Sweden knocks out NZ Senior Men

2017 NZ Senior Men
NZ Senior Men v Wales. Photo © WCF / Céline Stucki

29 Apr 2017 – With the scores locked at 4-4 going into the final end of their quarter-final at the World Senior Men's Curling Championship, Sweden played it superbly to leave New Zealand skip Dan Mustapic needing a precision draw shot with the last stone of the game to win the match.

Mustapic's effort looked good but seemed to pick up a speck of dirt or ice to come up millimetres short. Sweden stole the end, and the Kiwis' tournament was over.

Sweden went on to beat Germany in their semi-final and then record a 6-4 extra-end win the the gold medal match against hosts Canada to go through the tournament unbeaten. Ireland beat Germany 6-3 for the bronze medal.

 2017 WSCC logo

To earn their quarter-final, the New Zealand side of Mustapic, Hans Frauenlod, Dave Watt, Lorne DePape and Iain Craig dropped just one game in their pool to qualify second out of Pool C.

Their tournament started with a comfortable 10-1 over Finland. Skip Mustapic was a happy man after the opening win.

"That was a very good solid effort from the team," he said. "We were very fortunate in the first end, we just happened to make every shot and once you get behind it was difficult for them to come back.

Closer games followed against Russia and Wales, and after the Welsh game Mustapic reflected, "We always knew there would be some tough games – we've struggled through a few and played well in others, so it's just a matter of making sure we continue to improve."

The Kiwis were well beaten by Canada before coming back to head England and Scotland in their last two pool matches.

Following their crucial 5-2 win over the Scots, Mustapic commented, "We’re going to have a good day's rest and then discuss some strategies and figure out what's going to work for us."

And it almost did.

This was the first World Seniors tournament since 2003 that NZ did not field a Women's team. Canada won the Women's gold medal ahead of Switzerland (silver) and Scotland (bronze).

The 2018 tournament will be held in Oestersund, Sweden.