Day 2 Review - Junior Men

Canada take third win in a row against Switzerland Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Canada and Sweden share the lead at the top of the men’s standings after three round-robin sessions at the World Junior Curling Championships 2012 in Östersund, Sweden.

In Sunday morning’s session, the Canadians were taken all the way to an extra end by USA before emerging as 9-6 winners and then, in the evening session, after moving out to a 5-2 lead after four ends, survived a Swiss onslaught, when skip Brendan Bottcher played a perfect draw for a single point in the tenth end and a 7-6 win.

Afterwards, skip Bottcher said, “that was a real close one. We had control at the start but then they played great and battled back. I was just trying to throw that last draw the way I’d been throwing through the game. I knew I was pretty close”.

The USA went on to make up for their morning loss to Canada by beating China in yet another close encounter, eventually winning by 6-5, but to do so, they had to recover from giving away three points in the first end when they accidentally “burned” or touched a stone in play. Skip Stephen Dropkin explained, “we unfortunately burned a rock at the start and had to come back, but it’s good to come through a challenge like that. You’ve got to keep your spirits up and we really stuck together to pull it out at the end”.

Meanwhile, Scotland went to extra ends in both of their games on Sunday. In the morning, they could not shake off a stubborn Italian challenge, and eventually skip Kyle Smith had a chance to score the two points needed for his win in the tenth, but his final draw was too strong – Scotland scored just one and the teams went into an extra end. In that end, the Scots eventually stole the one shot needed for victory when Italy couldn’t completely remove a Scottish counter to give Scotland a 6-5 victory.

Afterwards, skip Smith said, “actually, they were a very good side. They really took us down to the wire, but a win’s a win”.

In the evening, the Scots faced Sweden with both teams undefeated so far. This was a low-scoring game, with six blank ends in total. Eventually, in the extra end, Smith was long with his final draw. But before this, there was an on-ice debate involving whether a Swedish player had accidentally touched a stone. The stone stayed on, and a clearly upset Smith missed his final shot and it was Sweden who marched on undefeated alongside Canada, adding to their 8-5 morning win over the Czech Republic.

Later Swedish skip Rasmus Wranå said, “we’re very happy. Scotland played very defensively and we couldn’t get our offensive shots to count, but in the tenth we did, and after their skip missed a stone it let us score two for the tie. With my last shot all I could think about was making the two points. There’s a lot of nerves when a game is so tight and you have to learn to control them, but I managed and that’s what helped us win”.

Norway recovered from an opening day loss with two wins on Sunday. First they beat Finland by 9-8 in the morning and then followed that up with a 10-4 win over the Czech Republic, a game that was made comfortable for them when good play by the whole team yielded a score of five in the fourth end on their way to victory.

In the evening session, Italy faced Finland, with the winner having the prize of moving out of the winless pack at the foot of the table. Finland pulled out a score of three in the tenth end to put the game into an extra end, from which Italy emerged as 9-8 winners, leaving Finland and the Czech Republic as the only two men’s teams to record a win.

Afterwards, Italian skip Andrea Pilzer said, “it’s a great feeling. We complicated everything when we were up, we had a couple of bad ends but in the end it is nice to win. When they scored three in the tenth end it was tough. To give up three like that, it was quite stupid. The win gives us some confidence back for sure though”.

RESULTS JUNIOR MEN
Round 2: Switzerland 6, China 7 (extra end); USA 6, Canada 9 (extra end); Scotland 6, Italy 5 (extra end); Finland 8, Norway 9; Czech Republic 5, Sweden 8.
Round 3: Norway 10, Czech Republic 4; Italy 9, Finland 8 (extra end); USA 6, China 5; Sweden 4, Scotland 3 (extra end); Switzerland 6, Canada 7.

Junior Men’s Standings
Canada 3-0
Sweden 3-0
Norway 2-1
Scotland 2-1
USA 2-1
China 1-2
Italy 1-2
Switzerland 1-2
Czech Republic 0-3
Finland 0-3.
*During the round robin teams with the same W-L record will be ranked alphabetically.

Curling fans around the world can follow live coverage of the event on http://www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel http://www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV In a new venture for this event, the action is being streamed globally through YouTube.

For mobile devices visit: http://m.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv

The live coverage and schedule is available along with news, live scores, galleries and video highlights on the event website: http://www.wjcc2012.worldcurling.net

Read additional comments from the players here: http://wjcc2012.worldcurling.net/news

Event Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/wjcc2012sweden

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2012

The World Junior Curling Championships 2013 will take place in Sochi, Russia, from 28 February-10 March.

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