Junior Men Session 7 Roundup

Switzerland and Canada take the first two playoff spots Photo © WCF / Richard Gray 2015

Switzerland became the first men's team to qualify for the Play-off stages when they beat Russia by 7-3 in the seventh session of round-robin play at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia. Shortly afterwards, Canada's 10-4 win over Scotland also secured them a Page Play-off slot.

Switzerland maintained their unbeaten record with their win over Russia. Without last stone they opened the scoring with single point steals in each of the second and third ends.

Russia then opened their account with a single point in the fourth end then the Swiss made the break-through when they scored three points in the fifth end for a 5-1 lead. Russia responded with another single in the sixth end, but Switzerland took two points from the seventh end to stretch their lead to 7-2.

Russia's skip Artur Ali drew his final stone of the eighth end into the house to score one point and move the score to 7-3 in Switzerland's favour, but the Russians then conceded.

Afterwards, Switzerland's skip Yannick Schwaller said: “It's a great feeling to qualify. Now we're looking forward to winning tomorrow to make the 1-2 game. We want to play as we have already this week. All four players on the ice have done a good job and secured the Page place. Now we want to win a medal."

Speaking about the fact that his team are defending title-holders, he added: “Whether you're champion or not, the pressure is no different. We have a good mentality and we play just the same all the time."

Canada started their game as they meant to continue, stealing one point in the opening end. In the second end, the Scottish front end swept skip Bruce Mouat's last stone all the way to just score one point and level the game, but in the third end, Canada's skip Braden Calvert drew his final stone into the house to score three points for a 4-1 lead.

Canada extended their lead from then on and eventually Calvert cleared out Scottish stones in the eighth end to score three more points and claim a 10-4 victory.

After his win, Calvert said: “We’re starting to play a bit better now, so we’re in a good spot. We’re still trying to master the ice. It’s just a little straighter than we’re used to. We’re trying to throw the rock a little bit better each day."

Korea played hosts Estonia in this session and, with scores of four points in the opening end, three points in the third, five points in the fifth end, and a steal of two points in the sixth end, they racked up the highest score of the week, winning by 14-2 in just six ends.

Italy gained their second win when they beat USA by 10-1. The Italians were already in the lead, by 5-1, when they finished the game off with a score of five points in the seventh end, after which the Americans conceded.

Afterwards, Italy's skip Amos Mosaner explained the end: “It was a perfect seventh end. We played a draw, they played the guard. We had peel after peel, so they tried to come in on the centre but I peeled that too and we took five to win the game."

Norway faced Sweden in this session, and this game stayed tight all the way to the seventh end, with the teams scoring singles when they had last stone.

With a 4-3 lead, Norway made the breakthrough in the eighth end when a Swedish run-back attempt did not work out, giving Norway a steal of one point to take a clear lead - at 5-3 - for the first time. Sweden scored one more point in the ninth end but, in the tenth end, Norwegian vice-skip Markus Skogvold had an open hit to score one point and win the game by 6-4.

After this win, Norwegian skip Gaute Nepstad said: “Getting this win was really important for us. We expected to do a little bit better than we have done but now we are two wins and hopefully we can get four. There are two matches left and our confidence is definitely growing."

While the teams at the top of the table are now closing in on play-off slots, the pressure is also building on those at the bottom of the table.

A new world qualification system for next year's Championship has been introduced and that, along with the fact that next year's host nation (who would be guaranteed men's and women's places in the line-up) is yet to be announced, means that only the top six teams at the end of this week's round-robin will be guaranteed to qualify for the 2016 World Junior Championships. The final three places in the line-up will be determined at a new World Qualification event being staged in Finland next season.


Session 7: Sweden 4, Norway 6; Korea 14, Estonia 2; Italy 10, USA 1; Switzerland 7, Russia 3; Scotland 4, Canada 10.

Standings after 7 sessions of play (W-L):

1. Switzerland (7-0) Q
2. Canada (6-1) Q
3. Scotland (5-2)
4. Sweden (4-3)
5. Korea (3-4)
5. Russia (3-4)
7. Italy (2-5)
7. Norway (2-5)
7. USA (2-5)
10. Estonia (1-6)

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