Canada and Sweden secure first play-off spots

Sweden's Niklas Edin © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Table-toppers Canada beat Korea by 10-2 while defending champions Sweden were 5-3 winners over United States in Thursday evening’s seventeenth round-robin session of the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. With these wins, these two teams became the first qualifiers for the weekend play-off games.

In the other games of this session, Denmark beat Netherlands by 7-2 and Italy were 6-5 winners over Czech Republic after an extra end.

In their game against Korea, Canada opened with a score of three in the first end when skip Brad Gushue took out two Korea stones. Then, in the second, Korea’s fourth player Kim Soo-Hyuk caught a front stone on his way into the house to give up a steal of three for a 6-0 Canadian lead after just two ends.

Team Canada © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

Korea scored one point in the third end and then, with the Canadian lead at 7-1, the Canadians produced another score of three in the fifth to go into the break with a 10-1 lead. Both teams simply played out the sixth end and when Korea’s fourth player Kim Soo-Hyuk hit to score one, the teams shook hands with a final score of 10-2.

Earlier in the day, the Canadians had gone down to United States and, after this win, Gushue said, “It was a discouraging loss earlier, but the US just really out-curled us. So, to come back and play the way we did, especially the first end – we played eight great shots and got a three on the board – was good. We got fortunate in the second end and got a steal of three and from then on it was in our hands.”

Looking forward, he spoke about being qualified for the play-offs, saying, “First or second spot gets you one step closer to the Championship, and it also gives you a bit of rest. With what our team has been through over the last six months or so, well, a draw off is not going to hurt us.”

United States versus Sweden

In the third end of the game between defending champions Sweden and United States, with Sweden leading by 1-0, American skip Korey Dropkin levelled the game 1-1. Then, in the fifth end, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin drew round a front guard and onto the button to score one point and take a 2-1 lead.

In the tenth end, the score was 3-3. Sweden had last stone and Edin used it to play a raise take-out, scoring two more points to take the 5-3 win that guaranteed his team a place in the play-off line-up.

Team Sweden © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

After the game he said, “It’s nice that we’ve qualified. It’s been tricky – all the teams are trying to figure out the ice, but it’s been different on every draw. We have a really high level here, so it’s just trying not to miss too much and making the key shots.”

Italy versus Czech Republic

Italy played Czech Republic and in the fourth end, with the game tied at 1-1, Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz played a draw to score two points and take a 3-1 lead. The Italians took that lead into the break and then, in the seventh, Czech Republic skip Lukas Klima’s raise double attempt jammed an Italian stone on the way out to give Italy a steal of one and increase their lead to 4-1.

In the tenth end, the Czech Republic stole one point to level the game at 5-5 and then, in the extra end, Italy’s Retornaz played a hit and stay to score one point and win, by 6-5.  This win puts Italy into a four-way tied for third place, along with Scotland, Switzerland, and United States.

Team Italy © WCF / Steve Seixeiro

In the tenth end of this game, Italy’s lead Simone Gonin smashed his broom into the ice in frustration. His broom head then came off and landed on the next sheet. As a result, he was “ejected” from the game by the head umpire, in accordance with rule C10 (g).

Denmark faced the Netherlands in the fourth game of this session. Denmark scored one point in the opening end and then added another in the second end when Dutch skip Wouter Goesgens came up short with his final draw attempt in the second end. Denmark went on to win by 7-2.

Session 17 results: Denmark 7-2 Netherlands; Canada 10-2 Korea; United States 3-5 Sweden; Italy 6-5 Czech Republic

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8 April 2022
LGT World Men's Curling Championship