It’ll be Norway versus Canada in Sunday’s gold medal final of the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship, taking place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Saturday afternoon, Norway, skipped by Torger Nergård, outlasted Scotland’s Warwick Smith, 9-7 in the semi-final to advance to the rubber match against Canada’s Kevin Koe, which can be seen live on TSN, beginning at 10:00 am ET Sunday.
Norway, which concluded the round robin in first place with a 10-1, having lost only to Scotland in the opening draw, will now look to defeat Canada for a second time this week. Norway won the round robin encounter, 9-8, but lost the Page Playoff 1 vs 2 game, 11-5 on Friday night and thus had to win today’s semi-final in order to get another crack at Koe.
Koe, whose Edmonton team finished the round robin in second place with a 9-2 mark, is making his World debut while seeking a leading 32nd title for Canada since the world men’s curling championship began in 1959 in Scotland. Norway has but three titles to its credit, the last by Eigil Ramsfjell in 1988.
“I’m looking forward to tomorrow,” said Koe. “We’ve had a good week and it’s going to be a tough game. It’s not going to be anything like last night’s game (Page 1 vs 2) for sure, that’s not what we’re expecting. But we’re playing well and I like our chances.
“You get a chance to be a world champion – it doesn’t get any better than that. No matter what, it’s been a great season. That Brier win was just outstanding the way it unfolded, but if we can top that off and call ourselves world champs, you can’t ask for more.”
In Saturday’s semi-final, Norway took three in the fifth end for a 7-3 lead, but Scotland fought back with a single in the sixth, a steal of one in the seventh and a deuce in the ninth, to make it an 8-7 game coming home, but needing another steal to force an extra. However, Nergård was good with his last stone, taking one to cement the victory.
Scotland, which had defeated United States (Pete Fenson), 6-4 in an extra end in the Page 3 vs 4 game earlier on Saturday, now meets the same foe Sunday morning in the bronze medal game.