Korea stay in play-off hunt while Sweden secure semi-final spot

Korea versus Germany © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik 2022

With a candidate for shot of the week, Niklas Edin, skip of defending champions Sweden, scored two points in the tenth end to win by 7-6 against Norway in Friday afternoon’s nineteenth, and second last, round-robin session of the LGT World Men’s.

This win guaranteed Sweden the direct route to the semi-finals, along with Canada, who sat out this session, and also ended Norway’s play-off hopes.

Korea beat Germany by 9-4 and this keeps them in play-off contention. Other winners in this session were Czech Republic, who beat Denmark by 9-2, and Finland who beat Netherlands by 9-8 after an extra end.

Sweden versus Norway

In the game between Norway and Sweden, the Norwegians led by 2-1 in the third end when Sweden’s Edin raised one of his own stones to score two points. In the seventh end, Sweden still led by 4-3, and Norway gave up a steal of one when a clear-out attempt by their skip Magnus Ramsfjell jammed a Swedish stone on the way out, extending Sweden’s lead to 5-3.

Sweden’s Niklas Edin © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik 2022

After a blank eighth end, Norway’s Ramsfjell drew for three to take a 6-5 lead. Then in the tenth, Sweden’s Edin played a perfectly-judged long straight raise of his own stone to land on the button, score two points and win by 7-6.

After the game, Edin said, “We played really badly in that ninth end, and he made two really nice shots on a tricky spot on the ice.  o, we had to take our chances in the tenth end, we didn’t get it going and basically had to trust luck in the end. We couldn’t control the ice and made too many mistakes and that makes it really messy.”

Thinking about going straight to the semi-finals, he added, “That was a super important win. That was the frustrating part when we couldn’t control the ice, we didn’t play well in that game and we’re lucky to win it. Making the semis is a big relief.”

Korea versus Germany

In the second end of the game between Germany and Korea, with the Germans leading by 1-0, Korea’s fourth player Kim Soo-Hyuk played a hit to score two points. In the fourth, with Korea now ahead by 4-1, Germany’s skip Sixten Totzek was heavy with a draw to score two and had to settle for just one, to reduce Korea’s lead to 4-2.

After this, Korea scored two points in the fifth end and stole two more in the tenth to complete a 9-4 win that puts them in joint fifth place on the table, along with Scotland and Switzerland who both sat out this time and play each other in the final round-robin session.

Team Korea © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik 2022

Speaking after this vital win, Kim Soo-Hyuk said, “We knew the later games were going to be really important, but if it’s the first game or the last game, we always have the same approach.”

Looking forward to his last game against the Dutch he said, “Netherlands are a good team but we’re going to play our way, in our usual form, and hopefully we’ll get a win.”

Netherlands versus Finland

Finland played Netherlands in this session and in the sixth end, with Finland ahead by 5-2, Dutch skip Wouter Goesgens had an open draw to score three points and tie the game at 5-5.

However, in the next end, Finland’s skip Kalle Kiiskinen scored two more points with a draw to re-establish his team’s lead at 7-5. Eventually this game went to an extra end and, in that end, with one of their own stones lying in shot position, Finland’s Kiiskinen threw away his last stone, to win by 9-8.  This was Finland’s last game in a campaign that saw them record four victories.

Czech Republic versus Denmark

Czech Republic faced Denmark in this session and, in the third end with Czech Republic ahead by 2-0, Danish skip Tobias Thune played a hit for one point and reduce the Czech lead to 2-1.

By the sixth end, the Czechs led by 6-2 when their skip Lukas Klima scored three points with a gentle tap-out of a Danish stone for a 9-2 score-line. Denmark immediately conceded, meaning that the Czechs completed their round-robin programme with five wins.

Session 19 results: Korea 9-4 Germany; Netherlands 8-9 Finland; Czech Republic 9-2 Denmark; Sweden 7-6 Norway

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Las Vegas, United States

9 April 2022
LGT World Men's Curling Championship