ECC 2013: Day 7 Semi-finals

Switzerland's Simon Gempeler and his team from Switzerland will play in their first ever European Men's Championship final Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Switzerland men and Sweden women qualified for the gold medal games at Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Stavanger, Norway, on Friday evening after winning their respective Semi-finals.

As a result, Sweden women go on to play Scotland in a repeat of the 2011 Le Gruyere European Curling Championships final for the gold medals, while Switzerland will play hosts Norway for the men’s championship title.

In curling's Page Play-off system, there is only one semi-final and in the women's game, the Swedes had an early breakthrough in their game against Switzerland. In the third end their fourth player Maria Prytz drew her stone right onto the button to score two points for a 2-1 lead.

In the sixth end, Prytz played another good draw shot, scoring one point this time to give her team a 4-2 lead. After this the Swiss rallied and when their skip Mirjam Ott hit out a Swedish stone with her last stone of the seventh end, she scored two points to level the game at 4-4.

However, the Swedes responded straightaway and Prytz had another hit with her last stone in the eighth end, this time scoring three points to re-establish her team's lead, at 7-4. Although the Swiss scored in each of the last two ends, Sweden eventually won by 7-6.

They now face Scotland in Saturday morning's gold medal final while the Swiss will face Denmark for bronze medals at the same time.

Afterwards, Swedish skip Margaretha Sigfridsson, who pays lead stones, said: "It felt like we were in control and we had a very good game. We were never sure of it, but we were in a very good position during the whole game." Looking forward she added: "Another final! I think it's fun to play Scotland in the final. We will try to play the final the way we played against Scotland in the round-robin. We've played in the play-offs really well too, so we'll try to do the same."

The men's semi-final was close all the way. The teams swapped twos in the first three ends with Switzerland taking a 4-2 lead. Eventually, in the eighth end Switzerland's skip Sven Michel hit out a Danish stone to score two points and take a 7-5 lead. Denmark's skip Rasmus Stjerne responded well in the ninth end and drew his last stone into the house to score two points and tie the score at 7-7.

With last stone advantage in the final end, Switzerland's Michel drew inside his opponents to score the one point needed for the 8-7 win that assures him and his team-mates of their first European medals.

The Swiss now face hosts Norway in Saturday afternoon's gold medal final while Denmark will play Scotland for bronze medals in the morning.

This is now clearly the most successful appearance at this level for Michel and his team and after the game he said: "I’m really glad we won. They played really well and we had to make some good shots." Looking forward to the final against Norway, he said: "We know we have to play really well tomorrow. If we do then we have half a chance of getting a win."

This session also featured the first of the best-of-three World Challenge games between the winners of the B-Group and the eighth-place finishers in the A-Group. Men's B-Group winners Germany beat Latvia by 7-2, so another victory in the second play-off will see them qualify for the World Men’s Curling Championship in Beijing, China.

Finland's women - also B-Group winners - beat Germany 5-4 to take the advantage in their contest for the chance to appear at the Ford World Championship in Saint John, Canada.

Results

SEMI-FINALS:
Men: Switzerland 8, Denmark 7
Women: Sweden 7, Switzerland 6

WORLD CHALLENGE (best of three games):
Women: Germany 4, Finland 5
Men: Latvia 2, Germany 7

Men’s Standings after Semi-finals:
1. Norway (to play in gold medal game against Switzerland)*
1. Switzerland (to play in gold medal game against Norway)*
3. Denmark (to play in bronze medal game against Scotland)*
3. Scotland (to play in bronze medal game against Denmark)*
5. Sweden*
6. Russia*
7. Czech Republic*
8. Latvia (Lost game one of three World Challenge series to Germany)
9. France (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Finland (Relegated to B-Group)

*Qualified for World Men’s Curling Championship 2014


Women’s Standings after Semi-final:
1. Scotland (to play in gold medal game against Sweden)*
1. Sweden (to play in gold medal game against Scotland)*
3. Switzerland (to play in bronze medal game against Denmark)*
3. Denmark (to play in bronze medal game against Switzerland)*
5. Russia*
6. Czech Republic*
7. Latvia*
8. Germany (Lost game one of three World Challenge series to Finland)
9. Norway (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Italy (Relegated to B-Group)

*Qualified for Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014

SCHEDULE

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

Women’s Gold Medal Game: Scotland v Sweden
Women’s Bronze Medal Game: Switzerland v Denmark

Men’s Bronze Medal Game: Denmark v Scotland

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

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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