Brad Jacobs and Canada lost for the second game in a row, dropping a 7-6 decision to Sweden in the men’s curling tournament at the Sochi Olympics.
Skip Niklas Edin won on the final throw of the match, putting Sweden’s rock an inch closer to the dot than Canada’s last stone.
“It was a well-played game by both teams and I’m sure it was great entertainment for the fans here and back home.” Jacobs said. “We are playing well and getting better every game. It is a marathon and one game a day. We know it’s a marathon and we’re ready.”
Sweden now improves to 3-0 in the tournament, while the rink from Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., is 1-2.
“It’s a two-way win, so to speak,” said Edin. “Both beating them and putting them 1-2. Now they can’t really afford any more losses to be sure of making the playoffs.”
The Canadians were upset by Switzerland 5-4 in Monday’s second match.
Canada’s curlers were trying to stay positive but a second straight loss will jolt a team not used to losing. Jacobs’ rink became the first in history to go through Canada’s Olympic trials unbeaten, making them the overwhelming favourites in Sochi.
“We’re not flat, we’re just not making everything,” said Canadian third Ryan Fry. “Against teams that are playing this good against us, you need to make everything.”
Canada’s body language revealed a definite sense of frustration, however. Fry, Jacobs and teammates E.J. Harnden and Ryan Harnden often leaned on their brooms, gesticulating and appearing to bemoan their bad luck.
“In this game, they kind of struggled a bit,” Edin said. “You could tell that on the ice ... Smashing their brooms seven or eight times in a row. It was quite hard to miss. Almost all of them were doing it.”
The teams traded deuces through nine ends, but Sweden crucially had the last stone in the 10th.
It fell to the final shot, when Edin needed just to draw his stone into the four-foot ring. The team over-swept and the stone went further than expected, coming to rest just in time.
“When we shook hands, I had to ask them who won,” Edin said. “It was kind of a weird moment not knowing.”
Sweden also beat the Canadians in the final of the 2013 world championships, held in Victoria.
Canada returns to the ice on Wednesday to play Russia and Jacobs said his rink will have some down time to unwind and refocus.
“We’re going to see our families and maybe have a beer or two,” he said.
Norway, the 2010 silver-medallist , defeated Russia 9-8 to move to 2-0. China and Britain also won in the afternoon session at the Sochi Games’ Ice Cube Curling Center.
The United States’ 9-4 loss to the Chinese means the American men and women are a combined 0-4. The U.S. women play later against world champion Britain.
— With files from The Associated Press.
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