Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
April 4, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) – After Scotland and Canada both lost their Draw 16 games Thursday afternoon, it will come down to the final draw Thursday night to see who clinches first through fourth at the 2013 Ford World Men’s Curling Championships.
Canada was outcurled by Denmark 5-3 and now sits second with a record of 7-3. A win over Sweden tonight in their final game will move them into a first place tie with 8-3 Scotland, but would give them first by virtue of their win over Scotland in the round robin.
Canada’s Ryan Harnden (left), EJ Harnden (centre) and Ryan Fry (right) keep a leery eye on their stone during their game with Denmark (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Should they lose, the Canadians risk dropping to fourth, or worse, depending on the outcome of other games, having it come down to various tiebreaking scenarios to determine the rankings for the four-team Page playoffs.
In this Canada-Denmark game, Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne executed a difficult in-off a winger in the ninth end to score two points on his way to a 5-3 win that gave his team their seventh win and kept their play-off hopes very much alive.
Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne reacts after making a key shot against Canada on Thursday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After the win over Canada Stjerne said: “We played really well and managed to get the crowd out of the game and that made it fairly even. I made the huge shot in the ninth and that pretty much put the game away. We had a tight game against Sweden that we could have won, but after the first few games we’ve picked up the pace and kept it going the rest of the way. I’m just excited to see how it ends now.”
Canadian third Ryan Fry lines up a shot in their afternoon game with Finland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
After winning their morning draw, the Scots had a chance to clinch first overall, rebounding from a 5-2 deficit against Finland with three straight points in the 7th, 8th and 9th ends to go into the 10th tied 9-9, but a deft shot by Finnish skip Aku Kauste with the final stone provided the upset and forced the Scots to cheer for Sweden tonight against the Canadians.
Finnish skip Aku Kauste celebrates his game winning shot against Scotland on Thursday afternoon (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Afterwards, Kauste said: “We’ve been having so many close games and tough losses. This one, we got lucky in the sixth end; David wanted to go for the big shot for two points and he got the worst possible result. We tried to just hang in there and play well, but it was pretty tough.”
Scotland’s Tom Brewster lets his team know they missed it by that much after a shot in their game with Finland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Either way, the Scots will be in the 1-2 page game on Friday or Saturday depending on what tiebreakers need to be played. The only unknown is who their opponent will be.
Canadian skip Brad Jacobs deliver a stone in his game against Denmark on Thursday afternnon. The Canadian lost 7-3 and will play Sweden Thursday night for a chance to clinch first (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
With their win over Canada, Danish skip Thomas Stjerne and his team move to a record of 7-4 and sit in third place overall. They can stay there with a Sweden and Czech Republic loss this evening. At the least they will play for a tie-break game depending the outcome of other games Thursday night.
In other action Thursday afternoon, after seeing their play-off hopes end against Russia earlier in the day, the USA went on to beat Norway by 9-7 in the afternoon session, a result that all but ends Norway’s medal hopes.
“It was a huge win,” said Clark. “We needed to win that game and finish with a win and get a little bit of confidence. This week didn’t quite go our way. We definitely had a learning experience and look forward to a lot of things we can work on moving forward.”
In the final game Thursday afternoon Switzerland ended Japan’s tournament by handing them an 8-5 loss. The Swiss had a good start, scoring three points in the third end to build up a 5-2 lead before eventually emerging as the winners. The Swiss move to 5 and 5 and will play the Czech Republic in their final game on Thursday night.