Norway men continue winning streak as round-robin passes halfway point

  • Christopher Svae and Torger Nergard help sweep Norway to victory Photo: WCF / Richard Gray

Norway extended their unbeaten run to five games in Monday (23 November) evening's round-robin play at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2015, in the Granly Hockey Arena, Esbjerg, Denmark to stay on top of the table.

Their opponents in this game were the Czech Republic, and in the third end of the game, Czech skip David Sik produced one of the shots of the tournament with a strong double take-out that moved four Norwegian stones in all, but all just to score one point.

In the sixth end of this game, Norway's Thomas Ulsrud drew his last stone into the house to score three points in the end and take a 9-2 lead, on his way to a 9-4 win.

Defending champions Sweden have only suffered one loss so far and they played Italy in this session. In the fifth end, their skip Niklas Edin put the eventual result beyond real doubt when he drew his final stone into the house to score three points and take a 6-1 lead into the half-time break. The game only lasted one more end as Italy conceded with the score at 9-1 to Sweden.

Germany faced Russia and in the eighth end of a tight game, Germany's skip Alexander Baumann played a hit off his own stone to produce an angle raise to score one point and take a 7-5 lead. In the ninth end, Russia's fourth player Alexey Stukalskiy hit out a German stone to score three points and take an 8-7 lead into the final end. Germany then scored two for a 9-8 win.

Switzerland and Finland played each other in this session, and in the third end, Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz drew his last stone of the third end into the house to score one point and reduce Finland's lead to 2-1. In the very next end, Finland's Aku Kauste strengthened his team's position by scoring three points with a raise take out to move into a 5-1 lead. The Finns went on to win by 9-5.

In the fifth game of the session, Scotland suffered six successive single-point steals on their way to a 2-8 loss to the Netherlands.

They Said It:

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 9-1 win over Italy):

"It was a really good start to the game and then they made a really big mistake in the second end. He [Italy vice-skip Amos Mosaner] was heavy on his draw and we stole two, and the game was pretty much over. For us it was mostly about keeping our focus and not making any mistakes from there."

Jaap Van Dorp; skip, Netherlands (after 8-2 win over Scotland):

"We played pretty well, we got into a nice flow. It's easy when you get a couple of steals in and you're up early in the game. They had some bad shots, but as soon as they scored a couple back on you it's another game. It was good to keep the focus and keep our rocks in the right spots. We've been playing pretty ok in the tournament, actually, and we've just been learning from every loss, and every win as well. We're making sure we read the ice and keep our energy up. I think this is a good step to get to the next round. It should be fun."

Aku Kauste; skip, Finland (after 9-5 win over Switzerland):

"We have had a great day: two important wins as we defeated Germany in the morning and now Switzerland in the evening. This evening’s game was really good playing from us. We played world class curling and dominated the first half. We got into problems in the eighth end as our first stones got into unfavourable positions, and spent the whole end clearing the mess. Fortunately, we were able to limit the damage to steal one. After that we played well again in the ninth end and secured our win by extending our lead to four points.”

B-Division Highlights:

Austria defeated Israel by 6-4, to move ahead of the Israelis for first place in the men's B-Division Group B standings. Denmark kept their unbeaten record in Group B, beating Turkey by 8-2 while Slovenia, a newcomer to the B-division after winning the C-Division title last month, extended their winning streak to three games, defeating Poland by 9-3.

MEN'S RESULTS, Session 5:

Russia 8-9 Germany; Netherlands 8-2 Scotland; Norway 9-4 Czech Republic; Switzerland 5-9 Finland; Sweden 9-1 Italy.

MEN'S STANDINGS after Session 5 (W - L):

Norway 5-0
Sweden 4-1
Finland 3-2
Germany 3-2
Czech Republic 2-3
Netherlands 2-3
Russia 2-3
Switzerland 2-3
Italy 1-4
Scotland 1-4