Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Posted: 04/3/2013 1:00 AM | Comments: 0
VICTORIA -- Canada is no longer perfect at the world men's curling championship.
Jiri Snitil of the Czech Republic beat Brad Jacobs 6-4 in the morning draw, handing Canada its first loss after five straight victories. Canada bounced back in the late draw, defeating Norway 10-7 to move to 6-1 and reclaim sole possession of first place.
"It was their day," Jacobs said. "It wasn't ours. It's very frustrating -- and a horrible performance. We'll get it back."
Jacobs' rink from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., was the last unbeaten team at the tournament. The loss ended Jacobs' winning streak at 11 games dating to the Brier.
The setback was also untimely, because Sweden's Niklas Edin gained a share of first place by edging Sven Michel of Switzerland 9-8 in the morning. The Swedes were 5-2 after losing to Japan in an afternoon contest.
Snitil improved his record to 3-3 with the win. He made up for two losses the day before.
"It's super beating one of the best teams in the world," Snitil said.
The Czechs caught a break in the ninth end when Jacobs missed a raise takeout, allowing Snitil to register a steal of one for a 6-4 lead going into the final end.
Czech misses gave Jacobs a chance for two after Canadian third Ryan Fry drew to the four-foot.
But Jacobs sent his first shot long to rest on the edge of the 12-foot, allowing Snitil to make the double takeout to end the game.
"We had some chances early, maybe, to force them into some tough shots and get a big end," said Canadian second E.J. Harnden, who shot 95 per cent. "It was just one of those games where we didn't capitalize when we had the opportunity -- and they did."
Snitil was good on 90 per cent of his shots, while Jacobs curled at a modest 70 per cent. Jacobs was disappointed with the effort after his rink had made few misses in its first five games.
But he tried to the setback in stride.
"We have been on fire a lot lately," Jacobs said. "It's only going to last so long before you end up taking a loss."
In other early action, Norway edged China 5-4, while Russia earned its first win with a 7-6 decision over Finland.
Canada led 2-0 after the second end and 3-1 after the fourth before the Czechs scored twice in the fifth to make it a 3-3 tie.
Snitil stole one in the sixth after Jacobs missed a hit-and-roll attempt.
Jacobs scored one in the seventh to make it 4-4 but Snitil drew for one in the eighth and stole another in the ninth.
Snitil's final takeout was set up after Fry put his first shot in the ninth end outside the 12-foot but still in play.
"I was horrible -- that's it," said Fry, who shot 70 per cent. "I couldn't get draw weight, so it gave their guys offensive shots that put them in the right spots, and they made every one of them."
Czech coach Daneil Rafael, a 51-year-old Montreal native, hoped the win would help get his rink back on track. The Czechs are hoping for a good showing here to boost their chances of qualifying for the 2014 Sochi Olympics under a complicated points system.
Rafael is used to getting good results against Canada. While he was coaching in China, his teams beat the likes of Canadian powerhouse rinks skipped by Kevin Martin and Jennifer Jones.
"It just seems like whenever Canada loses their first game, it's usually against a team I'm coaching," Rafael said.
Heading into afternoon play, Scotland (4-1) was in third place. China (4-2) and Norway (4-2) were tied for fourth, while Denmark (3-2) was in fifth.
-- The Canadian Press
At a glance
VICTORIA -- Standings following the tenth draw at the 2013 World Men's Curling Championship (includes results of Canada vs. Norway in the eleventh round):
Czech Republic (Snitil)34
Czech Republic 6 Canada 4
Norway 5 China 4
Russia 7 Finland 6
Sweden 9 Switzerland 8
Japan 10 Sweden 8 (extra end)
Scotland 6 Russia 4
U.S. 10 China 8
Denmark 6 Czech Republic 5
Eleventh Draw (late)
Finland vs. Switzerland
Japan vs. Denmark
Norway 7 Canada 10
U.S. vs. Scotland
Draw 12, 10:30 a.m.
Norway vs. Scotland
U.S. vs. Finland
Denmark vs. Switzerland
Japan vs. Canada.
Draw 13, 3:30 p.m.
Canada vs. Russia
Switzerland vs. China
Czech Republic vs. Finland
Norway vs. Sweden
Draw 14, 9 p.m.
U.S. vs. Czech Republic
Scotland vs. Sweden
Russia vs. Japan
Denmark vs. China
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 3, 2013 D6
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