Kevin Koe loses to Sweden, will play for world curling bronze
Thomas Ulsrud reaches 1st world championship final, will face Sweden's Oskar Eriksson
Canada's Kevin Koe fell 10-8 to Oskar Eriksson's Swedish rink in Saturday morning`s semifinal at the men's world curling championship in Bejing.
As a result, Koe's Calgary rink will take on Switzerland's Peter de Cruz on Saturday night for the bronze medal.
"It was a bad day," said Koe, whose team was a 3-2 loser to Norway's Thomas Ulsrud earlier Saturday.
"We played pretty decent for the most part, I thought we were throwing them good. But big misses at the wrong time, and those will obviously kill you in the big games."
The Canadian team — including third Pat Simmons, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen — took an early lead by opening with a deuce, but the Swedes came back with four in the second after a freeze attempt by Koe came up short.
"Just one bad miss — that's all it took," said Koe. "If I made my last one, we probably only give up one or two. Just a bad miss at the wrong time."
The teams traded singles the next two ends.
Canada missed a chance for a tying two in the fifth and Sweden all but put the game away by hitting for three points in the sixth end when Koe's last-rock freeze attempt was heavy and bumped into the open.
The Canadians scored two in the seventh and stole one in the eighth but would get no closer.
"I'm a little devastated right now," said Rycroft. "I don't know what it was, if it was a lack of confidence on our part or still not trusting the ice. But we missed way too many shots on the wrong side. Good curlers missing easy shots is not going to win you many games."
Canada has won a medal in 49 of the previous world championships, including 34 gold, nine silver and six bronze.
"We'll show up and try our hardest to win," said Koe, looking ahead to the bronze medal game. "I mean, it'll be hard, we're disappointed — we came here thinking we'd be in that gold-medal game. But we'll be here in the morning and we'll be trying to win a medal."
Canada also lost 6-2 to Sweden in the round-robin portion of the tournament.
Sweden advances to the final against Norway's Thomas Ulsrud, who edged Koe 3-2 in the 1-2 Page playoff.
Ulsrud, who finished second to Koe at the 2010 world men's championship in Italy, will be seeking his first title in 10 appearances at the event.
His previous best finishes were bronze medals in 2009, 2008 and 2006.
Sweden's Niklas Edin won the gold medal at the 2013 world championship in Victoria.
Eigel Ramsfjell skipped the last win for Norway, in 1988 in Lausanne, Switzerland.