Sweden retain European crown following extra end final

  • Team Edin in action in the final Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Sweden's men’s team successfully defended their title in Saturday’s (28 November) final of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015 in Esbjerg, Denmark, beating Switzerland by 7-6 after an extra end.

This was a fourth European title for Sweden's skip Niklas Edin and it maintains this team's position – skip Niklas Edin, third Oskar Eriksson, second player Kristian Lindstroem, and lead Christoffer Sundgren, supported by alternate Henrik Leek and coached by Fredrik Lindberg – as current World and European champions.

It was Switzerland who opened the scoring in the game, taking two points in the first end and, after blanking the next two ends. Sweden's Edin had a nose-hit in the fourth end for a hit and stay that gave his team two points and levelled the scoring at 2-2.

Switzerland could only score one point in the fifth end and, when Sweden scored two points in the sixth they had a 4-3 advantage.

Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz was forced to draw for just one point in the seventh end to level the score at 4-4, but in the eighth, Sweden increased their advantage when Edin scored two more points for a 6-4 lead with a gentle tap-back.

Switzerland then blanked the ninth end and got the two points they needed from the tenth – with a hit and stay – to put the game into an extra end with the score tied at 6-6. The extra end came down to Edin successfully drawing his final stone inside three Swiss counters to score the one point needed for victory, at 7-6.

With Switzerland already qualified as host nation, the seven other European teams in the line-up for the 2016 World Men's Curling Championship in Basel, Switzerland (2-10 April) are: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Scotland, Germany, Russia and Denmark.

Czech Republic and Netherlands are relegated to next year's B-Division, while Denmark and Austria are promoted to the A-Division of the 2016 Le Gruyère European Curling Championships, in Glasgow, Scotland (18-26 November 2016).

They Said It:

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 7-6 win over Switzerland):

"We started the week good, then we started to struggle and we lost a couple of games and it didn't look too promising. We had to fight hard to qualify and then playing Norway, who looked almost unbeatable in that semi-final, we played a great game.

“We played a Swiss team here that made every shot in the first few ends and we were down early, but we fought hard in this game and really finished strong. I'm proud of my team and the whole crew for a terrific job.

"I thought it would be just another one if we won this year, but as it developed, struggling, almost not making the semi-finals, turning it around and winning it again back to back, I think this is one of the sweetest victories we've had so far."

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 6-7 loss to Sweden):

"We're a little disappointed, we thought we had control at the beginning of the game and everybody was throwing absolutely perfectly. I myself over-swept a couple of hits that rolled out a few times, and they just made absolutely everything, I don't think they missed a shot. It probably hasn't sunk in yet because we had the chance to win the Gold, but in the end we'll probably be happy [with Silver]."

For more on the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015 visit, http://www.worldcurling.org/ecc2015/


Sweden 7-6 Switzerland

European qualifiers (for Basel, Swtizerland: 2-10 April)

1 Sweden: Gold
2 Switzerland (hosts): Silver
3 Norway: Bronze
4 Finland
5 Scotland
6 Germany
7 Russia
8 Denmark