Tom Brewster was asked Thursday morning about a best-of-three scenario against Canada. “Best of three? As long as I win the last one, it’ll be good,” quipped the Scottish skip.
Brewster and Team Scotland booked a rematch with Canada, anyway, during an eventful morning at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Richardson. Scotland (8-2) disposed of France (6-4) in straightforward fashion during Draw 15 at the Brandt Centre — needing just seven ends for a 6-1 victory — and booked a spot in the Page Playoff 1-2 game against Canada (10-0) in the process.
Jeff Stoughton’s host Canadians from Winnipeg stayed unbeaten by squeaking past China 5-4. The Page 1-2 showdown is slated for Friday at 9:30 p.m. ET, live on TSN.
“Can’t wait. That’s what it’s all about,” said Brewster, whose Curl Aberdeen crew of Greg Drummond, Scott Andrews, and Michael Goodfellow lost a 7-3, round-robin clash with Canada on Tuesday night. “Full house. Canada. I play this game to play the best teams, and they’re one of the best teams in the world. We’ll go out there and give it a roll.”
In other Draw 15 action, Sweden boosted its playoff chances and halted a two-game losing streak with an 8-4 win over Korea, while Germany earned its fourth straight victory thanks to a 7-3 decision over winless Denmark.
With two round-robin draws remaining, there’s a five-team logjam for the final two playoff berths. Sweden, Germany, and France all hold 6-4 records, while Switzerland and Norway sit at 5-4.
After a 7-5 loss to Norway on Wednesday night, Brewster and his team of young Scots came out refocused, scoring deuces in the third, fifth, and seventh ends against Thomas Dufour’s quartet from Chamonix.
“Fantastic. With the position we got ourselves in, we had to finish it off,” said Brewster. “Well played to the guys; they came out and played solid today. We were disappointed last night, didn’t play well at all, really.
“It was small things, wee things. We were missing shots on the wrong side at times, needing to concentrate on certain spots if we were playing peels or runbacks. And we missed a couple of sweeping calls,” added Brewster. “We had a long debrief last night, and a longer chat this morning, and they came out flying. I’m really pleased.”
The French, pushing for their first playoff berth at the FWMCC since 1973, play the United States (3-6) in the final round-robin draw on Thursday night, and must win to earn at least a tiebreaker.
“Scottish made good shots. We didn’t have good setups, and we didn’t play well enough to beat them today,” said Dufour. “We have to focus on the last game. We are somewhere we didn’t expect to be at the beginning of the week. The first goal is to make shots . . . we cannot fret about (making the playoffs); otherwise you put yourself under pressure and you don’t play well anymore.”
The Canadians, consisting of Stoughton, third Jon Mead, second Reid Carruthers, and lead Steve Gould, shrugged off the Chinese challenge with the winning counter in the 10th end on Stoughton’s open draw that just kissed the button.
Yansong Ji’s foursome had stolen one in the seventh to tie the game 4-4, before the eighth and ninth ends were blanked.
“Tom’s team is getting better and better. We’re going to be in tough, and we’re going to have to play our best,” said Stoughton of Friday night’s Page 1-2 showdown. “(The Chinese) took us to 10, and I guess that was their goal. It never hurts (to play a tight game), and they were playing very conservative . . . it’s nice to throw a draw to win the game.”
The Swedes doubled up Korea, thanks to a steal of four in the sixth end. Niklas Edin executed a hit-and-roll to lie four with his final shot, and forced Korean skip Dong Keun Lee to attempt a shot through a narrow port he couldn’t negotiate. It was a welcome stroke of good luck for Sweden, after a picked rock contributed to a Wednesday-night loss to the Czech Republic (3-6).
“We were mentioning that when we stole those four points — that was pretty much our first break, when we actually played well and got some points on the board. It felt really good,” said Edin, whose team from Karlstad includes third Sebastian Kraupp, second Fredrik Lindberg, and lead Viktor Kjaell.
The Swedes play Switzerland (5-4) in Thursday afternoon’s draw, starting at 3:30 p.m. ET, with the loser eliminated from playoff contention.
“We lost to them at the Europeans. We know they’re a really good team, and they’re stronger now with their new lineup,” said Edin. “And this is where we like to be — under pressure. We usually play well when we’re under pressure. We’ve got a good chance to win, but we need to play at our best.”
Kapp and Co. have pushed themselves back into the playoff picture, thanks to this present run. Germany wraps up its round-robin schedule on Thursday afternoon against the Czechs.
“All the shots are coming right now,” said Kapp, whose Fussen Curling Club crew includes third Daniel Herberg, second Andreas Lang, and lead Markus Messenzehl. “And we’ve worked a little harder. Germans are always hard workers. We’ll see what the end of the week brings.”
Thursday’s afternoon draw will also pit Norway against China (3-6) and Scotland against the USA.