Canada skip Kevin Koe put on a master class of exquisite shotmaking during the world men’s curling championship, providing a bevy of highlight-reel shots that helped his team reach the final.
A magical in-off. Clutch triple takeouts. Even a rare quadruple takeout.
After two thrilling one-point playoff wins a day earlier, Koe couldn’t pull it out again in the biggest game of the competition Sunday night. Sweden’s Niklas Edin kept the pressure on and didn’t stop until he had a 7-2 victory and his fourth career world title.
“It sucks, we wanted to win this so badly and it’s very disappointing,” Koe said.
“We’re pretty deflated. After the eighth (end) we felt terrible… a steal of two was disappointing. It’s unfortunate but they’re a great team.”
Edin stole three more points in the ninth end when Koe’s desperation quadruple-takeout attempt was slightly off the mark.
“It feels amazing.” Edin said. “This was probably the sweetest win of my career. We’ve never played better than this for an event. It felt like we were dominating the whole week.”
Edin beat Canada’s Brad Gushue in last year’s world final in Las Vegas to avenge a loss to the St. John’s, N.L., skip a year earlier in Edmonton. Edin’s first world crown came in 2013 and he won again in 2015.
Koe won world gold in 2010 and 2016.
After an opening blank, Koe had a chance for a force in the second end but his runback took out a Swedish stone and his own rock. That allowed Edin to blank once again.
Canada was in danger of giving up four points in the third end but managed to steal a single when Edin jammed on a double-takeout attempt.
Koe hit a big-weight double and rolled it back under cover before following with a nice runback. He kept the pressure on in the fourth with a hit that rolled behind a corner guard. Edin was forced to draw for a single.
Koe didn’t have to make a draw until he had hammer for the first time in the fifth. His first throw was slightly off line but his second draw found the four-foot ring for a 2-1 lead.
The Calgary skip made the packed house at the Enmax Centre pop in the sixth end when he hit a double takeout to sit three. Edin was forced to draw for a single to pull even.
“The support has been awesome,” Koe said. “It’s just a pity that we couldn’t win it for them.”
Koe made another double in the seventh end to get a blank and keep hammer.
Several rocks were in play in the eighth end before play was delayed for about five minutes due to a loose handle. Edin played the repaired rock and made a double takeout to sit three.
Koe was forced to draw the four-foot and came up short to give Sweden a two-point lead.
“Obviously we kind of lost some of the control,” Koe said. “Tied up with hammer playing eight, that’s a good spot to be in and we didn’t play a good end obviously, and that’s what cost us.”
Watch below: Some Global News videos about Kevin Koe.
Swedish third Oskar Eriksson made an excellent double takeout in the ninth end and Canada couldn’t recover.
Switzerland’s Peter De Cruz defeated Japan’s Yuta Matsumura 8-4 earlier in the day to win the bronze medal. De Cruz took the lead with four points in the seventh and stole singles in the next two ends for the victory.
Koe, lead Ben Hebert, second Colton Flasch and third B.J. Neufeld are in their first season together as a foursome.
The silver medal ends a tough stretch of results for Canada’s four-player teams at major events.
Koe did not reach the podium at the Pyeongchang Olympics last year and the Canadian women’s team skipped by Rachel Homan also did not win a medal.
Canada’s Chelsea Carey missed the playoffs at last month’s world women’s championship in Silkeborg, Denmark. Switzerland’s Silvana Tirinzoni defeated Sweden’s Anna Hasselborg in that final.
Edin earned the first seed in the round-robin standings with an 11-1 record. He beat Koe 9-4 earlier in the week.
Canada was the third seed in a six-team playoff pool that also included the United States and Scotland. Italy, Germany, Russia, the Netherlands, China, Norway and South Korea missed the cut.
Total attendance for the nine-day event was 69,077. The Enmax Centre has a capacity of about 4,500 for curling.
The 2020 world men’s championship will be held in Glasgow, Scotland.
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