Norway claims bronze at men’s world curling championships

Thomas Ulsrud

For all you naysayers who don’t think there should be a bronze-medal game at the world curling championship? Thomas Ulsrud cares. So does his country, Norway.

By Allen Cameron – The Calgary Herald

And so did the nearly 3,800 fans who were at the Moncton Coliseum on Sunday afternoon despite a spring snowstorm raging outside; they saw Ulsrud’s Oslo foursome claim its third bronze medal in four years with a 6-4 win over Switzerland’s Markus Eggler at the Ford worlds.

“People back home are going to be really happy now with us coming home with a medal,” said the 37-year-old tanning salon owner, who also finished third in 2006 at Lowell, Mass., and last year at Grand Forks, N.D. “As long as you play the bronze-medal game, I hate to lose it. It’s a big boost for us; we can leave here and be happy and start working for next season, which is a big season.”

Ulsrud, third Torger Nergard, second Christoffer Svae and lead Havard Vad Petersson, who are expected to play at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, played a terrific back half of the game on Sunday after losing two previous encounters to the Swiss, in the round-robin and in the Page playoff three vs. four game on Saturday.

Norway scored a go-ahead deuce in the eighth end when Ulsrud made an open takeout, then the Norwegian skip executed a perfect hit-and-roll behind a centre guard that the Swiss couldn’t remove, producing a crucial steal.

“I think it was a great event, but playoffs are tough,” said Switzerland’s last-rock thrower Ralph Stoeckli, who lost the semifinal to Canada’s Kevin Martin on Saturday. “Once you make the playoffs you play the best teams out there again and again, and again. And now we leave here without anything, but that’s the nature of sport.”

Canada takes on Scotland in the gold-medal game later on Sunday.

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