OAKVILLE, Ont. — Two-time world champion Niklas Edin said he felt like he was playing in a Grand Slam when he faced John Morris during the Stu Sells Oakville Tankard final.
The powerhouse match-up for the men’s title Sunday pitted two of the top teams in the world with Edin prevailing over Morris 6-3.
It’s the first tour title win for second Rasmus Wrana, who joined the Swedish rink of Edin, third Oskar Eriksson, and lead Christoffer Sundgren this season.
“The ice felt like Slam ice and the two teams were playing really good to start with,” Edin said. “We got a couple of good breaks for our side and kept making the right shots, I’d say. We made some important runbacks and doubles to really put some pressure on them and take the pressure off ourselves. Making the big shots, I’d say, made the difference there.”
Morris, playing in his first event back with Jim Cotter’s B.C. based crew at third, grabbed a 2-1 lead in the second with a deuce. Edin matched with a pair of his own in the third to retake the lead and stole one in the fourth to make it 4-2 when Cotter’s final throw was light and sweepers Rick Sawatsky and Tyrel Griffth were unable to drag it in for shot stone.
Edin sat one stone in the house and another just barely biting the edge of the paint during the fifth end, forcing Cotter to make an open hit and stick for a single.
After a blank in the sixth, Edin all but sealed the game in seven. Edin messed up on his first skip stone to open the door for another blank, but Cotter’s hit and roll attempt possibly picked and only nudged Edin’s shot stone to give Edin an easy open draw into the paint for another deuce and a 6-3 lead.
“We had a couple of hangers on the side and he made a really good come-around,” Edin explained. “It was a pretty easy pick but it was hard to pick it without making a double off our own and tried to hit it thick but doubled off our own and should have been a blank.
“I don’t know if he was just tight or if it picked but we got a good break there from our side and then drawing for two the game is over. Bad break for them, but I think overall we played a really good, solid game and I think we deserved to win.”
Edin ran Morris, the 2010 Olympic gold medallist, out of rocks in eight to bring out the handshakes.
Earlier Sunday, Edin edged Kyle Smith of Scotland 6-5 during the semifinals, scoring a deuce off of an incredible angle run double during the fourth end.
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“I’ve been playing really badly on peels so far on the season,” Edin said. “It’s still early but I’ve been struggling a bit coming right out of the hack.
“But now the last few games has been feeling like normal again so I felt confident going into the semifinals and final making those kinds of shots. I think that’s what we need to build some confidence going forward.”
It was a remarkable run to the final for Team Morris as they fell to the C-side of the triple knockout preliminary round early and staved off elimination scoring six consecutive must-win victories within 48 hours to reach the championship match.
Elsewhere, Silvana Tirinzoni of Switzerland topped Allison Flaxey of Caledon, Ont., 8-5 to win the women’s title and Jaap van Dorp of Netherlands defeated Tanner Horgan of Sudbury, Ont., 4-2 to capture the men’s Tier 2 championship.