China men win double extra-end thriller at World Juniors

  • China men record first WJCC2019 win © WCF / Richard Gray

It took a double extra-end and a stolen point, but China men won by 9-8 against United States in Sunday afternoon’s second session of round-robin play in the World Junior Championships 2019 to record their first win.

Meanwhile New Zealand continued to blaze their historic trail with a 7-5 extra end win over Sweden. Scotland beat Germany by 8-2 to share the lead at the top of the table, on two wins.

China were 6-3 down at the break in their game against the Americans but tied the game, at 8-8, with a score of three points in the tenth end.

United States blanked the first extra-end, then their skip Andrew Stopera was heavy with his final draw in the second extra-end to hand China a single point steal for their 9-8 win.

Afterwards, China skip Weihaoping Wang said, “we didn’t figure out the ice quickly at the first half of the game, but with directions from the coach we managed to make adjustments and learned the ice better. We made the beginning of the tenth end too complicated but stayed mentally strong, found our style of play and scored three, which counted a lot for us.” He added, “all the teams are really good, and I can say there is no weak team at the World Juniors. Winning the game or not depends on the on-spot performance.”

For his part United States’ Stopera said, “out of my hand I thought my last rock was a little heavy… I don’t know, these things just happen sometimes. It’s a game that we had control of and we should have put away, but it’s a round robin for a reason, there are seven more games for a reason, so we’ve just got to put this one behind us and show up tomorrow morning and put our best foot forward.”

New Zealand stole two points in the extra end of their game against Sweden for a 7-5 win to continue their history-making success story that currently sees them share the top spot in the rankings.

About this win, their skip and second player Matt Neilson said, “it’s a very good start for us. It gives us a lot of confidence going into the rest of the tournament. We set our goals to be pretty achievable, and that’s to stay in the A-division after this year. So far, it’s looking pretty good for us. Here’s hoping we can keep the momentum going and keep playing the game as we play it.”

The Scots scored three points in the second end of their game against Germany and never looked back, finishing off with an 8-2 win.

Meanwhile, defending champions Canada responded to their first-round loss with a 6-4 win over Norway. After this game skip Tyler Tardi said, “that’s a good bounce-back. Obviously yesterday was a little disappointing with where we finished, but today was a good way to focus on what we were doing well last night during the game and carry that over. I thought we did that really well. That loss gave us a wake-up call but now we figured out the ice a little better and communication was better.”

In the fifth game of the session, Switzerland beat Italy by 7-6 and, after this game their skip Marco Hoesli, said, “that was a close game. At the beginning we played very well but then we started struggling. Finally, we managed to win the game. My last two stones [in the last end] were important, but it’s the whole team that made the good shots possible. Now I’m happy for our first win and we’re looking forward to winning the next game.”

Results and standings:

Session two: United States 8-9 China; Scotland 8-2 Germany; New Zealand 7-5 Sweden; Italy 6-7 Switzerland; Canada 6-4 Norway.

Standings after session two (W-L):

New Zealand 2-0
Scotland 2-0
Canada 1-1
China 1-1
Germany 1-1
Norway 1-1
Switzerland 1-1
United States 1-1
Italy 0-2
Sweden 0-2

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@WorldCurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WJCC2019 #curling