Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud and his team of Torger Nergård, Chistoffer Svae and Håvard Vad Petersson will now face Scotland’s Tom Brewster in Saturday evening’s semi-final of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Regina, Canada, following their surprisingly one-sided 7-2 win over Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the Page three versus four play-off.
In the game, Edin’s men –Sebastian Kraupp, Fredrik Lindberg and Viktor Kjäll – opened with a steal of one in the first end when Ulsrud’s attempted double did not come off, but this was the only piece of good fortune to come Sweden’s way in the game.
In the second, an Edin nose-hit went wrong, leaving Ulsrud with a simple draw for three. The Norwegians stole in each of the next three ends as time and again Edin’s stones just lacked the precision that was needed.
The Swedes scored one in the sixth for 7-2 in favour of Norway, and, with the result beyond doubt, the teams looked to come off, but then realised they had to play for a minimum of eight ends at this stage of the event.
The last two ends were played out and the Swedes were allowed to come off to re-group for a bronze medal game on Sunday morning against whoever loses the semi-final between Norway and Scotland.
Afterwards, a clearly frustrated Edin said, “most of the days here at the Worlds just haven’t been our day. We’ve only had one good game this week, so we need to go back and figure it out”.
He added, “we had some terrible shots at the wrong time. Our communication was not top notch in this game. It was really hard for us to deal with the ice, which was really different. We knew it would be tricky, but not like this”.
Looking forward, he added, “our goal coming here was to get a chance for a medal, so no matter what team we play for bronze, we’re going to try to do that”.
Meanwhile Norwegian skip Ulsrud said, “it’s been amazing. Earlier in the week we were on two wins and four losses, and I said we were leaking oil. Now we’ve got a fine-tuned engine”.
“It was frustrating early in the week, because I know this team can play well. I’m looking forward to playing Scotland now. They have impressed me this week, they are a good strong team, but we’ll give them a good fight”.
Although he insisted he was focussing only on the Scotland semi-final, with Canada awaiting the semi-final winners, he could not resist adding, “this is a big match (against Scotland), but I’d love a re-match with Canada in front of this big crowd”.
5. France 7-5
6. Germany 6-5
7. Switzerland 6-5
8. Czech Republic 5-6
9. China 4-7
10. USA 3-8
11. Korea 2-9
12. Denmark 0-11
3v4 Playoff: Sweden 2, Norway 7.
TV & Web: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-mens-curling-championship-2011-tv-web-coverage
Live Scores: http://www.curling.ca/championships/curlcast-1
Scores mirrored on: http://results.worldcurling.org/Championship.aspx?id=396
Event websites for news & photos: http://www.curling.ca/championships/worlds/