Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN)
April 5, 2013, Victoria, BC (ISN) - Swedish skip Niklas Edin drew to the button with the final stone of the game to give Sweden a 6-5 win over Scotland Friday night and propel themselves into the Gold Medal game at the 2013 Ford Men's World Curling Championships in Victoria.
Scotland's Tom Brewster (left) and Greg Drummond (right) work a stone down the ice during Friday's playoff game with Sweden (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Edin had a clear shot to the button after Scottish skip Dave Murdoch missed an opportunity with his final stone to guard another of his already in the house, drifting it just a tad too far to the right. Edin, who curled 96% on the night and who was deadly on the draws, made no mistake with the final shot, putting Sweden into the final for the first time since 2004.
For Scotland, their road to the final now gets a bit tougher, as they move to the semi-final game Saturday afternoon and will face the winner of the Canada - Denmark game that will be played Saturday morning.
Sweden's Fredrik Lindberg (left) and Sebastian Kraupp (right) were excellent all night in sweeping Sweden into the gold medal match (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
While the game was close throughout, the Swedes seemed to control the play for the most part, making the early breakthrough when they scored two points in the second end for a 2-1 lead. In the fifth end, Swedish skip Niklas Edin drew with his last stone to score one and move onto a 3-2 lead.
Scottish skip Dave Murdoch tries to coax some urgent sweeping as he yells up the ice during the match with Sweden (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Scotland then levelled the game in the sixth end when Murdoch drew for one point, but, in a see-saw game, Edin then scored two points with a draw-shot in the seventh end to re-establish a lead, at 5-3. Murdoch then played a delicate tap-up in the eighth end for one point to reduce the Swedish lead to 5-4.
Swedish lead Viktor Kjall had an excellent night, curling 93% for the game against Scotland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Ironically enough, it was a key miss by Edin in the 9th end - perhaps the only one of the night - that set up his having the hammer for the 10th.
Already down by one, Scottish skip Murdoch was prepared to give up another point to Edin so as to have the hammer in the 10th end, but Edin missed a take-out attempt with his final shot, giving Scotland the steal, and more importantly as it turned out, giving himself the hammer for the final end.
Scotland's Michael Goodfellow (left), Tom Brewster (middle) and Greg Drummond (right) discuss strategy during their game with Sweden Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
In the tenth end, Edin was facing three Scottish counters as he played his last stone, but he drew nicely for the one point that gave Sweden a 6-5 win and the direct berth in the final.
Curling at 96% for the game, Swedish skip Niklas Edin was deadly accurate on his draws against Scotland (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
"It feels amazing obviously'" said a pleased Edin after the game. "We felt really good before the Worlds last year, but then I got injured and we felt we really didn't have the chance to perform like we could. This year we put lots of pressure on ourselves and although we started the week pretty badly, we've played fantastic the last few games. As to tonight, even though it was close on the scoreboard, I felt we really controlled the game. My guys made things really easy on me and to have already secured a medal is fantastic."
Scottish skip Dave Murdoch frantically tries to tell his sweepers to stop sweeping in their match with Sweden Friday night (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Meanwhile a disappointed Scottish skip, David Murdoch, said, "That was obviously disappointing, not to get through to the final at the first opportunity. I thought we were playing pretty well. There were a couple of key shots we just didn't quite make tonight and we didn't put more pressure on to make big shots and score. We're just going to have to forget that and come out tomorrow and bring our 'A' game. That wasn't quite our 'A' game tonight and if you don't do that, you're not going to beat the top teams that are left here."
With the game and a berth in the Gold Medal game on the line, Swedish skip Niklas Edin calmly drew to the button with his last stone of the game, giving Sweden a 6-5 win over Scotland Friday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
"We never really got that real good set-up where we were on the front foot and then they chased us. We've got lots to play for, it's all or nothing now, so we're just going to have to wait to see who we'll play tomorrow."
No matter who they play, the Scots will be tough opposition on Saturday, as none of their players has ever missed a final since they have been with the team. "To be honest, I can't wait to get another game, because this team fights," added Murdoch. We've done that before, we've done that in the past, and we'll do it again."
Swedish skip Niklas Edin (top left), third Sebastian Kraupp (top right), second Fredrik Lindberg (bottom left) and lead Viktor Kjall (bottom right) are headed to the Gold Medal game after defeating Scotland 6-5 Friday (Photos: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Canada and Denmark face each other next in the Page 3-4 Play-off game at 11:00 am Saturday morning with the winner going onto the semi-final against Scotland at 4:00 pm, and the loser playing the semi-final loser for bronze medals on Sunday at 11:00 am. The Gold Medal final will be Sunday at 4:00 pm.
To see more images of the 2013 Ford Men's World Curling Championships from ISN photographer Christian J. Stewart please CLICK HERE.