Canada Men make it to the gold medal game

Canada steal a late point to make it to the gold medal game Photo © WCF / Richard Gray 2015

Defending champions Switzerland lost by 6-7 to Canada in a tense men's Page 1-2 Play-off game at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia, in which the lead changed hands six times and Switzerland's fourth player Romano Meier had a complete miss with his last stone.

Canada now move directly to Sunday's gold medal final, at the same time, Sweden beat Scotland by 7-6 to qualify for the semi-final against Switzerland. The Scots now need to wait for Saturday's semi-final to learn who they will play for bronze medals on Sunday morning.

Canada opened with last stone advantage because they had beaten Switzerland in the round-robin and blanked the first end. They scored one point in the second end to open their account, but Switzerland scored two points in the third end for a 2-1 lead.

The Canadians blanked again in the fourth end and then scored two points in the fifth end with a double take-out by their skip Braden Calvert, to re-take the lead at 3-1.

Switzerland's fourth player Romano Meier produced a good draw for two points in the sixth end to take the lead once again, this time at 4-3, but the lead changed hands again in the seventh end when Calvert scored two points for 5-4 with a hit and stay.

In the eighth end, Canada skip Calvert wrecked his first stone on a guard on the way in and this eventually let Switzerland's Meier draw for two points and a 6-5 lead. When Canada could only score one point in the ninth end, the game was level at 6-6, with Switzerland holding the crucial last stone advantage.

In the tenth end, Switzerland looked like they had done enough to win, but fourth player Meier completely missed an open take-out to hand Canada the most unexpected of single-point steals and the game, by 7-6.

Canadian skip Calvert was still shell-shocked at the result when he spoke after the game, saying: “We wanted to pressurise them and get some rocks in play and make them make difficult shots. We had some uncharacteristic misses out there and we didn’t quite play the game we wanted to but to get the win is definitely huge and we are excited for the final."

About the last stone miss, he added: "I think we’re all in a little bit of shock right now. You expect them to make that and they maybe had a little bit too much broom for that straight spot there and I guess we’ll take it."

In the Page 3-4 Play-off, the Scots struggled in the first half of the game. The Swedes had last stone advantage and blanked the first end, they then opened the scoring with two points in the second end when their skip Fredrik Nyman hit and stayed with his last stone.

Sweden then made a break-through in the fourth end when Nyman was able to hit out the only Scottish stone in the house, keep his own stone there, and score three for a 5-1 lead.

Things got worse for Scotland in the fifth end when Scottish skip Bruce Mouat's take-out attempt went wrong, leaving one Swedish stone lying in the house to steal one more point for a 6-1 half-time lead to Sweden.

However, the Scots mounted a charge in the second half. They split the house in the sixth end and Mouat was eventually able to draw for two points and reduce the Swedish lead to 6-3.

The Scots closed to 7-6 for Sweden after the ninth end and In a tense tenth end, Mouat was forced to attempt a hit and roll with his last stone, but his shooter rolled out, giving Sweden a 7-6 win without Nyman having to play his final stone.

After the game, Nyman said: “We got an early lead in the game that we managed to keep throughout even though they did everything they could to get back. We had a great amount of pressure on them in the fourth end laying with a possible shot for scoring four, picked up three and that was pretty much the game."

RESULTS

Page Playoffs: Switzerland 6, Canada 7; Sweden 7, Scotland 6.

Standings after Page Playoff games (W-L):

1. Canada (9-1) Q
2. Switzerland (7-3) Q
3. Sweden (7-3) Q
4. Scotland (6-4) Q
5. USA (4-5)
6. Norway (4-5)
7. Korea (3-6) B
8. Italy (3-6) B
9. Russia (3-6) B
10. Estonia (1-8) B

B - Teams now drop into the World Junior-B Curling Championships 2016 event taking place in Lohja, Finland in January 2016. The three medal winning teams from this qualification event will then participate in the World Junior Curling Championships 2016.

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