Day 6: Men's Play-offs & Women's Tie-breakers

Thomas Ulsrud, Norway skip, will face Czech Republic in the semi-final Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

CURLING: Le Gruyere European Championships 2012 – Day 6 – Men’s Play-offs and Women’s Tie-breakers

For immediate release: 13 December 2012

Karlstad, Sweden – The Le Gruyere European Curling Championships went into the knock-out phase on Thursday evening in Karlstad, Sweden, with the top four men's teams involved in the Page Play-off system.

In the top game between Sweden and the Czech Republic, who ranked one and two at the end of the round-robin, Sweden dominated. But the Czechs fought all the way. In the fourth end skip, Jiri Snitil, hit for one point to reduce the deficit to 1-3. However, in the fifth end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin scored one point and followed that up in the seventh end with a hit for five points that effectively ended the contest.

Sweden ran out as 9-3 winners and now move straight into Saturday's final, while the Czechs slip down to the sole semi-final to face Norway, who won the Page 3-4 game. The winners of the semi-final will come back up to the final and the losers will face Denmark for the bronze medal.

Afterwards, Sweden skip, Niklas Edin, said: “it feels really good. We’ve played really good in all the games. We’ve had a couple of bad games, but I think you need that throughout the tournament so you really focus harder at the end and I think we’re at the right place to play good in the final. When we got the five ender, the game was over.”

In the play-off between third-placed reigning champions Norway and fourth-placed Denmark, the teams were playing to keep their gold medal hopes alive, with the winners going to the semi-final and the loser destined for the bronze medal play-off.

Denmark skip, Rasmus Stjerne, scored two points in the seventh end to move into a 4-3 lead, but later Norway's Thomas Ulsrud had a simple draw for two points in the tenth end to win the game 6-5 and keep his title defence alive.

Norway have won this title in the past two years and, after the game Ulsrud said: "The hat-trick is still on. It didn't look like it yesterday after two losses, but it feels good to bounce back. I think we have a good chance against the Czech Republic if we play our best and I'd love a re-match against Niklas in the final if we are lucky enough to get there. I think we can beat him because it went down to the last stone in the last game and we had a bad performance."

Men’s Standings after Play-offs:

1.Sweden 9-1 (Progress to Gold medal game at 15:00 CET on Sat, 15th Dec and qualify for Ford World Men’s Curling Championship (WMCC) 2013, Victoria, Canada)
2. Norway 7-3 (will play in semi-final v Czech Republic at 13:00 CET on Fri, 14th Dec and qualify for WMCC 2013)
2. Czech Republic 7-3 (will play in semi-final v Norway at 13:00 CET on Fri, 14th Dec and qualify for WMCC 2013)
4. Denmark 6-4 (will play in bronze medal game at 20:00 on Fri, 14th Dec and qualify for WMCC 2013)
5. Russia 5-4 (qualify for WMCC 2013)
6. Switzerland 5-4 (qualify for WMCC 2013)
7. Scotland 4-5 (qualify for WMCC 2013)
8. France 3-6 (To play winner of B-Group in best of 3 games to qualify for WMCC 2013)
9. Germany 1-8 (relegated to ECC 2013 B Group)
10. Hungary 0-9 (relegated to ECC 2013 B Group)


In the women's event to decide the last of the four teams that will contest their Page games, world champions Switzerland faced Denmark. The Danes proved strong enough on this occasion, their skip, Lene Nielsen, drawing for one point in the fourth end to take a lead she was never to give up as the Danes won 6-3.

Denmark now go on to face Russia in the Page 3v4 game, while Sweden and Scotland clash in the Page 1v2 Play-off.

After her win, Nielsen said: "I’m really happy... play-offs, what can I say*quest* We’ve just beaten the World Champions... again! It was a really good game. We played really well and kept forcing them to make the difficult shots, so I’m just happy now. I know we can play a lot better than we did in the round-robin game and we’ve beaten them (Russia) before, so I’m not concerned. We’ve adjusted a few things about our game style and I think it will pay off tomorrow. I’m looking forward to it."

Germany's women beat the Czech Republic by 5-4 in their tie-breaker to rank seventh overall. The Germans now go on to face a challenge for the last available slot in this season's world championship from the eventual B division winners.

Women’s Standings after Tie-breakers:

1. Sweden 7-2 (will play 1v2 Play-off at 13:00 CET 14/12/2012 and qualify for World Women’s Curling Championship (WWCC) 2013, Riga, Latvia)
2. Scotland 7-2 (will play 1v2 Play-off at 13:00 CET 14/12/2012 and qualify for WWCC 2013)
3. Russia 7-2 (will play 3v4 Play-off at 13:00 CET 14/12/2012 and qualify for WWCC 2013)
4. Denmark 7-3 (will play 3v4 Play-off at 13:00 CET 14/12/2012 and qualify for WWCC 2013)
5. Switzerland 6-4 (qualified for WWCC 2013)
6. Italy 4-5 (qualified for WWCC 2013)
7. Germany 4-6 (To play winner of B-Group in best of 3 games to qualify for WWCC 2013)
8. Czech Republic 3-7
9. Hungary 1-8 (relegated to ECC 2013 B Group)
10. Finland 1-8 (relegated to ECC 2013 B Group)

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2012 can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and in Sweden on TV4. Additional live coverage will be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player for fans in Europe and, for the first time, coverage will also be available on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV for viewers outside of the Eurosport TV/Player European Territory. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2012.worldcurling.net/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event website: http://ecc2012.worldcurling.net for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results from Group A and Group B.
Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships
Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2012 #curling
European Curling Federation: http://europeancurling.com/

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