February 17, 2010
Men: Session 3 - GBR 9-4 FRA, SUI 7-6 USA, CHN 8-1 DEN, SWE 6-3 GER
Sweden and Switzerland improved to 2-0 to join Canada at the top of the table in the Men's Curling tournament at the Vancouver Olympic Centre on Wednesday.
Sweden, the 2009 European champions and the youngest team in the Men's draw, met Germany's veteran side on Sheet D. The back-and-forth game went to the seventh end and tied 3-3.
Sweden stole one in the eighth and carried that 4-3 lead into the 10th.
Germany, with the hammer, searched in vain for an opportunity for a deuce, as the Swedes kept the house filled with their yellow rocks.
Skip Andy KAPP (GER) could not even manage a single. Swedish skip Niklas EDIN (SWE) played a brilliant freeze onto the button with his last stone. KAPP could not force it out and Sweden claimed a 6-3 victory.
Germany's record is now 1-2.
On Sheet A, David MURDOCH's (GBR) 2009 World Championship rink flexed its Curling muscles by beating France 9-4.
Great Britain moved out to a 4-0 lead after three ends, largely on the strength of a second-end steal of two, and led 6-2 at the break.
France pulled to within two in the seventh, when MURDOCH, with the hammer, could only remove one of two French counters with his final stone, giving France a steal of one.
Great Britain went into the ninth leading 7-4 with the hammer, and MURDOCH made a big double takeout with his first skip stone to spoil French hopes of a comeback. The game was conceded before he threw his last stone.
Great Britain and France each now stands at 1-1.
On Sheet C, China made short work of Denmark, earning a concession after seven ends. The final score was 8-1.
Denmark was unimpressive from the start. In the first end, Danish fourth Johnny FREDERIKSEN (DEN) knocked out his own stone with the hammer, giving China an early 1-0 lead. Denmark picked up one point in the second, but thereafter it was all China.
The tournament rookies took over with a draw for three in the third end, and steals of one and two in the fourth and fifth. They led 7-1 at the break.
Denmark had the hammer in the sixth. Trying to remove two Chinese counters, FREDERIKSEN missed, leaving one behind for another Chinese steal, after which Denmark conceded.
Denmark is now 0-2. China is 1-1.
The United States-Switzerland contest on Sheet B was defined by miscues by both rinks' fourths.
Switzerland moved to a 4-0 lead after three, mostly due to the poor form of USA skip John SHUSTER (USA). His failed last-stone draw in the second gave the Swiss a steal of one, and his takeout attempt in the third rolled out after contact to give the Swiss another steal of one.
The USA rink mounted a comeback as SHUSTER steadied and Swiss fourth Ralph STOECKLI (SUI) began to falter. The USA took a deuce in the fourth end with the hammer and then benefited from three consecutive steals of one to move ahead 5-4 after seven. The USA stole yet another in the eighth after Swiss skip Markus EGGLER (SUI), who throws second, seemed to misjudge which of two stones in the four-foot, a USA red or a Swiss yellow, was shot stone before the Swiss threw the end's last rock.
The teams went into the 10th with USA leading 6-5. SHUSTER had a draw for the win, but his shooter had centimetres less of the four-foot than a Swiss rock, resulting in a Swiss steal and a 6-6 tie.
The USA had the hammer in the 11th end, but Switzerland applied the pressure. With his last stone, STOECKLI played a fine takeout, leaving his shooter as shot stone at the top four. SHUSTER tried to remove it with a raise. He did, but his shooter had too much weight and another Swiss rock turned out to be shot stone. The steal of one gave Switzerland a 7-6 win.
The USA is now 0-3.