As Scotland and Canada continued their unbeaten ways in Monday’s play at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Regina, Canada – Scotland having an afternoon extra end 5-4 win over the Czech Republic, while Canada finally ground down USA in their evening game – Korea recorded their first win of the week in spectacular style, beating the Czech Republic by 10-5 in just eight ends.
This game featured a five for Korea in the fourth end, a three in the eighth, and a missed opportunity for them to score four in the second, with Korea’s skip Dong Keun Lee being given a special ovation from the 4,000-strong crowd when he scored the five.
After the game, Lee said, “we have been winning all year, but for two days we haven’t won, so we feel we have arrived now. We are pleased about the five points in the fourth, but we had the chance to take four in the second end. We got the five so we are very happy”.
Before the evening session Denmark shared a winless record with Korea, and they all but joined them in victory, eventually going down by 6-8 to Switzerland after leading by 5-2 after four ends.
Afterwards, a still smiling Danish skip Tommy Stjerne said, “we tried to play better curling than we did in the last four games, and I think we did that, but we didn’t get any breaks and we gave him three in the eighth. But I think we played much better, so we’ll hang in there. It’s much nicer if you win a game or two. We didn’t come here expecting to win seven or eight, but we would like a couple”.
This was Switzerland’s second win of the day, having previously despatched China by 7-1 in just eight ends.
In the evening session, Canada’s Jeff Stoughton was pushed all the way by a USA team led by Pete Fenson, who with just one win previously, knew they were fighting to keep their medal hopes alive. It took two steals by the Canadians in the last two ends, when Fenson was heavy with his final stones, before Canada finally managed to keep their unbeaten record intact.
Afterwards, Stoughton conceded, “he probably made ten run-backs - Pete played awesome and made some great doubles. We were not perfect, but made some big shots when it counted. All of us had good draw-weight, we forced them and got lucky in nine and ten”.
Fenson, who had earlier lost by 4-5 to Germany’s Andy Kapp, said, “We got what we were bargaining for. They played great, and we played great for awhile. We made a few mistakes, but you know, we’re playing better, and that looks good for us. We just have to have a little better rock placement. We had a little bit of trouble with that tonight, and that was probably the difference”.
After his 5-4 win against USA in the afternoon session, only his second of the week so far, Germany’s skip Andy Kapp said, “that win was very important. This morning we had a flat game against Scotland so we really have our backs against the wall and every win is really necessary”
In the afternoon game between Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud, after discussions, the teams agreed to replay the second end when there was a malfunction of the sensor handle lights on the first stone of Swedish third Sebastian Kraupp.
This caused both green and red lights to flash as the stone was delivered, and, with there being uncertainty as to the exact replacement positions for the stones it disturbed on the way into the house, eventually all parties agreed to the pragmatic replay decision.
Norway eventually won the game by 8-5. Afterwards, Edin sportingly said, “I think the correct decision would have been to replace the stones, but the thing was that I knew the angles, but they didn’t know really how to replace them. That didn’t feel so good for me, so we decided just to replay the end instead. It didn’t feel right to replace it when they didn’t know the angles. We were lined up perfect in that end, so if that handle hadn’t stopped working we would probably at least two or maybe three”.
For his part, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud said, “There were a lot of stones in play. I left the decision to Niklas, this is the first time something like this has happened to me. This was a big win for us. After the first three games I was not happy with the way we played. But right now, this is looking like Norway, as I know it”.
However, Norway were later brought down to earth with a bump when they went down by 5-6 to France’s Thomas Dufour, a result that leaves Norway on just two wins while France , on four wins, move into a clear third place behind Canada and Scotland.
After this win French skip Thomas Dufour said, “It’s been three or four years since we’ve beaten the Norwegian team. Tony (Angiboust, who throws fourth stones for France) made some incredible shots at the beginning of the game. Since the beginning of the championship we’ve curled well. We’ve been focusing on making our shots and staying calm and having fun”.
Scotland’s two victories on Monday kept them as surprise joint leaders, but the game against the Czech Republic on Monday afternoon was more of a grind than all the previous Scottish games.
Brewster had the chance to win it in the tenth, but his final shot was wide, to let the Czechs level at 4-4. However, Brewster made no mistake in the extra end and had a comfortable draw for his win. About the tenth, he said, “I just over-threw it, I just didn’t throw it clean at all, so...that’s it”.
Standings after 8 sessions:
Czech Republic 2-3
Session 7: Norway 8, Sweden 5; Germany 5, USA 4; Scotland 5, Czech Republic 4 (extra end); China 1, Switzerland 7.
Session 8: USA 3, Canada 5; Korea 10, Czech Republic 5; Switzerland 8, Denmark 6; France 6, Norway 5.
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/