Norway men stage second half comeback to move into joint second place

  • Norway skip Magnus Ramsfjell © WCF / Richard Gray

Monday evening’s fourth session of men’s round-robin play at the World Junior Curling Championships 2019 saw Norway fight back from being 3-7 down to score in each of the last four ends and secure a 9-7 win over China, while two other games went to an extra end.

One of the extra-end games featured New Zealand, who beat Germany by 6-5 thanks to a single point steal in the extra end. The results of these two games put Norway and New Zealand into joint second place, on three wins and one loss.

Afterwards, New Zealand skip Matthew Neilson said, “that was our hardest-fought game yet. I felt like our performance was better than in the last few games. That could have gone either way, but we think curling is an emotional sport too, so we kept our spirits high… we’re happy.”

He added, “we’re pretty privileged to be playing in Canada, curling is on the map here so we’re loving it, especially being around supporters who are all for curling.”

At the top of the table sit Scotland, who beat Canada by 8-7 in a repeat of last year’s final in the other extra-end game, to preserve their unbeaten record on four wins.

In the other two games of this session, United States beat Italy by 7-3 while Switzerland were 11-6 winners over Sweden. The Americans and the Swiss now join Canada and Germany in joint fourth place, on two wins and two losses.

Speaking after his win over Italy, American skip Andrew Stopera said, “that was important, especially coming off a couple of losses, in games we felt we could have won. It’s big to get back to even because if you go to one and three, your back is against the wall. We feel we’re in good shape and have now put ourselves in a strong position to reach the play-offs.”

Meanwhile Swiss skip Marco Hoesli said after his win over Sweden, “it’s nice to have our second win so we are still in the play-off hunt and we will try our best to win as many games as possible.”

China and Italy sit below that four-team pile-up on one win and three losses, leaving Sweden alone at the foot of the table, still looking for their first win.

Results and standings:

Session four: Germany 5-6 New Zealand; Norway 9-7 China; Italy 3-7 United States; Switzerland 11-6 Sweden; Scotland 8-7 Canada.

Standings after session four (W-L):

Scotland 4-0
Norway 3-1
New Zealand 3-1
Canada 2-2
Germany 2-2
Switzerland 2-2
United States 2-2
China 1-3
Italy 1-3
Sweden 0-4

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