WJCC 2013 Men: Day 5 Report

Switzerland recorded two victories today Photo: WCF/Alina Pavliuchik

Switzerland were the only men's team to record two victories on Monday's fifth day of play at the World Junior Curling Championships in Sochi, Russia, while Norway and China both suffered two defeats and Scotland lost their unbeaten record.

Switzerland started the day still looking for their first win, and they resolved that problem with a morning 9-4 victory over fellow strugglers, the Czech Republic. The Czechs, also looking for their first win, led by 4-1 after four ends, but gradually Switzerland brought themselves back into the game.

Switzerland took a 5-4 lead in the eighth end with a score of two points and then stealing one point in the ninth end to move further ahead. A further steal of three points in the tenth end helped them get their break-through victory.

Afterwards, Swiss skip Andre Neuenschwander said: "It was the first win after five games. We’re really relieved and satisfied, but we struggled in the first five or six ends. After that we had some really good shots. I think we should definitely play the same way in the next games, then maybe it will be possible to reach the play-offs."

In the same session, China went down 7-9 to Sweden, who scored three points in the second and sixth ends on their way to victory, which proved to be two crucial moments in the game, as Swedish skip Gustav Eskilsson pointed out: "Those three-enders were very important. When we got them we tried to play defensive and not give away any points and we had to make a couple of good shots in order to get those points. Our play has been ok, but there's room for improvement."

In the evening session, Switzerland met China in a game that China pushed into an extra end when they scored two points in the tenth end to tie the game at 7-7.

With last stone advantage, Switzerland were able to score the one point needed to complete their second win of the day and of the Championship. After this win, Neuenschwander said, "We had two good matches today and we took our chances."

Table-topping Scotland consolidated their position with a 9-3, six-end win over Norway in a morning game that saw them score four points in the first end with a straightforward draw after Norway skip, Eirik Mjoen, was heavy with his final draw. Scotland also scored a steal of four points in the fourth end when Mjoen's last draw was both wide and heavy.

But it was a different matter in their evening game against Russia, which was tight all the way. The lead changed hands three times during this game, but the Russian’s eventually carved out a 4-2 lead with a single steal in the eighth end when Scottish skip, Kyle Smith, failed with an angled raise attempt.

The Scots levelled the game in the ninth end when Smith drew for two points, but Russia skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov, kept his nerve to draw within the eight-foot ring to score the one point needed for his 5-4 win.

Afterwards, Russian coach, Vasily Gudin, said: “I am very happy for my team. In my opinion patience was very important because we played against a very mentally strong team.” He added: “I think the first key to winning was beautiful execution from most of the team, especially our second, third and skip. Secondly our concentration and mental focus – that’s what got us the win tonight.”

After their morning defeat at the hands of Scotland, Norway came back onto the ice to face USA, but they found themselves 0-3 down after three ends and always struggled after that. They did manage to score two points in the fourth end, but the eventually the USA men just needed to run them out of stones in the tenth end for what was their third victory of the Championship.

Afterwards, US skip Korey Dropkin said: "We played well throughout the game and gaining that early lead kept our confidence going."

The fourth game of the evening session saw Canada beat Italy by 5-4, a game that saw Canada take an early lead to be 4-1 up at the fifth-end break and then resist a late Italian charge. Italy scored two in the ninth, and stole a single point in the tenth end, but it was just too little too late.

After this win, Canada skip Matt Dunstone said: "We played great again. We got in our comfort zone right away and we got into a quick lead, just like we like. It was a real nice game for us. Going into the game they had the same record as us, so we knew we had to win this one. We know there's a little more to go, but this was a huge game. We'll celebrate for the five minutes we have but then we'll move onto the next one."

RESULTS

Session 7: Czech Republic 4, Switzerland 9; Scotland 9, Norway 3; Sweden 9, China 7.

Session 8: Italy 4, Canada 5; Russia 5, Scotland 4; Switzerland 8, China 7 (extra end); USA 7, Norway 4.

Standings after 8 sessions:
Scotland won 5, lost 1
Canada 4-2
Norway 4-2
Russia 4-2
Sweden 4-2
Italy 3-3
USA 3-3
Switzerland 2-4
China 1-5
Czech Republic 0-6

Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of the event on the event website http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV.

The live coverage schedule is available along with news, live scores, shot by shot and galleries on the event website: http://wjcc2013.worldcurling.net

World Junior Curling Championships Facebook Page: Hit ‘like’ to keep updated: http://www.facebook.com/WorldJuniorCurlingChampionships

Twitter hashtag for the event: #wjcc2013

The World Junior Curling Championships 2014 will take place in Flims, Switzerland, from 26 February to 5 March 2014 in the Waldhaus Curling Arena.

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