Men: Canada win gold, Great Britain take silver
February 21, 2014
Canada beat Great Britain by 9-3 in just eight ends to win the gold medals at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi.
This is the third successive Olympic title for Canada's men’s curlers and is a first major international title for Brad Jacobs and his team of third Ryan Fry, second player E.J. Harnden and lead Ryan Harnden. They were supported by alternate Caleb Flaxey and coached by Tom Coulterman.
This victory also means that Canadian men have won a medal in each of the Olympic Winter Games to take place since curling was re-instated into the Olympic programme, with silvers won in both the 1998 and 2002 Olympic Winter Games to go with the gold medals of 2006 and 2010.
For silver medallists Great Britain, this is a first men's curling medal of any colour since Great Britain won gold in the inaugural Olympic Winter Games curling competition in 1924 in Chamonix, France.
In this game, Canada had last stone advantage in the first end and used it to score two points when their skip Brad Jacobs drew his second stone into the house.
Great Britain skip David Murdoch tried to get back on even terms in the second end, but his hit rolled too far and he had to settle for just one point to reduce the Canadian lead to 2-1.
In the third end, Canada had built up a collection of stones in the house when Murdoch came to play his last stone.
This stone wrecked on a front guard on the way into the house, leaving Canada with a free draw to score three points and take a 5-1 lead.
In the fourth end, British skip Murdoch was heavy with his first stone, while Canadian skip Jacobs was light with his second effort.
To compound the British problem, Murdoch was wide with his second attempt and an umpire's measure gave Canada a one-point steal for a 6-1 lead.
In the fifth end, the British team had to settle for just one point, scored when Murdoch drew his second stone just inside a Canadian stone, to reduce Canada's lead to 6-2.
With his second stone of the sixth end, Great Britain skip David Murdoch played another hit that was too heavy and rolled too far, leaving Canada's Jacobs with another straightforward draw into the house to score a further two points in the end, and extend his lead to 8-2.
In the seventh end, Great Britain could only score one point when Murdoch's last hit rolled out of the house, giving Canada an 8-3 lead as the teams went into the eighth end.
The next end came down to a nose-hit by Jacobs to give Canada another single point, and, after a brief discussion, the British team conceded defeat and shook hands with the final score at 9-3 to Canada after eight ends of play.
When they came off the ice, the Canadian team spoke. Second E.J. Harnden recalled their loss in last year's World Curling Championship final, saying: "This absolutely makes up for last year's final. It's ecstatic, amazing - a million other words I could use, but I'm going to just use awesome."
Meanwhile third player Ryan Fry said: "We really wanted this badly and we battled all week - I'm proud of these guys."
Asked what it meant to their supporters, skip Brad Jacobs said: "Our whole home town (Sault Ste, Marie, Ontario) shut down today to watch this game, so they're going to be ecstatic. It's bringing a lot of pride so we're just happy to be the ones doing that for everyone."
Lead player Ryan Harnden added: "To wear the maple leaf on our backs and now to be bringing back the gold medals, there just isn't a better feeling in the world.”
After the game, Great Britain skip David Murdoch reflected. He said: "I'm disappointed, that was the opportunity of a lifetime but it wasn't meant to be today. We did everything we could to try to start well, and we just didn't. We had a poor start and gave them a lot of confidence as well. Obviously going 5-1 down, it's always going to be an uphill struggle after that. The first three ends cost us the game. It didn't really matter what we did in the second half."
All of the curling competition medal winners will be presented with their medals on Saturday, February 21 at 20:15 (MSK) at Medal Plaza in the Sochi 2014 Olympic Park Coastal Cluster.
The next Olympic Winter Games will take place in Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018.
Men’s gold medal game: Canada 9, Great Britain 3.
Men’s final standings after gold medal game:
1. Canada (Gold)
2. Great Britain (Silver)
3. Sweden (Bronze)
WCF Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games curling competition website: www.sochi2014.curlingevents.com
Live scores, statistics and play by play: http://sochi2014.curlingevents.com/olympics/curling-live-scores
WCF Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldcurlingfederation
WCF Twitter: @worldcurling and @WCFmedia. Hashtags: #curling #sochi2014