Canada, Norway, Sweden and United States men victorious on Tuesday morning

Team Canada © WCF / Stephen Fisher

There were wins for Canada, Norway and United States in Tuesday morning’s ninth men’s round-robin session to keep their semi-final hopes alive.

Meanwhile, in the fourth game of this session, Sweden, already qualified, continued their unbeaten record with their seventh straight win, by 8-3 over Denmark.

ROC versus Norway

Norway and ROC faced each other with both aware that their campaigns could afford no more slip-ups.

It was Norway who started stronger, opening with three points in the first end and stealing four in the fourth end for an 8-1 lead.

ROC recovered in the second half of the game, scoring two points in the seventh end when their skip Sergei Glukhov played a draw to reduce Norway’s lead to 9-5.

However, a single point for Norway in the eighth followed by a steal of two in the ninth ended the game, with Norway emerging as 12-5 winners.

This was a third win for the Norwegians, who must now keep on winning while hoping other results go their way.

After the game, Norway’s second player Markus Hoeiberg said, “We’re very happy with that game and happy to get the win. It felt like everything went our way in this game and we deserved the win there.”

He added, “We’ve had a couple of rough days, so we just tried to re-set and go out there and have fun. It’s a lot of fun playing out there, even though it doesn’t go our way every game, but we’re very happy with the result of this one.”

Team Norway © WCF / Céline Stucki

Canada versus China

China faced Canada and led by 5-4 at the fifth-end break, but Canada took back the lead in the sixth end, scoring two.

China put a single point on the board in the seventh, levelling the score at 6-6.

However, in the eighth, a clear-out attempt by China skip Ma Xiuyue left two Canadian stones in scoring positions and Canada’s Gushue drew a third, scoring three for a decisive 9-6 lead.

In the ninth, Ma scored two points with a hit-and-stay to reduce Canada’s lead to 9-8.

In the tenth, a tap-up for one point by Gushue sealed Canada’s 10-8 victory, and their fifth win so far.

Switzerland versus United States

Switzerland played United States, and thanks to a score of two in the second end, the Americans took a 3-2 lead into the break.

Switzerland then re-took the lead in the sixth end, with a score of two for 4-3.

United Sates then scored two of their own in the seventh to restore their lead, at 5-4.

The Americans then moved further ahead in the eighth with a single steal for 6-4 when a run-back attempt by Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz did not quite come off.

United States added another single steal in the ninth end to build their lead to 7-4.

Then, in the tenth, United States’ skip John Shuster cleared out a Swiss stone in the house, to run his opponents out of stones and win by 7-4.

After his team’s win, United States third player Chris Plys said, “We knew we needed that one today, so it feels good to go and finish it off — we’re starting to feel better as the week goes on. Benoit [Schwarz – Switzerland] is one of the best shooters in all curling, so there were a few shots out there when we had to hold our breath, but it’s good to come out with a win.”

Looking at his team’s ranking position, he also said, “All you can do at this point of the week is to have control over your destiny. And we have that now.”

Team United States © WCF / Stephen Fisher

Sweden versus Denmark

Sweden faced Denmark in the fourth game of this session.

The teams were level at 2-2 after five ends, but in the sixth, Sweden made the break-through when their skip Niklas Edin played a draw for three points and a 5-2 lead.

Another draw by Edin in the eighth, this time for two points, moved Sweden onto a 7-3 lead, on the way to their eventual 8-3 win.

Afterwards, Edin spoke about learning that they had already qualified for the semi-final, saying, “We saw it on social media and were a little bit surprised. It didn’t really change anything, it was just happy news that we could spread around, so ourselves and our fans got happy. But I think we’re very focused on just playing really well one game at a time, but it feels like we’re in a good position now.”

About the game against Denmark, he added, “We just controlled the even ends, and then got that three-pointer, also in an even end. After that the game was almost over.”

Team Sweden after their win over Denmark © WCF / Stephen Fisher

After this session, unbeaten Sweden remain the only team qualified for the semi-finals, while Great Britain, who sat out the session, remain in second place, on five wins and one loss.

Canada’s win in this session moved them on to third place on the table with the same five wins as Great Britain, but also with one more loss.

United States lie fourth, but Norway and ROC — who share fifth place — still have realistic semi-final hopes.

Men’s Session Nine results: ROC 5-12 Norway; Canada 10-8 China; Switzerland 4-7 United States; Sweden 8-3 Denmark

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Beijing, China

15 February 2022
Olympic Winter Games