Hosts, United States begin 361º World Men’s with win

  • United States' fourth player Greg Persinger delivers a stone © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Hosts United States made their first appearance of the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship 2018 in Saturday (31 March) evening’s second session of round-robin play in Las Vegas and started with an extra end, 6-5, win over Japan.

Other winners in this session were Norway, who beat Italy by 10-4; Sweden who recorded their second win – by 7-3 over Switzerland – to go to the top-of-the-table and Scotland, who had an 8-7 win over defending champions Canada. The five teams who sat out this session were China, Germany, Korea, Netherlands and Russia.

When the game between United States and Japan reached the tenth end, the Americans had a 5-4 lead but, in that end, Japan skip Go Aoki played an angle raise tap-back to score one point, tie the game at 5-5 and force the first extra end of the championship. In that extra end, Greg Persinger, fourth player for United States played a double raise take-out to score the one point that gave his team a 6-5 win.

Norway and Italy faced each other, with both making their first appearance. In the sixth end, Norway’s skip Steffen Walstad played an angle double take-out on Italians stones to score three points and take the lead, at 5-4, on the way to a 10-4 win.

Olympic silver medallists Sweden played Switzerland in this session, and in the sixth end, with the Swedes leading by 4-2, their skip Niklas Edin drew his last stone into the house to score three points and extend his lead to 7-2. Sweden then won by 7-3 to sit at the top of the rankings, on two wins and no losses.

Defending champions Canada were playing Scotland in this session and with the last stone of the tenth end Scotland’s skip Bruce Mouat drew his final stone into the house to score two points and win the game, at 8-7.

They said it

Steffen Walstad; skip, Norway (after 10-4 win over Italy): “It’s always nice to start with a win. I thought we played the whole game well except for that one end where we gave up a steal of three – that end was never really ours. I think we’re a lot more prepared this year than last year. The men’s world championship is a lot tougher than any other tournament you play.”

Rich Ruohonen; skip, United States (after 6-5 extra end win over Japan): “They [Japan] made a lot of good shots on us when they had them. But, we got to get that big win and have Greg [Persinger, fourth player] make that last shot gives him a lot of confidence. We missed some shots there and we didn’t play our A-game – but we pulled one out and that’s what you got to do at this level.”

Bruce Mouat; skip, Scotland (after 8-7 win over Canada): “It’s quite exciting to be here in the first place and to win our first game against Canada is pretty special. The steal in the seventh was a turning point. We were one down and then we took a two, so it was quite a big change. I thought I played an alright shot with my first in the tenth to make it tough for him [Canada skip Brad Gushue]. I wasn’t quite sure what the spin and angles were. I assumed I would be drawing for one, but it’s nice to have a draw for two and the win. We don’t want to take our foot off the pedal now, so we want to keep going forward.“

Session two results: Norway 10-4 Italy; United States 6-5 Japan; Canada 7-8 Scotland; Sweden 7-3 Switzerland

Standings after session two

Sweden 2-0
China 1-0
Korea 1-0
Norway 1-0
Scotland 1-0
United States 1-0
Canada 1-1
Germany 0-1
Italy 0-1
Japan 0-1
Netherlands 0-1
Russia 0-1
Switzerland 0-2

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