Winning start for defending champions, Canada at 361º World Men's

  • Canada's lead Geoff Walker and third Mark Nichols © WCF / Richard Gray

Defending champions Canada opened with a 7-6 win over Russia as the 361° World Men’s Curling Championship got underway on Saturday (31 March) afternoon in Las Vegas, United States.

China, Korea and Sweden also won in this session – China beat Switzerland by 6-5; Korea won by 7-4 over Netherlands and Sweden beat Germany 6-5. Meanwhile, five of the 13 teams in the field sat out the session – Italy, Japan, Norway, Scotland and United States.

Canada’s skip Brad Gushue gave his team a good start, hitting out a Russian stone in the first end to open the scoring with three points. Later, a hit by Russia skip Alexey Timofeev in the fifth end reduced Canada’s lead to 5-3. Russia then levelled the game with single-point steals in the next two ends, but Canada recovered to claim their 7-6 win.

In the seventh end of the game between Olympic silver medallists Sweden and Germany, Sweden’s skip Niklas Edin hit out a German stone on the centre line to score three points and take a 5-3 lead. In the ninth end, Germany’s skip Alexander Baumann played a hit with his last stone to score two points and level the game at 5-5. However, Sweden went on to win by 6-5 when Edin scored one point with a nose-hit in the tenth and final end.

A steal of two points in the eighth end for a 5-4 lead turned the game between China and the Swiss in China’s favour as they went on to win by 6-5.

Korea finished strongly in their game against Netherlands. In the eighth end, Korea’s skip ChangMin Kim played a double take-out on Dutch stones to score one point and level the game at 4-4. After this turning point, Korea went on to win by 7-4.

They said it

Niklas Edin; skip, Sweden (after 6-5 win over Germany): “We got a little caught by the ice at the beginning, so it was good to play a full game in this first game, going into a tough game tonight against Switzerland. They [Germany] are a good team and he [skip Alexander Baumann] made some good shots. It was a good thing to have made a shot to win a game this early in the event.”

Dejia Zou; skip, China (after 6-5 win over Switzerland): “They [Switzerland] made some problems for us, but we just focussed on each shot. This will be a very enjoyable event.”

Brad Gushue; skip, Canada (after 7-6 win over Russia): “It’s nice to get the win, it wasn’t a great performance by any of us. The ice was tricky and we spent most of the game just trying to figure it out. It wasn’t solid but a win’s a win. After we gave up the two steals it felt like it was slipping away a bit. We didn’t have a good read of the ice and were putting the broom in the wrong spots on a lot of the shots. So, to get the deuce [in the eighth end] put us back in control of the game and it felt like we were going to win after we made that.”

Session one results: Sweden 6-5 Germany; Netherlands 4-7 Korea; China 6-5 Switzerland; Russia 6-7 Canada

Standings after session one

Canada 1-0
China 1-0
Korea 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Italy 0-0
Japan 0-0
Norway 0-0
Scotland 0-0
United States 0-0
Germany 0-1
Netherlands 0-1
Russia 0-1
Switzerland 0-1

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