Day 6 Review - Junior Men

Canada and Norway reached the play-offs this evening Photo: Richard Gray / WCF

Canada finished off their round-robin campaign by following up their Thursday morning 9-2 win over Finland with a solid 10-7 victory over Norway. With a record of eight wins and a solitary loss, they topped the overall rankings ahead of two teams on seven wins – Sweden and Scotland, while, despite this loss, Norway finished fourth overall, on six wins.

In their closing game, Sweden made short work of Italy, winning by 11-3 in just six ends, after earlier beating the USA by 8-4, while Scotland beat China by 6-2 in their morning game before finishing with a final flourish of five points in the eighth end of their 9-4 win over the Czech Republic.

Earlier in the week, Sweden beat Scotland when they met in the round-robin, and that result gives Sweden second place on the rankings. They now go on to face Canada in the Page 1 v 2 Play-off game, with the winner going direct to the final and the loser having a second chance to get there through the sole semi-final.

Meanwhile, third-placed Scotland will play Norway, who lost by 2-9 to Switzerland in their morning game, in the Page 3 v 4 Play-off game, with the winner going to the semi-final and the loser waiting for the eventual semi-final loser in the bronze medal game.

Afterwards, Canadian skip Brendan Bottcher was elated: “We were just trying to make the play-offs, but it’s great that we’ve finished on top and to go into the 1-2 game.”

Speaking about the game itself he said: “The guys curled great tonight. That game was up and down, but we were always ahead on the scoreboard, so we always had control in that regard. I feel like we’re starting to get on a roll here and hopefully we can ride that into the play-offs”.

Looking forward to the re-match with Canada, Swedish skip Rasmus Wranå said, “We had a bad game against Canada in the round-robin, so it will be fun to meet them again. A chance for revenge.”

Scottish skip Kyle Smith was also pleased. “That was a solid performance tonight and we all played really well.” Speaking about his five he added, “we got set-up really well from the word go, and he was really struggling by the time he came to throw”.
Below the four Page Play-off qualifiers, Switzerland and the USA finished on five wins, but USA beat Switzerland in the last session by 8-7 after an extra end to rank fifth, while the Swiss are sixth.

After that game, USA skip Stephen Dropkin reflected: “It’s a kind of bitter/sweet time but it was really nice to finish off with a win. I ’m frustrated because I think we should have done better. There are teams out there that I feel we should have beaten, but, hey that’s curling.

He added: “My junior career is over now, so I’ll be thinking about the good times I’ve had with my team”.

China also had to go to an extra end before beating Finland by 10-9 in their concluding game, and finish in seventh place. Afterwards, skip Xiuyue Ma said: “The first half of the game was not good, the next half got better and then in the extra end we managed to win the game so it feels great. This was a good event for me because I gained a lot of experience. The ice was great as well compared to my home town ice, and we have all had great fun”.

The Czech Republic finished eighth overall on two wins, ahead of Italy on one win and Finland , who lost all their games.

At the end of his campaign, the Finnish skip Iiro Sipola said: “It’s cool to be here of course, it’s great to be able to play on this kind of ice because in Finland we don’t have these conditions. We have learnt a lot from this championship, we’re just not at the same level as the rest of the teams, but we are having fun”.

Unusually, this year, instead of just one team, the bottom two European teams – Italy and Finland - are relegated to the European Junior Curling Challenge to compete for the one available European slot in next year’s World Championships line-up. This situation comes about because, as hosts next year, Russia will take up one of the European places in the line-up, making it necessary for two teams to go down this year, while only one will come up to join Russia and the four other European qualifiers at the World Juniors in Sochi, Russia next year.

Round 8: USA 4, Sweden 8; China 2, Scotland 6; Canada 9, Finland 2; Italy 5, Czech Republic 11; Norway 2, Switzerland 9.

Round 9: China 10, Finland 9 (extra end); Canada 10, Norway 7; Czech Republic 4, Scotland 9; Switzerland 7, USA 8 (extra end); Sweden 11, Italy 3.

Standings at the end of the Round Robin:
1. Canada 8-1
2. Sweden 7-2
3. Scotland 7-2
4. Norway 6-3
5. USA 5-4
6. Switzerland 5-4
7. China 4-5
8. Czech Republic 2-7
9. Italy 1-8
10. Finland 0-9

Curling fans around the world can follow live coverage of the event on and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel In a new venture for this event, the action is being streamed globally through YouTube.

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

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