Switzerland moves on!
DE CRUZ BESTS UNITED STATES FOLLOWING PLAYOFFS POSTPONEMENT
The second qualification game was a total 26 hours later than anticipated following positive COVID-19 tests inside the Calgary bubble. Still, the playoffs resume on Sunday at the 2021 BKT Tires & OK Tire World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland, with Switzerland’s Peter de Cruz defeating John Shuster of the United States by a score of 7-6 and will move on to the semifinals later today.
“It was quite stressful. Also very relaxing at times as we were just chilling in the hotel room. We were just waiting for information, basically tried to be prepared for just having to turn up an hour later at the rink,” de Cruz said.
Skip de Cruz, who throws second, fourth Benoît Schwarz, third Sven Michel, lead Tanner Valentin, alternate Pablo Lachat and coach Håvard Vad Petersson came prepared to win the game after a topsy-turvy couple of days. The team was on the brink of elimination during the round robin’s final day but qualified and had to wait through the postponement.
Switzerland forced the United States into playing a difficult angle-raise shot to tie the game that the American team missed.
As part of new medical guidelines implemented for the duration of the world men’s championship, all playoff teams remained masked while playing and must take a PCR throat-swab test before and after each game.
In the third end, the game picked up when Shuster missed a thin double that led to a Swiss draw for three and a 3-1 lead early in the game. After a blanked fourth end, the teams exchanged scores of two and Switzerland maintained its two-point lead; the United States nailed a double in the fifth end and tied the game at the break, while Switzerland regained the lead with an open hit for two in the sixth.
The United States tied the game again throughout the next two ends. In the seventh, Switzerland forced the USA to one after an excellent freeze attempt from Schwarz in the seventh end, but Shuster set up a steal of one in the eighth end after Schwarz missed a slash double attempt to score a couple of points.
However, Switzerland took another two-point lead – for the third time in this game – in the ninth end. Schwarz managed a brilliant triple takeout on his first shot, clearing the house of American stones and provided him with the opportunity to draw for two and the eventual win.
Next, Switzerland takes on Sweden’s Niklas Edin in the semifinal. In the second semifinal, Sergey Glukhov – representing RCF – will play Scotland’s Bruce Mouat, who won the first qualification game against Canada’s Brendan Bottcher on Friday night. Semifinals are scheduled for 4 p.m. (all times ET). The winners advance to the gold-medal game and the losers will play in the bronze-medal game at 9 p.m.
Live 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