Junior Men Session 8 Roundup

Canada defeat Switzerland to secure a place in the Page playoff 1v2 game Photo © WCF / Patrick Fulgencio 2015

Canada handed defending champions Switzerland their first defeat of the week with a 5-3 win in the eighth session of men's round-robin play at the Tondiraba Ice Hall in Tallinn, Estonia.

Meanwhile, there was drama elsewhere in the session, with Sweden beating Scotland by 7-5 and Norway beating Korea by 6-5. Together these results had the effect of putting Scotland as well as Sweden into the Page play-offs - joining the already-qualified Switzerland and Canada.

Italy also beat Russia, by 6-4, while USA beat Estonia by 9-4. All of this means that Italy, Korea, Norway Russia and USA all have three wins and share fifth place.

With one more round-robin session to play, only two of these teams can be sure that they will qualify direct for next year's Championship, while, depending on which nation hosts next year's event, the others, along with Estonia, who, on just one win so far will finish tenth, will need to depend on next year's world qualification event in Finland to try to return to the Championships line-up.

In the game between Switzerland and Canada, it was Switzerland who made the first impact, scoring two points in the opening end. Canada then blanked three ends before taking two points in the fifth end, to put the teams level on 2-2 at the halfway mark.

Canada then had a single point steal in the sixth end and scored two points in the ninth end, to carry a 5-3 lead into the tenth end. Eventually, their skip Braden Calvert hit out a Swiss stone in the tenth end, making it impossible for Switzerland to win. The final score was 5-3.

Afterwards, Calvert said: “To clinch the 1v2 game (Page Play-off) was our goal coming into this competition. We got off to a shaky start in the first end and had to claw our way back all game. Patience really paid off for us."

In their game against Sweden, Scotland looked well set when they stole two points in the first end, but a simple draw for two points by Sweden's skip Fredrik Nyman in the fourth end brought the teams level, at 3-3. Sweden then took the lead for the first time - at 5-3 -with a steal of two points in the sixth end.

Sweden took a 6-5 lead into the tenth end and eventually, an umpire's measure after this end gave them one more point and the 7-5 win that sealed their Page Play-off slot.

Celebrating his qualification, skip Nyman said: “We had a bad start in this game, no control of the ice and I was really close to mentally giving up. But we came back strong since we just could not afford to lose. Every game is like a final now."

Norway, last year's bronze medallists, continued to progress from their poor early-week performances. Against Korea in this session, they took a lead, scoring three points in the second end after blanking the first end. Korea fought back to take a 4-3 lead into fifth end break, but a score of two points in the sixth end gave the advantage back to Norway.

In the tenth end, Ki Jeong Lee could not get inside two Norwegian stones with his final effort and although Korea took one point from the end, it was not enough, and Norway won by 6-5.

Afterwards, Norway skip Gaute Nepstad explained his feelings: “It’s a bit two sided. If Scotland had won we would have had a chance for a tie-breaker but now we are definitely out. Of course we are glad to beat Korea, but we’re a bit disappointed that the tie-breaker challenge went away. The last match against Italy is going to prove to be really important and It’s going to be really exciting with the other matches as well."

USA faced Estonia and, after a sharp start that saw them 4-0 up after two ends, emerged as 9-4 winners when skip Ethen Meyers drew his last stone of the ninth end into the house to score three points from the end.

Afterwards, USA second player Steven Szemple, said: “We played good. We’re comfortable out there and it was a good win."

Looking forward to the last round-robin session he said: "USA against Russia tonight - hopefully we can go out there and play relaxed and enjoy our last game of the year."

In the game between Italy and Russia, Italy led by 3-1 after four ends. Russia then blanked the next two ends before their skip Artur Ai drew his last stone of the seventh end into the house to score two points and level the game at 3-3.

Italy responded with two points of their own in the eighth end and eventually won the game with a single point score in the tenth end, for 6-4.

Speaking afterwards, Italy skip Amos Mosaner said: “Today was a good game, a very tight game that we just controlled. We played a very good tenth end with a good peel and played the point with my last shot. We have Norway in the next game and for sure we want to win and must win to stay in the A group and sixth place."

RESULTS

Session 8: USA 9, Estonia 4; Canada 5, Switzerland 3; Norway 6, Korea 5; Scotland 5, Sweden 7; Italy 6, Russia 4.

Standings after 8 sessions of play (W-L):

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

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