The second day of competition was a good one for Canada’s junior men at the 2012 World Junior Curling Championship in Oestersund, Sweden, as they churned out two hard-fought wins.
Team Canada, skipped by Brendan Bottcher, with third Evan Asmussen, second Landon Bucholz and lead Bryce Bucholz, were looking to build on their win in first draw action on Saturday.
A tight morning game against the United States required an extra end for a 9-6 Canada victory.
In the first end, a missed hit on a buried counter left U.S. skip Stephen Dropkin an open draw for 2.
Canada answered with a deuce in the second end when third Evan Asmussen was able to bury behind a guard, covering the edge of the twelve foot. The teams traded freezes, until Dropkin’s shot wrecked on the guard. Bottcher made no mistake and drew the button for a 2-2 tie going into three.
After holding the U.S. to one point in the next end, Canada gave up a steal of 1 in the fourth but came back with a deuce in the fifth to tie the game 4-4.
“The sixth end was all Canada,” says Team Canada National Coach Scott Arnold, reporting from Oestersund. “Facing three on his last, the US skip coolly draws the side of the four for his single. Canada trails the U.S. by one going into seven but seem more in control.”
That control slipped a little when Dropkin made two perfect freezes in the seventh end, and Canada was unable to respond, forced to a single – and a tie game once more.
“Canada dominated play in the back half of the eighth end,” reports Arnold. “With the U.S. facing two rocks on the button on their last, the U.S. skip played a double off of a rock in the side of the eight-foot to cut Canada down to 1. For the first time in the game, Canada leads 6-5 playing the ninth.”
A score of 1 in the tenth meant a tie of 6-6 and an extra end. Dropkin tried an in-off to cut the score down, but was unsuccessful and Canada took 3 in the extra for a 9-6 win.
In their second game of the day, Canada allowed the Swiss to steal a single in the first end, then took control, scoring their deuce in the second, and a big 3 points in the fourth after limiting the Swiss to a single in three.
Some outstanding doubles by Team Canada vice Evan Asmussen helped clear the house, and the teams traded points until the ninth end, when a Swiss steal of 1 left them tied at 6-6 – and Team Canada with hammer heading into the final end. Bottcher’s draw to the four-foot sealed the win.
“That was a real close one,” said Bottcher after the game. “We had control at the start but then they played great and battled back. I was just trying to throw that last draw the way I‚d been throwing through the game. I knew I was pretty close.”
Team Canada now sits at 3-0 at the top of the standings, tied with Sweden. They face Scotland on Monday.
News, live scores, galleries and video highlights can be found on the World Junior Curling Championship website.