Scotland's men ease past world champs Sweden in European Championships opener

Bruce Mouat leads his Beijing-bound side to a 6-2 triumph over two-time Olympic medal-winning skip Niklas Edin, but Sweden's women made a winning start in Lillehammer.

By Rory Jiwani
Picture by @Ian MacNicol

Bruce Mouat and Scotland made the perfect start to the European Curling Championships in Lillehammer on Saturday (20 November).

The team, who will represent Great Britain at the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games, eased past reigning world and European champions Sweden 6-2 on the first day of action at the 1994 Olympic venue.

Mouat was always on top against five-time world champion skip Niklas Edin with the Scots scoring two in the second end and one in the third to take a healthy early lead.

Sweden pulled one back in the fourth but Scotland hit back with a two in the fifth and a single in the sixth to go 6-1 in front.

And it was all over in the seventh end when Edin, the most decorated skip in curling history, was forced to draw for one after Mouat's takeout had left Scotland lying three.

Mouat's win at the Masters last month made it three Grand Slam of Curling victories this calendar year, and the 27-year-old also took the World Mixed Doubles crown on home ice in Aberdeen with Jennifer Dodds.

Two weeks ago, the rink's great run of form was ended by Torino 2006 gold medallist Brad Gushue in the final of the National in Alberta.

Mouat is set for Beijing, but first he and Grant Hardie, Bobby Lammie, and Hammy McMillan Jr have their sights set on regaining the European title they won in 2018.

Elsewhere in men's round robin play, Norway edged out Switzerland 7-6 with Italy scoring a thumping 9-1 win over Denmark.

Czech Republic defeated the Netherlands 7-5, and Finland beat Germany 8-3 ahead of their clash with Scotland on Sunday.

Mouat's victory made it a double for Scotland on day one in Lillehammer after Eve Muirhead's rink earning a hard-fought 7-4 win over Russia.

Olympic champions Sweden - skipped by Anna Hasselborg - got off to a winning start 5-3 against Czech Republic.

Sweden and Scotland go head-to-head in the pick of Sunday's women's encounters although all 10 women's teams play again later on Saturday.

Italy's women defeated Denmark 8-5 with Germany comfortable 13-3 victors over Estonia while Switzerland got the better of Turkey 10-8.

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