Sweden secure top spot but US hopes in the balance at Curling Worlds
An expensive seventh end left the United States' qualification hopes hanging by a thread at the World Men's Curling Championship as Sweden guaranteed themselves top spot.
Reigning champions Sweden triumphed 8-4 to take their record in Lethbridge to ten wins and one loss, ensuring a direct route to the weekend's semi-finals.
The game was finely poised at 3-3 through six ends when Swedish skip Niklas Edin had an open draw into the house to score four points and take an unassailable 7-3 lead before rounding out the victory.
Edin said afterwards: "It's as good as we could have hoped for. We've played really well through the whole round-robin so far, and the one game we lost to Scotland, we actually played pretty well too.
" "We've nothing to complain about so far, but now all the games are pretty important." "
Defeat could be crushing to Olympic champions the United States' chances of joining Sweden in the knockouts as they slip to the sixth and final qualifying spot in the table with a record of 7-4, seventh-placed Scotland now within striking distance at 6-4 – with two matches remaining.
Canada also moved to the brink of qualification as they stormed past Switzerland 10-3 and the game turned in the second end.
The second stone from Switzerland's fourth player Benoit Schwarz seemed to pick up debris on the way down to slew off-course and come up short, handing Canada a steal of five points for a 7-0 advantage that they never squandered.
Both Canada and Switzerland have records of 8-3 and are well-placed to seal a top-six spot in the final two sessions of round-robin play.
And in the two games with no bearing on qualification for the knockouts, Russia beat Norway 8-5 as Germany bested China 6-4.