Scotland Moves Into First Place Tie With Canada After Key Win Over Sweden

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2013 World_Mens_Curling

Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)

April 3, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – Scotland would score a single point in the 10th end to take a nail-biting 8-7 win over Sweden on Wednesday night, moving into a first place tie with Canada at the 2013 Ford Men’s World Curling Championships at Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena in Victoria.

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Scotland’s Scott Andrews (left), Tom Brewster (centre) and Greg Drummond check out the line down ice during their game against Sweden Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Both Scotland and Canada have 7-2 records, with Canada losing to Japan 10-8 and then defeating Russia 8-5 earlier in the day, while Scotland defeated Norway 8-4 in the morning draw.  The Swedes, an early favourite at the tournament, now drop to 5-4 and sit in the middle of the pack.

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Sweden’s Fredrik Lindberg (left) and Sebastian Kraupp (right) do their best to sweep Viktor Kjall’s stone down ice in their game against Scotland Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

On Wednesday, after trading scores of two points each in the first two ends, Sweden stole one point in the third end of this game when Scottish skip David Murdoch failed with his final draw into the house and caught a front guard instead.

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Scotland’s Greg Drummond shouts instructions to his mates during action against Sweden on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

However, Scotland eventually won when Murdoch’s team swept his last stone into the house in the tenth to score one point for a final score of 8-7.

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Swedish Skip Niklas Edin gives line instructions to his team during their game with Scotland Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Afterwards, Murdoch acknowledged the sweeping work done by his front end on his crucial last stone, saying: “It’s nice to know you have sweepers like that. That’s where all the hard work in the gym pays off. The ice was just a little slower tonight, and even in that last end, it went down a little more and it caught us a hair.”

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Scottish skip David Murdoch would draw to the 8 foot for the game winner against Sweden on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

More generally Murdoch added, “We’re very happy. We have the one-two game in our own hands, and that’s great. That’s what we really tried to achieve all week. We have a couple tough games (on Thursday) and we need to win both of those to make the one-two, but if we do that, we’ll meet our goal for the round robin and then we’re into the hard part of the weekend.”

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China’s Jialiang Zang (left) and Dexin Ba (right) sweep a rock down the ice in action against Denmark Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Denmark would keep the pressure on the Canucks and Scots, moving to a 6-3 record with an extra-end 7-6 win over China.

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Denmark skip Rasmus Stjerne moved his team into third place with a 7-6 win over China on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Denmark looked to be well in control when they scored three points in the sixth end for a 6-2 lead, but China then scored single points in each of the remaining ends to tie the game at 6-6 after ten ends, and set up an extra end. In this end, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne drew into the four-foot ring to score one point and win by 7-6.

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China Skip Rui Liu worked his team back from a 6-2 deficit, but fell in the last end to Denmark on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

“That was a really important win for us,’ said Stjerne. “His [Liu] last stone in the sixth over-curled and that gave me a chance to hit for three and it paid off.” Asked about the Chinese come-back in the second half, he added: “They are a good team and played really very well and he just kept putting the pressure on. I thought I would give myself a shot in every end, but eventually it was just saving shots, rather than going for shot-rock. But I am so glad my team made it possible for a four-foot draw in the final end.”

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Czech Republic skip Jiri Snitil (background) keeps a close eye on his sweepers,  Jindrich Kitzberger (left) and  Marek Vydra (right) during their game with the United States (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In other action in Wednesday’s Draw 14, the Czechs and skip Jiri Snitil defeated Brady Clark’s US squad 9-8 and Russia defeated Japan 6-5.

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The USA’s Philip Tilker (left) and Darren Lehto (right) sweep a rock down the ice during their game with the Czech Republic on Wednesday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

After a tight game against USA, the Czech Republic’s Jiri Snitil drew in the tenth end to score one point and win by 9-8. After this game, he said: “We finally found our draw weight as the game progressed, so I was happy with the last shot. They gave me a piece of the four foot for the out-turn draw because the in-turn was closed. I was sure about the ice for this one.”

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Russia’s  Alexey Tselousov delivers a stone to the safekeeping of sweepers  Alexey Stukalskiy (left) and Petr Dron (right) during a game against Japan Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

Speaking about what will be a nervous final day of round-robin play for his team, Snitil said: “We feel better than last year for sure. We just have to relax tonight and be here, ready tomorrow. We’ve been in this situation at the Europeans before so we’re kind of used to it. Hopefully we won’t be looking around and will be able to just concentrate on our own game.”

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Japan’s Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi delivers a rock in a game against Russia on Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

In the game between Russia and Japan, skip Yusuke Morozumi made a good take-out to score two points and take a 3-1 lead in the fifth end. But in the tenth end, Morozumi came up short with his final draw shot and Russia won by 6-5.

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Russia’s Alexey Stukalskiy urges on his sweepers after delivering a stone against Japan Wednesday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)

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