Norway survives a scare against Switzerland in men’s semifinal curling

 Team Norway skip Thomas Ulsrud survived a close match to defeat team Switzerland skip Ralph Stockli 7-5 in semifinal action on Thursday at the Vancouver Olympic  Centre.

With the win, Norway will go on to face Canada in the finals on Friday, while Switzerland will face team Sweden. 

The Norwegians had the hammer in the second end, and Ulsrud landed a beautiful draw to steal one, giving the squad with the flashy pants a 1-0 lead.

In the third end, 38-year-old Ulsrud, threw a heavy draw around a guard to take out a Swiss rock and score one.  Stockli was unable to take advantage of having the hammer, missing his opportunity to steal one by throwing a heavy stone just through the house.   Norway had a 2-0 advantage.

The 34-year-old Stockli, wasted yet another chance in the fourth end, when he misplayed a tap-back that could have easily scored a double but instead stole one, making it 2-1.

Ulsrud set his team up perfectly to score a deuce after nailing a phenomenal double take-out in the fifth, giving them a 4-1 advantage.  However, the three-time bronze medallist at the World Championships, allowed the Swiss back in the match in the sixth end when he missed a two-rock take out, allowing the Swiss to draw one to the button to score two, cutting the deficit to 4-3.

With Norway leading 5-3, Stockli made a nice draw against three stones to narrow the gap to 5-4 in the eighth.

The back-and-forth nature of the match continued when Ulsrud was able to fend off the roar of the Canadian crowd, who were cheering after Kevin Martin won his match against team Sweden, to throw a composed double take-out in the ninth end to give Norway a 7-4 lead, and never looked back.