At the end of a tense semi-final that went to an extra end, Scotland emerged as 7-6 winners over Norway to now go on to face Canada in Sunday evening’s final of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship in Regina, Canada.
The Scottish team – skip Tom Brewster, Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews and lead Michael Goodfellow – had finished the round-robin in second place while the Norwegians – skip Thomas Ulsrud and his team of Torger Nergård, Chistoffer Svae and Håvard Vad Petersson – had battled through a tiebreaker to make it to the play-offs.
The Scots opened with two points in the first end when Brewster had a nice hit and stay, but Norway responded with a two of their own in the second. The game stayed close throughout. Norway edged ahead with two points in the sixth, but Scotland took the lead again with a two of their own in the ninth.
In the tenth end, Norway tried to clear out Scottish stones but they only managed to score one instead of the two needed for the win, after an umpire’s measure, and the game went into an extra end.
In that extra end, Norwegian skip Thomas Ulsrud was heavy with his last attempt to draw behind cover and Scotland scored the point needed for victory without having to play their last stone.
Afterwards, an elated Tom Brewster, who will celebrate his 37th birthday on the day of the final, said, “I’m a bit shell-shocked. It’s amazing, unbelievable. I can’t believe it”. He went on, “after we went 9-2 (in the round robin) I would have been really disappointed if we didn’t go home with a medal, so I’m really thrilled to have won that, because we would have found it hard to get up for the bronze medal game”.
As usual, he was full of praise for his young team. “The guys played well tonight. We’ve performed beyond everybody’s expectations...these guys are only 22, and I’m just thrilled for them. They deserve it, they played well”.
“Norway played a lot of nice shots, and probably outside Canada they’re the best team in the world, so beating them is just amazing”.
Looking forward to the final, he said, “if we can play a few more shots than we did yesterday (in the Page 1-2 against Canada), there’s no reason why we can’t keep it tight against Canada, take it down the last and see what happens. Now we’re in the final, we’ll be trying as hard as we can”.
“We’ve got nothing to lose, they’re the favourites. I can’t wait for the final now. To play in front of that large crowed, even though they’ll be all against us, it doesn’t matter, what a buzz”.
For his part, Ulsrud was gracious in defeat. “Going into the extra end, the Scots played well with a couple of nice peels, and I was just a bit heavy with my last rock. All credit to the Scots, they played a great game but we were not as sharp as we were lately”.
Before the Canada–Scotland gold medal showdown, Norway will play Sweden for bronze on Sunday afternoon.
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
Semi-Final: Scotland 7, Norway 6.
Sunday 10th April
Bronze Medal Game (1200 local) – SWEDEN v NORWAY
Final / Gold Medal (1700 local) – CANADA v SCOTLAND
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/