Canada gets curling gold

BASEL, Switzerland — Canada’s Glenn Howard defeated Scotland’s Tom Brewster 8-7 to win the gold medal Sunday at the world men’s curling championship. Howard made a draw

Canadian skip Glenn Howard (left to right) third Wayne Middaugh

BASEL, Switzerland — Canada’s Glenn Howard defeated Scotland’s Tom Brewster 8-7 to win the gold medal Sunday at the world men’s curling championship.

Howard made a draw to the button in the extra end for the victory.

“Surreal is the best word I can come up with,” Howard said. “I can’t believe we actually pulled this thing off.”

Brewster had a chance to win it in the 10th end but his stone slid out and he settled for one.

In the extra end, Canada lead Craig Savill hit two nice ticks and teammates Brent Laing and Wayne Middaugh came through with the necessary takeouts to set up Howard’s winning throw.

“It’s for the world championship and there’s a lot on the line but Glenn makes it 99 times out of 100,” Middaugh said. “That’s why he’s throwing the last puck and there’s nobody better to have doing it.”

It was the second straight year that Brewster had to settle for silver. He lost to Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton in last year’s final in Regina.

Scotland opened the scoring with a steal in the first end after Howard was heavy with his raise. Howard scored three with a takeout in the third end but Brewster pulled even with a draw for two in the fourth.

Howard drew for one in the fifth and Brewster hit the button for a single in the sixth. Howard regained the lead in the seventh with a delicate tapback at the edge of the eight-foot to score two.

Brewster answered with a deuce of his own in the eighth end after Howard’s takeout rolled near the fringe of the 12-foot. Canada regained the lead with a single in the ninth before the dramatic final two ends.

“I’m gutted,” Brewster said.

“We lost a bad three with an overthrow on mine, but the guys played really well. That chance in the last (end) — just an inch more curl and we’ve won.”

Scotland shot 86 per cent overall, slightly better than Canada at 83 per cent.

Howard’s previous world championship wins came in 1987, 1993 and 2007.

The latest victory was Canada’s 34th world championship since the first event was held in 1959.

An estimated 2,900 fans took in the gold-medal game at St. Jakobshalle.

Several energetic Scottish fans were overmatched by the larger contingent of flag-waving Canadian supporters at the 9,000-seat venue.

Earlier in the day, Sweden won bronze for the second year in a row as Sebastian Kraupp defeated Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud 9-8.

Kraupp, who handled skip duties for Sweden over most of the week due to a back injury to Niklas Edin, made a draw to the four-foot for the extra-end victory.

“I tried to stay as calm as I could in the 11th end,” Kraupp said. “I’m not used to playing in this position but I figured out how to play the draw.”

Sweden led 7-3 after six ends but Norway fought back to score two in the seventh and added another point with a steal in the eighth.

Kraupp scored one in the ninth end. Ulsrud pulled even by drawing a second stone into the house in the 10th to force an extra end.

“It’s the game you hate to lose,” Ulsrud said. “But it’s to the Swedes’ credit. They played well.”

Fredrik Lindberg threw third stones for Sweden while Oskar Eriksson was second and Viktor Kjaell played lead.

“This medal shows how solid we are as a team,” Kraupp said. “We’ve been up and down all week, so to have a medal here is excellent.”

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