Swedes vs. Scots
Sweden and Scotland meet in world men’s final for first time since 1967
The gold-medal game at the 2021 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland, is set. Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Scotland’s Bruce Mouat will battle for the world men’s curling championship on Sunday night.
In the first semifinal game, Sweden defeated Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz 11-3 for the right to appear in his team’s fourth-consecutive world men’s championship final.
Sweden gained an inside track during the game against Switzerland, heading into the fifth-end break at WinSport Arena at Canada Olympic Park in Calgary. Edin played a spectacular double takeout to score five and take a commanding lead. From that point on, the Swedes – skip Edin, vice-skip Oskar Eriksson, second Rasmus Wranå, lead Christoffer Sundgren, alternate Daniel Magnusson, coach Fredrik Lindberg and national coach Maria Prytz – took control of the game. Edin stole four more points over the final three ends before Switzerland conceded.
“We’re one of those teams that likes to build on the performance and learn as we go along. Usually we are slow starters, so to speak, and then we kind of try to gather information. Then in the playoffs, we usually make all the key shots and when we miss, we don’t miss big,” Edin said of the team’s continued success.
A Swedish gold-medal game win would be – simply put – monumental, not only because it was won inside a hub city bubble but also because of the team’s historical achievements collectively and for one individual.
Edin could become the first player to win five world men’s curling titles. He’s currently tied with all-time Canadian greats to have played the game; Randy Ferbey, Glenn Howard, Ernie Richardson, Arnold Richardson and Garnet Richardson.
But that feat is even more spectacular because of the team’s success over the past three events. No team has won gold medals at three consecutive occasions and Edin’s team could become the first, surpassing teams skipped by Ernie Richardson, Don Duguid and Ferbey.
“It’s a big one, but it’s kind of the same thing as going into the Olympic Games,” Edin said of the potential records. “You’ve got to focus on each shot to win it in the end and I think you can’t think too much about that stuff when you’re playing the game but obviously between it you get a lot of questions and you know it is there in the background too. But I think the key is to keep the focus in the now when you’re playing the games.”
Scotland’s Mouat bested Sergey Glukhov of the RCF in the second semifinal. The game was a lower-scoring affair with only one crooked number scored by either team during the game, which made the biggest difference.
Scotland scored three in the third end and limited RCF to single points in the fourth and ninth ends en route to the 5-3 win.
Mouat, vice-skip Grant Hardie, second Bobby Lammie, lead Hammy McMillan, alternate Ross Whyte, coach Alan Hannah and national coach David Murdoch had an open draw to the four-foot to win the game in the 10th end.
Mouat’s team won the bronze medal in 2018 and reached the qualification game in 2019. Tonight serves as an opportunity for the 26-year-old skip to take the next step in his career.
“A bit of maturity, probably,” Mouat said when asked about how their game has improved over the years. “That year we just had an unbelievable round robin, we went 11-1 and went into the semifinal kind of excited obviously and maybe the nerves got the better of me. But this year I feel like I’m in a bit more control of what my nerves do to me, so I’m quite excited to go and play a world men’s final.”
Scotland last won a gold medal was in 2009 when Murdoch defeated Canada’s Kevin Martin one of the more memorable finals in world men’s championship history.
The last time Sweden and Scotland have clashed for the gold medal at a world men’s championship? You have to go back to the 1967 Scotch Cup when Scotland’s Chuck Hay defeated Sweden’s Bob Woods.
The gold-medal game is scheduled for 11 p.m. (all times ET).
The losers of the semifinal, Switzerland and RCF, will compete for the bronze medal simultaneously.
Scoring, standings and statistics for the 2021 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship are available at worldcurling.org/events/wmcc2021?pageType=results
This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2021worldmen/nouvelles/?lang=fr