It was one heck of a trip to Victoria for Team Sweden.
On Sunday night Sweden’s Niklas Edin rink emerged the winner of the 2013 World Men’s Curling Championship, defeating Canada’s Jacobs gang, 8-6 in the gold medal final at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre on Sunday.
It was the second tournament win in two weeks for Edin and his crew, who won the Victoria Curling Classic two weeks ago at Archie Browning Sports Centre.
“It feels amazing obviously,” said Edin. ”Our big goal this season to win Europeans and Worlds. We love this city, none of us had been here before. So it’s been a great couple of weeks, a super finish to our time here.”
By making it to the final, Sweden and Canada lead Scotland (Great Britain), Norway, Denmark, China and Switzerland in qualifying for their respective countries for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
The Jacobs rink flew out of the gates this week winning its first five matches and ending up 7-4 through pool play. It put them in the third vs. fourth game against Denmark on Saturday morning, a team that had beat Canada in the round robin. Canada prevailed over Denmark and defeated Scotland for the second time in the tournament in front of a full house Saturday afternoon.
It put Canada in the final for the second-straight Victoria-hosted World Men’s Championship, though Sweden disrupted the string of golds won by Canada and Scotland.
Sweden opened with final game with two rocks in the first end as skip Edin delivered a nose-hit on a Canadian stone. Canada responded with a single point in the second.
But Edin played a perfect tap-up to score two more in the third end for a 4-1 lead.
Canada hung in until the sixth end when Jacobs missed on a crucial takeout attempt of two Swedish stones. The Swedes took a 6-3 lead, and expanded it to 8-4 in the eighth end.
“We were chasing. They got a good start with a deuce, and that’s not how you want to start off the world championship final. You want to force them,” Jacobs said. “We weren’t able to do that. The first end was looking so good, (then) it was so bad by the time it was over with, it just was frustrating to swallow.”
Scotland defeated Denmark 7-6 in a much closer game for the bronze medal earlier on Sunday.
The Scots opened with a score of two in the first end. Denmark blanked three straight ends until they scored in the fifth end to tied it 2-2. But in the 10th end, skip David Murdoch, who lost to Randy Ferbey in the 2005 World Men’s final in Victoria, cleared out two Danish stones to win silver for Scotland.
Scotland has made plenty of visits since 2005 to play in the Bear Mountain/Victoria Curling Classic. One member of the team even found his spouse here.
Sweden doesn’t need to find a life partner to find love here beyond the curling rink but, and it’s safe to assume they’ll be back.
“Our (run of good play) actually started a couple of months ago,” Edin said. “We played great in Grand Prairie, and winning the Victoria Curling Classic ($25,000) was the biggest pay cheque by far for our team.”
That purse will pad the team’s pockets for the time being, while the gold medal will last a lifetime.