Canada rolls, Sweden boils at worlds
By KIRK PENTON, QMI Agency
|Canada's Jeff Stoughton congratulates teammates Steve Gould and Reaid Carruthers after defeating South Korea. (REUTERS/Andy Clark)
REGINA -- Unbeaten Canada and Scotland continued to roll along Monday at the world men's curling championship.
Those behind them, meanwhile, were scrapping for every inch they could get in the battle for playoff position. That resulted in a bit of controversy at Brandt Centre.
Norway's Thomas Ulsrud downed Sweden's Niklas Edin 8-5 in the afternoon draw to avoid his third straight loss, at the same time dropping the Swedes to 3-2. It was the game's second ends -- both of them -- that could come back to haunt Edin.
A weak battery on the handle of Swedish third Sebastian Kraupp's rock caused both the green and red lights to go on while it was heading down the ice. That caused some confusion, as one of his sweepers backed off. If the lights turn red, signifying a hog-line violation, players are instructed to stop the rock.
"We have a procedure in place for when the red lights come on, but they weren't sure what do when both red and green come on," chief umpire Rae Kells said.
The sweepers let the rock continue, and it moved two stones when it got to the house. The officials told the teams they could put the rocks back and replay the shot or restart the end. That's where it got interesting.
Edin knew where the rocks should have put back because he had examined the angles just before the shot. Ulsrud, however, didn't know. Edin knew the gentlemanly thing to do was restart the end. He didn't think it was the right thing to do, though.
"The correct decision would have been to replace the stones," Edin said. "I knew the angles, but they hadn't really looked at it that well so they didn't know exactly how to replace it.
"That didn't feel so good for me, replacing it and making the shot, lying three maybe. So we decided just to replay the end."
It backfired big time for Edin, who gave up a steal of two and fell behind 4-0.
"It turned out good for us and bad for him," said Ulsrud, who badly needed the win.
Edin figured he was set up for a big end.
"We were lined up perfect in that end, so if that handle doesn't stop working we probably take at least two, maybe three," Edin said.
The Swede, who placed fourth at last year's Winter Olympics in Vancouver, said those in charge of the rocks need to clean up their act.
"If the handles were checked before the game it wouldn't have happened. So that was a big deal," he said. "A lot of handles have had dead batteries and stopped working. I think it was four rocks before the session that they had to check right before the game. We had three rocks before this, too. The officials need to look at that."
Ice technician Eric Montford, a Winnipegger, said the battery situation has been normal.
"It's the same amount (of dead batteries) as usual. There's been very few battery problems, actually," he said. "It's been the little plug-ins popping out from the takeouts. "¦ It's too bad what happened."