April 2, 2013
Tuesday morning's ninth round-robin session of play at the Ford World Men's Curling Championship in Victoria, Canada was historic for two reasons: the Czech Republic beat Canada for the first time - by 6-4, while Russia recorded their first-ever victory at men's World Championships level, by 7-6 over Finland.
These results also mean that there are now no unbeaten teams in this event, while every team has now recorded at least one win.
The Canada - Czech game was tight all the way and, in the fifth end, Czech skip Jiri Snitil scored two points to level the score at 3-3. In the tenth end, Snitil played a triple take-out on two Canadian stones for a final score of 6-4 and his historic victory.
Afterwards he said: "That feels very, very good. In the first half we had a couple of lucky breaks and made some saving shots, otherwise we would have probably given up a big number and it would have been a totally different story. Beating one of the best teams in the world...it's superb."
However, the Czechs could not keep it going, as they came back onto the ice in the afternoon session, only to lose to Denmark. In this game, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne scored a spectacular four points when he hit out Czech stones for a 5-1 lead in the fifth end. Snitil responded with a score of one point in the ninth end to reduce the Danish lead to 6-4, but this was not enough as Denmark emerged as 6-5 winners.
Afterwards Stjerne said: "We got a big four in the fifth and controlled it from there. The Czechs did a really splendid job, and it was all about trying to keep them away but they fought all the way until the last end."
The morning game between Russia and Finland came down to the tenth end when Russian skip Andrey Drozdov drew into the house to score two points for a 7-6 win - another little piece of curling history.
Afterwards Drozdov said: "I'm really happy to get this first win. We were very nervous before today's game but now we are very happy. This definitely gives us confidence going forward".
Like the Czechs, Russia came back out for the afternoon session and lost, to Scotland. This game also finally came down to the tenth end, when Scottish skip David Murdoch hit out a Russian stone in the house to leave one of his own counting for the one point that gave his team a 6-4 win.
After what was his fifth win, Murdoch said: "We're doing a lot of things right now. It was a big turning point in the fifth end, we took a three and we never looked back from there."
Sweden were on the ice for both of these sessions. In the morning they faced Switzerland and their skip Niklas Edin produced a score of five points in the fourth end with an angled raise shot that pushed out Swiss stones and left his own counting.
Switzerland fought back and scored two points in the ninth end when their skip Sven Michel drew into the house with his last stone. This was not enough, as Edin hit for two points in the tenth end for a 9-8 win.
However, it was a different story in the afternoon session against Japan. In this game Edin had to come from behind to score one point in the tenth end to force an extra end with the game tied at 8-8.
But Japan had last stone advantage in the extra end and their skip Yusuke Morozumi used it to hit out two Swedish stones, leave two of his own stones counting, and win the game by 10-8.
After this win, Japan skip Morozumi said: "That was a big one. I was nervous on the last shot, but I’m always nervous because everyone is so good. Definitely, it was important for our confidence. We’ll just do our best for the rest of our games."
China also played in both sessions, and they lost both times. In the morning session they faced Norway and in the ninth end their skip Rui Liu drew for two points to level the score at 4-4. In the tenth end, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud played a double take-out to score the one point he needed for a 5-4 win.
In the afternoon, they were up against the USA and in this game, Liu scored three points in the seventh end to take a 7-6 lead. But the USA recovered when their skip Brady Clark scored three points of his own to restore a lead for USA, at 9-7, on the way to an American 10-8 victory when Clark drew to score one point with his last stone.
Afterwards Clark spoke about his winning shot, saying: "I’d been playing a lot of draws this week and felt real good. The guys swept it perfect. It’s a big win for us. We really, really needed to step up and go out and get a win against a strong team. China’s a great team."
Session 9: Czech Republic 6, Canada 4; Sweden 9, Switzerland 8; Finland 6, Russia 7; China 4, Norway 5.
Session 10: Japan 10, Sweden 8 (extra end); Russia 4, Scotland 6; China 8, USA 10; Czech Republic 5, Denmark 6.
Standings after 10 sessions:
Canada won 5, lost 1
Czech Republic 3-4
World Curling TV (WCTV), the television arm of the World Curling Federation, will provide extensive live and video-on-demand coverage to broadcasters outside Canada of the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2013. WCF Broadcast Partners for the 2013 World Curling Championships include Eurosport (Eurosport, Eurosport 2 and Eurosport Player) in Europe, NHK in Japan, CCTV-5 in China, Universal Sports Network in the USA, SporTV in Brazil. In Canada, TSN (RDS in French) will carry all Team Canada games throughout the round robin, followed by the playoffs and medal games. http://www.worldcurling.org/tv-web-coverage
In addition, Curling fans around the world are able to follow selected live coverage of the events via the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV
Event website: http://www.curling.ca/championships/worlds/
Live Results can be found here: http://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/?e=12
With all results mirrored on the WCF Results Database: http://results.worldcurling.org
Additional coverage and galleries will also be available on the WCF website: http://www.worldcurling.org/ford-world-mens-curling-championship-2013
Event Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/fordworldcurling
Event Twitter Hashtags: #2013wmcc #curling
The World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 will take place in Beijing, China from 29 March to 6 April.