It was a first for the Norwegians and the Swedes, and maybe everybody else who has played at the Ford Worlds men’s curling championship.
Trailing by two in the second end of their Draw Seven collision on Monday afternoon at the Brandt Centre, Swedish third Sebastian Kraupp saw the electronic handle on the second stone he was delivering flash green, then red, then green again, then red again, then begin to warble an indistinguishable tune.
By that time, though, the stone had been released, had been in contact with at least two other stationary stones in the rings, and confusion reigned. Was the shot legit? Was the stone hogged? Was it fouled at the hogline? What was the ruling?
Turned out nobody was certain. The Swedes thought they recalled the positions and angles involved in the stones moved. The Norwegians couldn’t recall. And it turned out the handle on Kraupp’s stone was found to involve a defective battery.
The teams were given two choices — play the shot again once there was agreement on the positions of the rocks or play the entire end again.
It was finally agreed that the end would be replayed. It didn’t work out well for Sweden. Thomas Ulsrud’s charges stole a pair for a 4-0 lead and Norway went on to square its record at 2-2 with an 8-5 victory over Niklas Edin’s Karlstad crew, which lost its second in five starts.
Edin was diplomatic afterward while failing to hide the fact he felt justice had not been done.
“Actually I think the correct decision would have been to replace the stones but they (Norway) really hadn’t looked at it that closely. So they didn’t know exactly how to replace them. And that didn’t feel so good for me. If we replaced them and we made the shot we are maybe laying three. We were lined up perfect. If the handle doesn’t stop working we’re going to score two and maybe three in that end.
“Only two rocks were disturbed but there were a lot of difficult angles. I checked them before because we had hit that rock. The angles were important for us. Obviously they didn’t pay as much attention. But it didn’t feel right to replace them when they didn’t know the angles. I didn’t want to replace the rocks myself. I wanted the other team to agree. They didn’t know. There wasn’t much choice.”
Even down by four, Edin said he felt his team outplayed Norway for the rest of the game.
“But it’s just so difficult to have to take two every time with hammer and limit them to one every time they have it. He (Ulsrud) made a really good double in the eighth end. It was a good shot. And he made another good one in the ninth. If we’d taken two there I think we’re 50-50 to win the game. It was a well-deserved win for them but we could have won it as well with another start to the game.”
Ulsrud said he’d never before experienced a replay at the international or national level.
“First time for everything and this was the first time for me,” he said. “But I guess that’s what was decided. I never heard of it before. Replacing stones was crucial so we decided to play the end again. It turned out good for us and tough for him.
“It was a big win for us. After the first three games I was not happy with the way we played. Right now, this looking more like the Norway I know.”
Sweden takes the evening off while the Norwegians go against Thomas Dufour of France in today’s late draw (7:30 p.m. CT).
Elsewhere on the afternoon slate, Scotland’s Tommy Brewster and Co., climbed in front of the pack with a 5-0 record courtesy a last-rock 5-4 win over Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic in an extra end. The Scots controlled the issue from the start but yielded an extra-end opportunity to the Czechs when Brewster flashed his last rock of the 10th frame.
Canada’s Jeff Stoughton (4-0) will have the chance to pull even atop the round-robin table later today when he directs traffic against Pete Fenson of the U.S.
Germany’s Andy Kapp won his second of five by defeating Fenson 5-4 while Switzerland’s Christof Schwaller pulled even at 2-2 with a 7-1 rout of China’s Yansong Ji.
“That was important because we have lost our last several times against Pete, but now we have to win two tomorrow or it would be tough to get up to the playoffs,” said Kapp of his win, recorded on the heels of a morning loss to Scotland.
Elsewhere on today’s late draw, winless Korea faces the Czechs and Switzerland plays winless Denmark.