WJCC 2013 Men: Day 6 Report

Canada won the battle of North America, beating USA 7-3 Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Canada, Norway, Russia and Sweden all won their games in Tuesday afternoon's ninth session of men's play at the World Junior Championships, while table-toppers Scotland had a bye. As a result, all of these teams have five wins at the top of the table, with Scotland having played a game less than the others.

Norway faced the Czech Republic in this session, and the Czechs, who have yet to win a game, started well, leading 3-2 at the fifth end break thanks to a steal of one point in the fifth end.

However, in the sixth end their skip, Marek Cernovsky, skimmed through two Norway stones on an attempted double take-out, leaving Norwegian skip, Eirik Mjoen, to draw for three points and go ahead 5-3, a lead he was never to lose.

Norway were then able to steal two points in the seventh end and a further one in the eighth end to make it 8-3, at which point the Czechs conceded, still looking for their first win.

After his victory, Norwegian skip, Eirik Mjoen, said: "We were struggling a little bit at the start but the turning point was when we scored the three. We’re playing a little bit more defensively than we have been, which is a little new for us. Of course it will be tough to qualify for the play-offs, but we will see.”

The game between Sweden and Italy also hinged on a steal, this time in the sixth end. Before this, Italy had moved into a 2-0 lead after three ends by blanking the first end, scoring one point in the second end, and stealing one point in the third end.

It was then Sweden's turn to blank an end - the fourth, and they then took the lead by scoring three points in the fifth end. In the sixth, Italian skip, Amos Mosaner, was facing four Swedish counters as he came to deliver his last stone. His draw was wide, allowing Sweden to steal three points for a 6-2 lead.

The Italians fought back with a single point in the seventh end and a steal of one more point in the eighth end to close the gap to 6-4 in Sweden's favour. But two more points by the Swedes in the ninth ended the game, with the score at 8-4 to Sweden.

Afterwards, Sweden's skip Gustav Eskilsson, said: “It was a very important win for us in order to have a chance to get to the play-offs." On their first score of three points he said: “We made a really good freeze at the beginning of the end, that’s how we managed to end up scoring the three."

In their North American showdown, the USA took the early lead against Canada, stealing one point in the second end after the Canadians had blanked the first end. But Canada responded immediately, with a score of two points in the third end and then, after USA had scored another single point in the fourth end to level the game at 2-2, Canada scored three points in the fifth end when skip Matt Dunstone drew his final stone right onto the button and take a 5-2 lead.

The Americans fought all the way after this set-back, with skip, Korey Dropkin, scoring one point in the sixth end. But after that, the Canadians kept control, blanking the seventh and eighth ends before finally scoring two more points in the ninth end, for 7-3, to end the contest.

Afterwards, Canada skip, Matt Dunstone, explained: "It's a pride thing. It is good to see Canada come out on top of these North American battles," adding more generally: "We just have to keep winning. There's a bunch of teams at the top right now. We just have to keep it going and we have to keep playing well."

Having robbed leaders Scotland of their unbeaten record the previous evening, Russia joined the group near the top of the table on five wins, with a 6-4 victory over Switzerland.

This was another tight match-up, and the scores were level at 2-2 after four ends. The Swiss had built up the head nicely in the fifth end and when Russian skip, Evgeniy Arkhipov, came to play his last stone, he was facing five Swiss counters.

Arkhipov played a great freeze that the Swiss could not remove with their last effort, to steal a vital one point. Another steal of a single point in the eighth end gave Russia a 5-3 lead, and although Switzerland gained another point in the ninth end, Russia claimed victory with a single point in the tenth end.

Afterwards Russian skip Arkhipov said: "This game was very important for us, just like the last ones too. It's important that we stay in that four team tie. We didn't feel that we had a great start at the beginning, but after the fifth end break we talked with our coach and we started to pick up our game. We needed that to put points on the board."

Session 9:
Czech Republic 3, Norway 8; Canada 7, USA 3; Sweden 8, Italy 4; Russia 6, Switzerland 4.

Standings after 9 sessions:
Scotland won 5, lost 1
Canada 5-2
Norway 5-2
Russia 5-2
Sweden 5-2
Italy 3-4
USA 3-4
Switzerland 2-5
China 1-5
Czech Republic 0-7.

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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