ECC 2013: Day 6 - Men's Play-offs

Denmark's Rasmus Stjerne and his team defeated Scotland to qualify for the sole Semi-final Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Norway faced Switzerland, while Denmark played Scotland in Thursday evening's men's Page Play-off games at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavanger, Norway.

The Swiss and Norway were in the 1-2 game, with the winner going straight to the gold medal final and the loser having a second chance in the sole semi-final.

Norway opened the scoring in the second end when their skip Thomas Ulsrud was heavy with his last stone to just miss out on counting four points, taking three points instead.

Switzerland got onto the score board for the first time when skip Sven Michel raised his own stone into the house to count one point and reduce Norway's lead to 3-1 in the fourth end.

In the seventh end, Michel scored again, this time two points with a hit, to take the score to 5-3 in Norway's favour. Norway then scored two more points in the eighth end when Ulsrud hit for a 7-3 lead.

Switzerland reduced the final score to 7-4 with a single point in the ninth and final end but the Norwegians marched into the final, much to the delight of the big home crowd.

Afterwards, a delighted Ulsrud said: "This is perfect. We are on home ground, there’s a lot of people here supporting us, this is what we have trained for all year. We could feel the love from the crowd. They actually gave me some advice as well. We almost had a time-out there and I asked the crowd ‘What do you guys think*quest*’ and they said ‘We don’t know the game but we think you should place it in the middle' and we did, so that worked out pretty well."

He added: "The team have been clinical all week – it has been easy skipping Team Norway in this Championship. We have been really good since the start and from then on we have just been playing defensively - we've been pretty good at that."

Scotland faced Denmark in the Page 3-4 game, with the winner going to the semi-final to play Switzerland and the loser going to the bronze medal game.

The Scots took the lead with two points in the second when skip David Murdoch tapped out a Danish stone, for 2-1. The Danes then levelled the game at 4-4 in the sixth end when Danish skip Rasmus Stjerne drew his last stone into the house to score two points.

In the tenth end, the Scots elected to play a double take-out attempt but Murdoch got the angles wrong, missing the second target stone completely and leaving a Danish stone in the house to steal the one point needed for a 6-5 win.

Denmark now play Switzerland in the semi-final, with the winner going for gold against Norway and the loser playing Scotland for bronze medals.

After his win, Stjerne said: "It was a tight game, the Scots came out really well and we were struggling to stick in there. We came back well after the break. It went all the way down to the last shot and we got the break. That was two equal teams playing at their very best. We had hoped to have the hammer going home, but they played a perfect nine - we had to get the steal and thankfully we did."

Looking forward to the semi-final he said: "Obviously it’s a big game again; all of the games are big now. We’ve played the Swiss many times and we know we’ll have to be on our 'A' game to have any chance."

Earlier this afternoon, in the women’s A-Group, Denmark defeated Russia 7-3 in the Tie-breaker which meant that they finished fourth and will now play Sweden in the 3v4 Page Play-off tomorrow.

In the men’s B-Group play-offs, Germany defeated Hungary 7-1 and Italy defeated Netherlands 6-4. Then, in the semi-final, Italy defeated Hungary 7-6. These Results mean that Germany and Italy will play in the final and have subsequently qualified for next year’s European Curling Championships A-Group.

In the women’s B-Group play-offs, Finland defeated Estonia 8-3 and England defeated Austria 12-7. In the semi-final Estonia defeated England 7-2. These Results mean that Finland and Estonia will play in the final and have subsequently qualified for next year’s European Curling Championships A-Group.

Both winners of the finals will then take on the eighth placed teams from the men’s and women’s A-Group in a best of three games series. The winners will qualify their Member Association for either the World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 (Beijing, China) or the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014 (Saint John, Canada).

Both B-Group finals will take place at 12:00 (CET) on Friday November 29, 2013.

Results
Men’s Page Play-offs:
1v2:
Norway 7, Switzerland 4
3v4: Scotland 5, Denmark 6

Standings after Page Play-offs:
1. Norway 9-1 (to play in gold medal game)*
2. Switzerland 7-3 (to play Denmark in Semi-final)*
3. Denmark 8-2 (To play Switzerland in Semi-final)*
4. Scotland 7-3 (To play loser of Semi-final in bronze medal game)*
5. Sweden 5-4*
6. Russia 4-5*
7. Czech Republic 3-6*
8. Latvia 2-7 (To play best of three play-off against winner of B-Group for final place at WMCC 2014)
9. France 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Finland 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

*Qualified for World Men’s Curling Championship 2014

SCHEDULE

Women’s Play-offs, 13:00 (CET), Friday November 29, 2013
1v2: Scotland v Switzerland
3v4: Sweden v winner of Tie-breaker

Semi-Finals, 20:00 (CET), Friday November 29, 2013
Men: Switzerland v Denmark
Women: Loser of 1v2 v Winner of 3v4

Women’s Gold Medal Game AND Men’s and Women’s Bronze Medal Games
10:00 (CET) Saturday November 30, 2013

Men’s Gold Medal Game, 15:00 (CET) Saturday November 30, 2013

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2013 from Stavanger can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and additionally in Norway on TV2 Sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2013.curlingevents.com/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event website: http://ecc2013.curlingevents.com for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and Results.

Results: http://ecc.curlit.com

Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships

Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2013 #curling

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