ECC 2013: Day 6 Early Round-up

Switzerland lost out to Scotland this morning and will play them again in the 1v2 Play-off Photo: WCF/Richard Gray

Scotland, Switzerland and Sweden qualified for the Page Play-offs in Thursday morning's ninth and final session of women's round-robin play at the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships in Stavanger, while Russia and Denmark play a tie-breaker for the fourth women’s Play-off spot.

The game between world champions Scotland and Switzerland was to determine top spot in the rankings, with both already assured of places in the medal play-off games.

In the third end, Scottish skip Eve Muirhead, with one of her own stones already sitting on the button, hit out a Swiss stone to score three points and take a 5-2 lead. The Scots followed that up with a score of one point in the fourth end and a steal of two points in the fifth end on their way to a 13-3 win in just seven ends. These two teams now face each other again in the Page 1-2 Play-off.

After the game Muirhead said: "I'm really pleased. It's good to come out and play very, very well. We put a lot of pressure on them and I think the scoreboard shows that." Looking forward to the Page game she added: "It's going to be a big game tonight, against Switzerland again. I'm sure they're going to come out firing.”

Sweden faced Germany knowing that a win would ensure their qualification for the Page medal games. In the sixth end, Sweden's fourth player Maria Prytz attempted a tap to score four points, but she knocked one of her own too far. Despite this she managed to score three points from the end, as Sweden moved on to their 7-5 victory and third place overall, keeping them in the medal hunt.

Afterwards, Sweden skip Margaretha Sigfridsson said: “It feels really good to have qualified for the play-offs. It’s always tough games against Andrea (Schöpp, German skip) - she has a lot of experience. Sometimes she comes up with a lot of unpredictable tactics, thankfully not this game, but it is always hard to play against her.”

Defending champions Russia needed a win against Italy to keep their title defence alive. In the fourth end, Russia's Anna Sidorova drew her last stone into the four foot ring to score three points and take a 4-2 lead. She then finished with a flourish, scoring six points with a well-judged take-out that removed an Italian stone and gave her team an 11-5 win.

This result and a win by the Danes meant that Russia and Denmark are tied in fourth position and must now play a tie-breaker, with the winner of that going on to the medal games.

Speaking about the tie-breaker, Sidorova said: "It’s an important game for us because if we win we are in the top four and can still go for the medals. Of course for us it’s much more important because last year we won the Europeans so we just have to be within the medals, for our own self-confidence, if anything else.”

Like Russia and Sweden, Denmark needed a win against the Czech Republic to keep their medal hopes alive. In the fifth end, with two of her stones already counting, Danish skip Lene Nielsen drew her final stone into the rings to score three points for a 7-2 lead. Denmark eventually won by 10-5 after eight ends of play and now go into a tie-breaker against Russia as they strive to keep their medal hopes alive.

Speaking afterwards, Nielsen said: "We're still very much alive - that was a good game. I feel OK, we're playing better and better and we've beaten Russia, so as long as we continue to play the way we're playing now, then I think everything will be fine."

Latvia faced Norway in their last game of the Championships, knowing that a win would secure them a place in the line-up for next year's World Championship. This game was close all the way and in the ninth end, Norway's skip Marianne Roervik had an open hit to score two points and take a 6-5 lead. In the tenth end, Latvia's skip Evita Regza sealed her win with an open hit to score four points for a 9-6 victory that guaranteed her country a place in the World Championship line-up.

In the women’s B-Group, Estonia, Finland, England and Austria have qualified for the play-offs while in the men’s B-Group, Germany and Italy have qualified for the play-offs from Group 1 and Hungary and the Netherlands from Group 2.

In both the women’s and men’s B-Group, the winners and runners up in the play-offs will qualify for next year’s European Curling Championships A-Group.

The winners of the play-offs will also both play the eighth placed teams in the A-Group in a best of three games series, the winner securing a place at either the Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014 in Saint John, Canada, or the World Men’s Curling Championship 2014 in Beijing, China.

Both men’s and women’s B-Group play-offs begin at 14:00 (CET), November 28, 2014.

RESULTS
Women Session 9:

Sweden 7, Germany 5; Czech Republic 5, Denmark 10; Norway 6, Latvia 9; Italy 5, Russia 11; Switzerland 3, Scotland 13.

Standings after Round-Robin:
1. Scotland 9-0 (To play Switzerland in 1v2 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)
2. Switzerland 7-2 (To play Scotland in 1v2 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)
3. Sweden 6-3 (To play winner of Tie-breaker in 3v4 Page Play-off & qualified for WWCC)
4. Russia 6-3 (To play Denmark in Tie-breaker & qualified for WWCC)
4. Denmark 6-3 (To play Russia in Tie-breaker & qualified for WWCC)
6. Czech Republic 4-5 (Qualified for WWCC)
7. Latvia 3-6 (Qualified for WWCC)
8. Germany 2-7 (To play best of three games play-off against winner of B-Group for final place at WWCC 2014)
9. Norway 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)
10. Italy 1-8 (Relegated to B-Group)

WWCC = Ford World Women’s Curling Championship 2014

SCHEDULE

Women’s Tie-breaker, 15:00 (CET), Thursday November 28, 2013 Russia v Denmark

Men’s Play-offs, 20:00 (CET), Thursday November 28, 2013
1v2: Norway v Switzerland
3v4: Denmark v Scotland

Women’s Play-offs, 13:00 (CET), Friday November 29, 2013
1v2: Scotland v Switzerland
3v4: Sweden v winner of Tie-breaker

Semi-Finals, 20:00 (CET), Friday November 29, 2013
Men: Loser of 1v2 v Winner of 3v4
Women: Loser of 1v2 v Winner of 3v4

Women’s Gold Medal Game AND Men’s and Women’s Bronze Medal Games
10:00 (CET) Saturday November 30, 2013

Men’s Gold Medal Game, 15:00 (CET) Saturday November 30, 2013

Extensive televised coverage of the Le Gruyère European Curling Championships 2013 from Stavanger can be seen by viewers in Europe on Eurosport and additionally in Norway on TV2 Sport. Live coverage will also be available via the internet on the Eurosport Player and on the World Curling Federation’s YouTube Channel World Curling TV. Complete coverage details can be seen here: http://ecc2013.worldcurling.net/tv-broadcast-web-tv-coverage-schedule

Event website: http://ecc2013.worldcurling.net for further information, schedules of play, full team line ups and results.

Results: http://ecc.curlit.com

Event Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EuropeanCurlingChampionships

Twitter Hashtags: #ecc2013 #curling

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