February 16, 2010
Men: Session 2
CAN vs GER, FRA vs CHN, NOR vs USA
Canada moved to the top of the table at the Men's Curling tournament as the only team with a 2-0 record, defeating Germany 9-4. In the other two Session 2 games, France scored a stunning come-from-behind victory over China, and Norway defeated the USA in an extra end.
On Sheet A, Canada jumped out to an early lead with a deuce in the first end. Germany played splendidly for the next three, keeping more pressure on Canada than the host rink probably expected. Clutch Canada throws, however, prevented Germany from scoring in any but the third end. The teams went to the fifth tied 2-2.
German skip Andy KAPP (GER) made his first significant mistake of the tournament in the fifth end, wrecking on a guard with his final stone to leave Canada skip Kevin MARTIN (CAN) an open draw for two to move Canada ahead 4-2.
In the seventh end, MARTIN's beautifully played angle raise takeout for three moved Canada out to a 7-3 lead. Canada took two more in the ninth to boost their lead to 9-4 and earn the concession.
Germany is now 1-1 in Round Robin play.
Sheet B's game between China and France was a slow, deliberate affair in which both rinks nearly ran out of time.
Chinese fourth Rui LIU (CHN) did France's early work for them, under-throwing a last-rock takeout attempt in the first to allow France to steal one, and overthrowing a free draw in the sixth to hand France a steal of two. Through six, France led 4-1.
Thereafter, LIU looked solid. China bounced back with three in the seventh and stole one in the ninth to take a 5-4 lead.
French skip Thomas DUFOUR (FRA), however, pulled off the shot of the tournament so far in the 10th end with the last stone, a magnificent angle raise takeout. He banged his shooter into a French guard lying well above the house, and two feet from the left guard rail, angling it back to remove China's shot stone, which was buried on the button. The shot gave France a 6-5 victory.
France is now 1-0 and China 0-1 in Round Robin play.
Sheet D's United States-Norway game saw little early scoring. The teams went to the seventh with Norway holding a 2-1 advantage.
The teams then traded deuces for three ends, beginning with the USA's in the seventh. Norway went into the 10th down 5-4, needing another deuce to win. But skip Thomas ULSRUD (NOR) wrecked on a guard with his first skip stone and could only manage a single, forcing the game in to extra ends.
With the hammer, USA skip John SHUSTER (USA) had a draw for the win in the first extra end but overthrew it, leaving Norway with shot stone and victory.
Norway is now 1-1 in Round Robin play. The USA is 0-2.
Men: Session 1
SWE 6-4 GBR, CAN 7-6 NOR, GER 7-5 USA, SUI 6-5 DEN
Session 1 of the Men's Curling tournament at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games saw an upset of one of the two joint Gold medal favourites and a near upset of the other.
The Swedes, the youngest team in the draw, convincingly defeated reigning world champion Great Britain 6-4, while Norway pushed Canada to extra ends before falling 7-6.
The inaugural session at the Vancouver Olympic Centre was at times raucous. Stomping feet on the metal flooring of the temporary stands made the sold-out arena sound like a subway station welcoming an incoming train.
On Sheet A, Swedish skip Niklas EDIN (SWE), 24, the youngest skip in the Men's draw, put in a nerveless performance that belied his youth. From the onset his side, the 2009 European champions, had Great Britain on its heels.
Sweden led 2-1 going into the sixth, where they earned a key steal. With his last stone Great Britain skip David MURDOCH (GBR) could only remove one of two counters, and the lead grew to 3-1.
They took command in the eighth when EDIN earned two with a delicate tap-back, replacing Great Britain's shot stone in the four-foot with his shooter.
On the whole, MURDOCH was inconsistent. In the ninth, with the hammer, he threw a splendid double takeout for two to pull his rink within one. But he effectively ended the game in the tenth when he overthrew a draw with his last stone that would have left Great Britain lying two with a chance to tie.
Canada overcame some tense moments to wrest a 7-6 victory from the Norwegians on Sheet B.
The game's first key end was the second. With Canada lying three with the hammer, Norway skip Thomas ULSRUD (NOR) tried to play a freeze onto the shot stone to force Canada to take one. But he was light, leaving Canadian skip Kevin MARTIN (CAN) an easy takeout for three.
The lead grew to 5-1 through four, but Norway fought back. They scored three in the fifth when MARTIN left ULSRUD his own easy takeout for three.
Canada blanked ends six through eight to retain the hammer, but was forced to take one in the ninth, and Norway scored a deuce in the tenth to send it to extra ends.
In the tenth MARTIN had a tight draw around a Norwegian counter in the eight-foot, but pulled it off to earn the victory.
On Sheet C, Germany scored a minor upset over the United States, winning 7-5.
They stole a key single in the first, when USA skip John SHUSTER (USA), wrecked on a guard with the last rock, and another in the sixth, when SHUSTER could only remove one of two German counters.
German skip Andy KAPP (GER) shone throughout. A clutch takeout to score two in the eighth put his rink ahead 7-4. They went into the tenth leading 7-5 with the hammer, where KAPP threw a clutch double takeout with his first skip stone to earn the concession.
On Sheet D, Switzerland took a 6-5 decision from Denmark.
The key end was the seventh, when Danish fourth Johnny FREDERIKSEN (DEN) rubbed a guard on a last-stone draw, leaving Swiss fourth Ralph STOECKLI (SUI) an easy double for four, to give Switzerland a 6-1 advantage.
The Swiss played defensively thereafter, satisfied to give up steals of one in the ninth and tenth ends and coast to victory.