Following their two wins on Wednesday, beating China by 8-3, and then the Czech Republic by 6-4, table-topping Sweden, skipped by Oskar Eriksson, are assured of a place in the Page 1 v 2 play-off game at the World Junior Curling Championships in Perth, Scotland, no matter what happens in their last game against Scotland on Thursday.
Behind Sweden in the rankings, reigning world champions from Switzerland led by Peter de Cruz also had two wins on Wednesday, by 8-3 over Norway and then by 5-2 over Denmark, to sit in clear second place, on six wins.
Tied in third place, with five wins are; Norway – who went on to beat Scotland’s John Penny by 8-6 after their morning loss to Switzerland; Scotland - who, in turn, had earlier beaten the Czechs by 9-7; and Canada. The Canadians are now on a five game winning roll, including by 11-7 over Finland’s Iiro Sipola and by 7-2 against China’s Jihui Huang on Wednesday. China are still in contention behind them on four wins.
On Wednesday evening, an elated Canadian skip Braeden Moskowy said, “we’re getting close now, one more and then we’re in the dance”.
Meanwhile, Scottish skip Penny, whose team have been battling illness this week looked forward as faced a do-or-die game against table-topping Sweden, saying, “we’re just going to go back now, have a good rest and a good sleep and get into the zone tomorrow. I’m feeling a lot better and whatever happens tomorrow happens, but we’ll give it our best shot”.
Following the 8-6 win over Scotland that caused the three-way tie in third place, Norwegian skip Steffen Mellemsetter said, “it was a really tough game. Tomorrow we have to beat Denmark and we have to step up our game a bit if we are going to get to the gold medal game. If we end up playing Canada in the 3v4 game we’ll have to play as well as we did in the first match of the round robin against them”.
The USA picked up second win in the evening beating Finland 5-1. “We went out and had fun,” said USA Skip Aaron Wald after the game. He also explained “that was our last junior game together as a team. It felt good to actually go out and play well for once this week. We’re bringing in our fifth for tomorrow.”
With next year’s Junior Championships scheduled to take place in Europe, either the Czech Republic or Denmark, who now share bottom place in the rankings with just one win each, will have to face qualification next year. Denmark play Norway on Thursday, while the Czechs are up against Canada.
Men’s Standings after round 8:
Czech Republic 1-7.
Round 7: Canada 11, Finland 7; Scotland 9, Czech Republic 7; Switzerland 8, Norway 3; USA 8, Denmark 6; Sweden 8, China 3.
Round 8: Scotland 6, Norway 8; China 2, Canada 7; Finland 1, USA 5; Czech Republic 4, Sweden 6; Switzerland 5, Denmark 2.
Event website: http://www.wjcc2011.com
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2011
Results are mirrored on the WCF results database: http://results.worldcurling.org/default.aspx
Live webcast: http://www.worldcurling.org/wjcc-2011-web-coverage