-Division as in the past."


WCTV Highlights: next live broadcast, on http://www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv, tonight at 19.00 (CET), Denmark v Finland (Women's Bronze Medal Gamel)
MEN'S RESULTS, semi-finals:

Sweden 8-7 Norway; Finland 4-10 Switzerland.

MEN'S GAMES after semi-finals:

Bronze Medal Game: Norway v Finland, Friday 27 November 2015 at 19.00 (CET)
Gold Medal Game: Sweden v Switzerland, Saturday 28 November 2015 at 10.00 (CET)

WORLD CHALLENGE GAMES

Men's #1: Italy v Denmark, Friday 27 November 2015 at 19.00 (CET)
Women's #1: Norway v Italy, Friday 27 November 2015 at 19.00 (CET)