Scotland’s Team Mouat won men’s gold at the World Junior Curling Championships in Denmark, defeating the USA in the final.
By contrast, it was a chastening week for Scotland women, as they lost seven games and were relegated to the B-Division for next season.
In Canada, Team Kevin Koe claimed the Brier title and will represent their country at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Switzerland.
At the World Juniors in Copenhagen, Team Mouat (Bruce Mouat, Bobby Lammie, Gregor Cannon, Angus Dowell, Robin Brydone (alternate)) shook off an uneven start – beating Norway 7-4 but then losing 7-6 to the USA after an extra end – by reeling off five straight round robin wins.
They scored three in end nine and stole three in end 10 to overcome Canada 10-7, before beating Turkey 13-4, Sweden 9-2, Korea 10-3 and Russia 10-2.
Despite a 10-4 loss to Switzerland (third Bobby Lammie feeling unwell and unable to sweep), they finished their round robin with an 8-2 win over Denmark that proved enough to make it into the 1v2 page playoff game.
There, they scored two in end seven and three in end 10 to beat the USA 7-5, skip Bruce Mouat drawing the port for the winning shot.
Korey Dropkin’s US side won their semi-final against Switzerland (who then lost the bronze medal match to Canada) to set up a third match of the week against the Scots.
In the final, Scotland blanked the first end and in the second Mouat drew for a 2-0 lead. The US were forced to one in end three, before Mouat hit for two and a 4-1 lead in the fourth.
The sides then traded ones, so Scotland held a 6-3 lead and hammer into end 10, where they ran the US out of stones to win 6-4 and claim gold!
Skip Mouat said afterwards: “It was a really good and close final. My guys knew what they had to do today and because of that we were able to control things.
“The team has been awesome all week and I am really chuffed for the guys. I feel we really deserve this.
“We knew it was our last chance as a team to win the title. We had the same vision and same goal before the start of this week and we agreed we wouldn’t settle for anything less than gold.
“That added to the pressure and it has been a roller-coaster of a week; we had a few missed shots in some of the games as well as a bit of illness in the team to contend with, including today as Bobby still wasn’t feeling 100% in the final.
“But we had a great fifth man in Robin. He is exactly what you need from a fifth player and he got to play in one game, so he played his part in all of this.”
Unfortunately it was a very different week for Scotland women (Sophie Jackson, Naomi Brown, Rachael Halliday, Rachel Hannen, Katie Murray (alternate)), despite them winning their opening game 6-4 against Japan.
The team then suffered defeats against Hungary (10-6), Korea (6-5), Sweden (7-6), the USA (8-4) and Russia (5-2), before finally coming out on top in a close match, scoring three in end eight to beat Turkey 7-6.
However, further defeats to Switzerland (11-4) and Canada (6-2) meant they finished the round robin with a W2 L7 record – and so Scotland women will play in the Junior B-Division next season.
Canada won women’s gold, beating the USA 7-4 in the final, while Korea won bronze by defeating Hungary 8-4.
The Canadian men’s championship, the Brier, took place in Ottawa over the last week and saw Northern Ontario (Jacobs) finish the round robin with a perfect record of 11 wins and no losses.
They qualified for the 1v2 page playoff along with Newfoundland and Labrador (Gushue) (W9 L2), while Alberta (Kevin Koe) and Manitoba (McEwen) both held W8 L3 records to make it into the 3v4 game.
Before the playoffs, there was time for Craig Savill – who has been battling Hodgkin’s Lymphoma – to return to the ice and deliver a perfect guard for Ontario. There were few dry eyes in the arena.
Gushue’s rink came back from 4-1 down to win the 1v2 match 7-6 after an extra end, and Koe’s Alberta team won the 3v4 playoff 7-5.
In the semi-final, Alberta overcame Northern Ontario (despite this extraordinary shot from Ryan Fry, below) 6-5 with a two in end 10 – Northern Ontario went on to win bronze, beating Manitoba 7-6 after an extra end.
The final pitted Newfoundland and Labrador against Alberta – the latter started with two steals and scored two in end four, leading 4-2 at halfway.
Gushue’s team stole in end six to claw their way back to 4-3, but Koe made a pick to score three in seven – and Gushue conceded at 9-5 after nine.
So Alberta (Kevin Koe, Mark Kennedy, Brent Laing, Ben Hebert) capped a phenomenal hat-trick for the province at national championships (Team Carey having won the Scotties and Lizmore the Mixed) and they will line up at the World Men’s in April alongside Scotland’s Team Brewster and co.
In other events this weekend, the Fleming Trophy was played at Fenton’s rink in Kent.
Anna Fowler and Lauren Pearce (from the England women’s team at the 2015 European Championships) were joined by Lucy Sparks and Sara Jahodova – they won their way through to the final and there they took the victory 6-0.
And in South Korea, the Uiseong Masters took place – involving 10 women’s teams from Canada, Japan, Switzerland and the USA, as well as the host country.
The final was contested between Team Rocque of Canada and Team Tirinzoni of Switzerland – Rocque winning 5-1.