Sweden retain European crown following extra end final

  • Team Edin take Gold in Esbjerg Photo: WCF / Laura Godenzi

Sweden's men’s team successfully defended their title in Saturday’s (28 November) final of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015 in Esbjerg, Denmark, beating Switzerland by 7-6 after an extra end.

This was a fourth European title for Sweden's skip Niklas Edin and it maintains this team's position – skip Niklas Edin, third Oskar Eriksson, second player Kristian Lindstroem, and lead Christoffer Sundgren, supported by alternate Henrik Leek and coached by Fredrik Lindberg – as current World and European champions.

It was Switzerland who opened the scoring in the game, taking two points in the first end and, after blanking the next two ends. Sweden's Edin had a nose-hit in the fourth end for a hit and stay that gave his team two points and levelled the scoring at 2-2.

Switzerland could only score one point in the fifth end and, when Sweden scored two points in the sixth they had a 4-3 advantage.

Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz was forced to draw for just one point in the seventh end to level the score at 4-4, but in the eighth, Sweden increased their advantage when Edin scored two more points for a 6-4 lead with a gentle tap-back.

Switzerland then blanked the ninth end and got the two points they needed from the tenth – with a hit and stay – to put the game into an extra end with the score tied at 6-6. The extra end came down to Edin successfully drawing his final stone inside three Swiss counters to score the one point needed for victory, at 7-6.

Oskar Eriksson during the Gold Medal Game Photo: WCF / Laura Godenzi
They Said It:

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 7-6 win over Switzerland):

"We started the week good, then we started to struggle and we lost a couple of games and it didn't look too promising. We had to fight hard to qualify and then playing Norway, who looked almost unbeatable in that semi-final, we played a great game.

“We played a Swiss team here that made every shot in the first few ends and we were down early, but we fought hard in this game and really finished strong. I'm proud of my team and the whole crew for a terrific job.

"I thought it would be just another one if we won this year, but as it developed, struggling, almost not making the semi-finals, turning it around and winning it again back to back, I think this is one of the sweetest victories we've had so far."

Peter De Cruz; skip, Switzerland (after 6-7 loss to Sweden):

"We're a little disappointed, we thought we had control at the beginning of the game and everybody was throwing absolutely perfectly. I myself over-swept a couple of hits that rolled out a few times, and they just made absolutely everything, I don't think they missed a shot. It probably hasn't sunk in yet because we had the chance to win the Gold, but in the end we'll probably be happy [with Silver]."

Team Stjerne secure their place at the WMCC 2016 Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Denmark, the European B-Division Gold medallists, have secured their place at the World Men's Curling Championship 2016 in Basel, Switzerland (2-10 April) after winning the best-of-three World Challenge Games against, eighth placed A-Division team, Italy.

Team Stjerne, won the series 2-0, beating Italy 7-2 last night, before going onto secure a 4-2 win this morning. Italy's women's side are currently level with Norway, at one win apiece, in their World Challenge Games. Last night Italy [winners of the B-Division] won 7-4, while Norway [eighth placed in the A-Division] won 8-6 this morning. The team to qualify for the Ford World Women's Curling Championship 2016, in Swift Current, Canada (19-27 March), will be decided at 14.00 (CET) today (28 November).

They Said It:

Rasmus Stjerne; skip, Denmark (after 4-2 win over Italy):

"Our whole team's season has been about these eight days. We had to come through the B-Division, we had to give ourselves a chance, and now it's just such a relief.

"It just felt right this time, I was so off last Europeans, and it was such a relief to just go out and curl and have fun. Last year we were really struggling and we kind of knew going into these games that the Italian guys would fight hard and they played well, but we still had the momentum all week and that really paid off."

WCTV Highlights: next live broadcast, on http://www.youtube.com/worldcurlingtv, today at 15.00 (CET), Russia v Scotland (Women's Gold Medal Game)

Sweden 7-6 Switzerland


Women's World Challenge Game #2: Italy 6-8 Norway
Men's World Challenge Game #2: Denmark 4-2 Italy

European qualifiers (for Basel, Swtizerland: 2-10 April)

1 Sweden: Gold
2 Switzerland (hosts): Silver
3 Norway: Bronze
4 Finland
5 Scotland
6 Germany
7 Russia
8 Denmark