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Ford World Curling Championships 2003

Canada makes a great comeback to win second straight title!

For the first time since 1971 when Don Duguid defended his title a men's team was able to win two years in a row when Randy Ferbey and his team made a great comeback in the final being down 6-4 halfway winning 10-6 after nine ends. Up until the seventh it looked like Switzerland was the strongest team but then the Canadians were able to notch up their game and when Stöckli narrowly missed a promotion raise in the eighth to count three or four then the game was Canada's. Unable to score in the ninth Switzerland shook hands and Randy Ferbey collected his third World Championship title and his compatriots David Nedohin, Scott Pfeifer, Marcel Rocque and alternate Dan Holowaychuk collected their second.


 Switzerland looked slightly nervous in the first end and in spite of a good effort by Stöckli to double with his last shot Canada could score a deuce after a hit & stick on the open Swiss shot. In the second end Stöckli buried a shot behind a guard to sit two and when Nedohin rammed that guard when trying to hit the shot Stöckli had an easy draw to lead 3-2.

 In the third Stöckli makes a nice double close to a guard and lay one when Nedohin was to play his last shot. Nedohin narrowly cleared the guard and Canada was able to score a deuce again to regain the lead 4-3. After the fourth Switzerland was back in the lead scoring a deuce after two nice shots by Stöckli.

 In the fifth both teams kept freezing each other stones behind a guard but with the last attempt Canada's David Nedohin came slightly wide and they had to give up one and Switzerlands was ahead 6-4 at halfway time.

 In the sixth Switzerland started to play a bit more defensively and when Ferbey failed to tap a Swiss stone far enough to become shot Switzerland decided to draw to sit two but Stöckli was heavy with his first ending up at the back of the rings. Nedohin touched the guard trying to get to the Swiss shot and Stöckli played a hit & stick to sit two and this forced Canada to draw for a single.

 In the seventh Switzerland for first time since the first end faltered a bit and a few misses allowed Canada to sit two stones when Ralph Stöckli was to play his last shot. Stöckli came slightly heavy ending up at the back of the four-foot allowing a double steal for Canada.

In the eighth Canada was able to force the game into the four-foot. When Stöckli was to play his last shot Canada was sitting one and Stöckli tried a double raise that if he succeeded would count for four points but came slightly wide and instead Canada stole another point to lead 8-6.

 In the ninth Canada hit anything that moved. Stöckli tried to freeze against the Canadian shot with his first, had perfect weight but caught the outside. Nedohin tapped to lay two. Stöckli tried an angled take-out to score two but didn't catch enough of the stone and with another double steal for Canada, Switzerland called it a day.

The Hürlimann curse?

One wonders what is about Patrick Hürlimann and Canadian skips getting the flu?

When Switzerland skipped by Patrick Hürlimann won the Olympic gold in Nagano 1998 Mike Harris the Canadian skip got the flu and Switzerland won the gold.

This time Hürlimann was coaching the Swiss team and once again the Canadian fourth, this time David Nedohin caught something that is probably the flu.

I wonder if Patrick put something in the Canadian water bottles :-)

Just kidding, OK?

Trulsen gets his third straight world championship medal

Norway and Pål Trulsen defeated Finland 9-7 in this morning's bronze medal game. With the win today the Norway team pick up their third straight World Championship medal (bronze in Lausanne 2001 and silver in Bismarck 2002). Markku Uusipaavalniemi's Finnish team lost their last three games of the tournament and end up with "only" the fourth place.

The game was anything but dull with two teams that tried to play an offensively pleasant game. But it's the last three stones that will be remembered. Norway was leading 8-7 coming home and Finland needed to pick up a deuce to win. Markku made a perfect draw from the outside around the front guards with his first stone and forced Norway to come around from the other side and freeze the Finnish stone. Trulsen did and it left Markku no choice but to make a draw to the button to get an extra end, unfortunately he was about a foot long and Norway picked up the bronze.

USA World Champions after beating Jones at her own game!

USA today became women's world champions for the first time after beating Canada 5-3 in the final. Debbie McCormick and her USA team played the same cautious but effective game they have been playing all week in a game where the chances were scarce and far between.

Debbie McCormick handed Canada their only defeat of the week at the worst possible moment in an open game where the game's only deuce scored in the fourth to go 3-1 proved to be decisive. Coming home USA lead 4-3 with last stone advantage and after a double peel by Ann Swisshelm Silver Canada never got a good situation and when Debbie McCormick was to play her last stone Canada was laying two but USA had a "simple" hit & roll to win the game.

McCormick did the shot she called and USA became World Champions for the first time after losing three finals through the years (1992, 1996 and 1999). The team consisted of skip Debbie McCormick, third Allison Pottinger, second Ann Swisshelm Silver, lead Tracy Sachtjen and alternate Joni Cotten.

McCormick said after the game that they hadn't played that well during the week until the final two games and Colleen Jones was gracious in defeat and said the McCormick "played smart, conservative" and that USA beat her at her own game.

Canada brought home the silver on a day when the opponent where simply better. Canada played their game well but was unable to score more than a single in any end of the game and that was enough to lose today.


Sweden gets the bronze medals

Anette Norberg of Sweden bounced back after their upset loss yesterday to the USA and defeated Norway 7-5 in the bronze medal game this morning. Norwat lead the game halfway 3-2 but three straight steals by Sweden quickly turned the game around and Norway was never able to catch-up and this time Dordi Nordby had to settle for squat in this her 15th World Curling Championships.

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