XX. Olympic Winter Games 2006

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Russ and Brad bring the gold to Canada

It was a brilliant game, for about four ends but slowly Canada was taking over and in the end there was no question that the best team won. The final score was 10-4 after eight ends but the game ended in the sixth when Canada scored six points.

In the first couple of ends there were many stones in play and there were some tricky tactical situations. The first end was excellent and Finland scored a deuce after some typical Finnish shot-making.

In the second Finland wasn't completely successful with their take-out's which was enough for the Canadians to put the pressure on and scored a deuce.

Canada continued in the third and when Markku Uusipaavalniemi played his last shot he was facing four Canadian counters. He tried to promote one of his own stones into the four-foot but stuck on one of the Canadian shots and Canada stole a single.

In the fourth Finland had a small chance to score two by ticking one of their own stones onto the Canadian shot but Markku opted that the chance was too slim so he decided to draw on the other side for one point but he was slightly heavy and Canada stole another single.

In the fifth Finland had a draw for two but Markku once again was slightly heavy and had to settle for a single after a measure.

In the sixth it was the classical case of Finland trying to get a stone to the correct place, failing to do any stone 100 percent. Canada hit & rolls to the side. Markku tried to come around with his last shot, ticked a guard and stopped just behind the house. Brad Gushue had the opportunity to draw for a seven but was heavy and stopped just behind the house but personally I think it was a "mercy shot", he didn't want to rub it in. This was the second time that Markku lost a six at the Olympics, he did the same towards Sweden in the round-robin in Salt Lake City 2002.

With this the game was literally over but since a play-off game must be played through the eight ends the teams kept on. Canada kept their focus so when Markku drew the button for a single in the eight they shook hands and Canada finally won an Olympic gold on the men's side.

Sweden win the women's Gold medal

The deciding stone in an extra end in an Olympic final. That's the stone Anette Norberg of Sweden have waited for since the first time she represented Sweden in 1983.

In those 23 years she has represented Sweden a staggering 25 times and won a World Championship and six European Championship but nothing compares to winning the Olympic Curling Title.

Sweden scored a deuce in the second to take the lead but Switzerland replied in the third to tie the game. Sweden was forced to single the fourth. Switzerland blanked the fifth to be 2-3 down at the halfway point.

In the next two ends Sweden took the initiative by stealing the sixth when Ott failed to remove the Swedish shot and stealing again in the seventh when Mirjam Ott's last draw picked something and jammed the guard.

In the eighth the Swedes started to show their nerves and a questionable tactical decision with their last shot made it possible for Switzerland to tap raise one of their stones to score a deuce.

In the ninth Norberg was forced to draw to the button against two Swiss shots to lead 6-4 coming home. The Swedes looked in control peeling the Swiss centre guard a few times but with Eva Lund's last shot the Swiss guard hit a corner guard and rolled into the house setting up a deuce for Switzerland. The Swiss made no mistake with the remaining stones and they were able to force an extra end.

In the extra end there were several stones in play and when Mirjam Ott removed a Swedish stone in the house Anette Norberg was faced with two stones in an angle sitting in the eight-foot. After a long discussion Sweden opted to play the double which was a tough stone because she didn't have any margin on the curl. If she hit the stone too fat she would roll on top of the second Swiss stone.

However, Anette Norberg played a perfect shot (see the sequence) and now she and her team mates are reigning European, World and Olympic Champions!

Switzerland, Sweden, Canada

Stone of destiny ...




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