It was a typical battle between youth and experience.
Fresh off a huge upset against reigning world champion David Murdoch of Great Britain, team Sweden skip Niklas Edin tried to give Kevin Martin and his rink all they could handle, but came up short as the Canadians defeated the Swedes 6-3 in semifinal action on Thursday.
The victory gives the Canucks a berth in the finals against Norway on Friday, guaranteeing them a medal. Edin will face Switzerland in the bronze medal game, also on Friday.
With the match tied 0-0, the second end became a sort of chess match between the youngster and the veteran. Martin’s rink went shot-for-shot with Edin, with each team making accurate draws and precise take outs.
The 43-year-old then stepped up and made a difficult roll-over shot that cleared a Swedish stone and set up the Canucks to score two. The Swedes eliminated the Canadian stone with a fantastic heavy weight throw to clear it. Martin had the hammer and executed a near-perfect draw to the button, giving the home team a 1-0 lead after two.
In the third end, the 24-year-old’s rink had set themselves up perfectly to score a triple, and looked poised to do so with the hammer in their hands. However, the Alberta native came up with a great tap-back shot, bumping his rock to within centimetres of stealing a point, limiting the score to just one for the Swedes who tied it up 1-1.
With the score 2-1 for Canada, Edin’s inexperience caught up to him in the fifth end when he made a mental mistake and could not nail a split double take-out with the last rock to allow the home team to score two, making it 4-1.
Another mistake by the youngster allowed the wily veteran to steal two more points in the sixth end, opening up a five point cushion for the home side.
Canada was up 6-3 heading into the 10th end and never looked back.
The average age of the Swedish squad is 24-years-old, and they look to have a bright future ahead of them.