Norway into 361º World Men’s play-off

  • Norway's skip Steffen Walstad delivering a stone © WCF / Richard Gray

In Thursday (5 April) evening’s 17th round-robin session of the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 in Las Vegas, United States, Norway became the fourth play-off qualifiers with a 7-6 win over Netherlands.

Scotland beat Russia by 7-2 to join Sweden at the top-of-the-table, while Canada’s loss by 5-6 to United States puts them in third place. The other winners in this session were Switzerland by 10-9 after an extra end. China, Germany, Italy, Korea, and Sweden all sat out this session.

The game between Netherlands and Norway came down to a last stone draw by Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad, who scored the one point needed to seal the win at 7-6. This seventh victory was enough to guarantee the Norwegians a place in the play-off line-up.

In the first end of the game against Russia, Scottish skip Bruce Mouat played a gentle tap-back on one of his own stones to open the scoring with a single point. The Scots then went on to win by 7-2 in just seven ends.

The hosts, United States played Canada in front of a packed and noisy house. Thanks to a steal of one point in the fourth end and a score of two points in the seventh end, the United States’ fourth player Greg Persinger found himself with an open draw, to score the one point in the tenth end that gave his team the 6-5 win that lifts them into eighth place.

In the game between Switzerland and Japan, the Swiss won in an extra end with a single point steal, when a hit by Japan’s fourth player Go Aoki rolled too far.

Both Scotland and Sweden have two games left as they sit in joint top spot on nine wins.

Canada, on eight wins, are third and Norway, on seven, are fourth. These four teams now take up four of the six play-off qualification places, with Switzerland in fifth and Korea and Russia tied in sixth place battling to join them.

At the foot-of-the-table, Germany stay at the bottom on just one win, while Japan sit just above them on three wins

They said it

Rich Ruohonen; skip, United States (after 6-5 win over Canada): “We just played really steady and we got a break. Brad usually doesn't miss a draw in the eighth like he missed. But, we also gave him a break back in nine and gave him a deuce. It would have been pretty tough for him to get two, but overall we played pretty good. The crowd was awesome, we kind of love that stuff. It was fantastic – electric out there.”

Steffen Walstad; skip, Norway (after 7-6 win over Netherlands): “We’ve been losing a lot so it’s good to come out with a win. We’re still not back where we were at the start of the week playing-wise, but it’s good to come out with a win nevertheless. I think we’re through now and the game tomorrow will decide which spot. The ice is tricky now because there are so many people here.”

Bruce Mouat; skip, Scotland (after 7-2 win over Russia): “That was quite a positive game for us and we played pretty well, so there’s good momentum going into the play-offs. We all know we’ve been playing well all week and we just need to keep that consistency and then if we can jump up another gear or two in the play-offs, then great. We’ve asked our fans to be as loud as they can and they’ve definitely done a lot for us.”

Session 17 results: Canada 5-6 United States; Netherlands 6-7 Norway; Russia 2-7 Scotland; Switzerland 10-9 Japan

Standings after session 17

Q Scotland 9-1
Q Sweden 9-1
Q Canada 8-2
Q Norway 7-4
Switzerland 6-4
Korea 5-5
Russia 5-5
United States 4-6
China 3-7
Italy 3-7
Netherlands 3-7
Japan 3-8
Germany 1-9

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media in the build to the 361º World Men's Curling Championship 2018 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2018 #curling