Winning start for Sweden’s defending champions at Le Gruyère Europeans

  • Sweden in action during the opening session © WCF / Alina Pavlyuchik

The Le Gruyère AOP European Curling Championships 2018 got underway on Saturday morning in Estonia’s Tondiraba Ice hall in Tallin with the opening men’s round-robin session in both the A and B-Divisions.

Sweden are the defending champions and they opened with a 7-6 win over Switzerland that went all the way to the last stone. Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin tapped up one of his own stones to score two points. Afterwards, Edin said, “we came up against a team playing really well. We got a deuce in the first end but they simply out-played us for the next few ends. We were in big trouble and didn’t think we were going to come back in the game.

“But, we then got some unforced errors out of them and the game momentum switched.”

The other winners in the A-Division included Scotland, who beat Norway by 8-7, helped by a score of three points in the sixth end. After this game Scotland ski Bruce Mouat said, “It’s always nice to start with a win, it settles the nerves. Both teams were playing pretty well – we both had good moments and some not-so-good moments.”

Germany were 10-6 winners over Russia. In the eighth end of this game, Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz drew his final stone into position to score four points for an 8-6 lead.

Italy beat Netherlands by 10-6 after a strong fourth end that saw the Italian, skip Joel Retornaz play a double take-out for a 6-1 lead [pictured below, © WCF / Richard Gray]. “We could have drawn for two or played a double for four, but the double was there” explained Retornaz. “It was a team decision – we made it and we were happy to take this big lead into the first half of the game.”

In the fifth game of the session, Finland beat Poland – who were making their A-Division debut – by 6-5 after an extra end. This game started with five blank ends before the deadlock was broken in the sixth end when Finland’s skip Wille Makela hit out a Poland stone to open the scoring with three points.

Session one results: Sweden 7-6 Switzerland; Scotland 8-7 Norway; Germany 10-6 Russia; Netherlands 6-10 Italy; Finland 6-5 Poland

Standings after session one:

Finland 1-0
Germany 1-0
Italy 1-0
Scotland 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Netherlands 0-1
Norway 0-1
Poland 0-1
Russia 0-1
Switzerland 0-1

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