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Canada falls to Sweden in men's curling worlds final

The Canadian Press

4/7/2013 11:44:26 PM

VICTORIA -- Canada's world men's curling championship reign ended Sunday after three years, but Brad Jacobs was still able to put the loss in perspective.

Jacobs's Northern Ontario rink fell 8-6 to Sweden's Niklas Edin in the gold-medal game.

"It's not like we came out and we curled really horrible," said Jacobs. "We threw the rock really well. I feel like we curled really well. The ice was a little different. We didn't catch on to it quick enough. That's why they're holding hands (as champions) and we got the silver medal today.

"But you know what? It's OK."

Edin locked up the win in the eighth end as he stole two points to go up 8-4. After Jacobs pulled within two in the ninth, the Swede was able to run the Canadians out of rocks in the 10.

"We're so happy that we could make enough shots in the beginning to get that good start," said Edin.

Sweden led throughout the game after going up 2-0 early.

"Unfortunately, we didn't bring our A-game today and we were on the wrong side of the edge," said Jacobs. "We didn't give (fans) much to cheer for."

Jacobs's Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., rink had hoped to complete a fourth-place to first-place run after entering the playoff round with two straight losses, including one to Sweden. He was disappointed that he and third Ryan Fry, second E.J. Harnden, lead Ryan Harnden and alternate Matt Dumontelle fell short in their quest to win the first world crown for a Northern Ontario rink since Al Hackner's Thunder Bay rink triumphed in 1985.

Jacobs's rink was the first Northern Ontario team to win the Brier and gain entry to the worlds since then.

"We are the Northern Ontario boys, and it's been a long time since Northern Ontario's been here, so it means a lot -- for sure -- and even more because you're wearing the (Canadian) Maple Leaf," said Jacobs. "We tried to fight as hard as we could for not only ourselves, but for everyone who was supporting us from Northern Ontario and all over Canada. We'd really love to get another shot at this one day -- God willing and if all the rolls and breaks go our way and we can keep plugging away at this game with this team.

"But it's real tough, obviously, getting to this point. You can never bank on it happening."

Edin captured his first world men's crown after serving on bronze-medal-winning teams in 2011 and 2012. He also played on a Swedish team that won a world junior men's title in 2004.

"It means a lot, having the Olympic season just one year ahead," said Edin, who also garnered the Colin Campbell award as the competition's most sportsmanlike curler. "It feels amazing, because now we know we can get all the support we need to improve our game and to really get strong for that."

Starting with the hammer, the Swedes took a 2-0 lead in the first end as Jacobs missed both of his shots. In the second end, Edin forced Jacobs to settle for one point, but Sweden went ahead 4-1 in the third as the skip drew for two while gently tapping a Canadian rock back.

Edin said his team was able to relax after taking the big lead.

"We gave them the pressure shots, and I think the game plan was excellent," he said.

Jacobs managed to cut Canada's deficits to 4-3 and 6-4, but the Swedes erased any doubt after Canadian skip was heavy with a draw attempt on his final shot in the eighth end. That misplay let Sweden go ahead 8-4 before Jacobs earned two points in the ninth to create a suspenseful finish.

Despite the disappointment of the loss, Canadian coach Tom Coulterman was happy with what the Soo crew achieved this year.

"They accomplished all of the goals that they set for themselves, except the last one," said Coulterman. "It's unfortunate, but they're still Brier champs. That's what they wanted to do."

Coulterman said the silver medal will still mean a lot.

"We'll enjoy what the silver medal means," he said. "It would have been nice to win gold, but a silver shines pretty nice."

Canadian team leader Rick Lang, who played third on Hackner's world-champion rink 28 years ago, predicted Jacobs and company will get another chance to shine on the global stage.

"In our worlds in '85, we were a little more experienced than they are now," said Lang. "We got to go back, and I expect they'll get to go back. And when they do, they'll have learned from this experience -- and they're going to be pretty fearsome."

Earlier, Scotland's David Murdoch claimed the bronze medal with a 7-6 win over Rasmus Stjerne of Denmark 7-6.

The Scots clinched the win by scoring three points in the eighth end to go up 7-4 before Denmark counted two in the ninth and Murdoch blanked the 10th.

Scotland and Denmark were both relegated to the bronze-medal game after losing to Canada's Brad Jacobs on Saturday.

"Winning the double, it's just amazing," said Edin.

Notes: Ontario's Glenn Howard, Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton and Alberta's Kevin Koe were the last three world men's champs. ... Edin hails from the same hometown -- Ornskoldsvik -- as Vancouver Canucks forwards Daniel and Henrik Sedin, and pronounces his name similarly, but without the "S" ... Edin's rink was coached by Eva Lund, who now has a men's world title to go along with two world women's titles, a pair of Olympic gold medals and five European championships. Edin credited Lund for helping the team after it searched among about 35 mostly male candidates. But Edin had to leave these worlds early because of another previously scheduled work commitment.