Undefeated Canada sit alone at the top of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s rankings

  • Canada skip Kevin Koe © WCF / Jeffrey Au

Canada beat Norway by 10-2 in Monday afternoon’s seventh round-robin session of the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada, and this result restores the hosts as clear undefeated leaders, on five wins. It also keeps Norway at the foot of the table, still looking for their first win.

In the other games, Italy beat China by 8-2, leaving the Chinese also looking for a first win, while Switzerland beat Netherlands by 7-6 and United States were 9-8 winners over Scotland.

Against Norway, Canada opened with two points in the first end, then, in the third end, their skip Kevin Koe drew his second stone into the house to score five points and take a 7-1 lead. Canada went on to win by 10-2 in just six ends.

Afterwards, Koe explained his team’s approach, saying, “It’s not about throwing high percentages or winning all-star awards, it’s about winning games. That’s what I focus on, getting the job done and we’ve done it for a while. But we’ll need a bunch more [wins] for sure. Odds are we’re not going to win all our games this week, but we just have to win the last one.”

In the game between Switzerland and Netherlands, the teams swapped two-point scores in the first two ends. After that, Switzerland scored one point in the third end, then had single point steals in the fourth and fifth ends to take a 5-2 lead into the break.

In the eighth end, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz hit out a Dutch stone to score two points and take a 7-3 lead.

In the ninth end, the Netherlands’ skip Wouter Goesgens played a double take-out for a score of two points that reduced Switzerland’s lead to 7-5. Switzerland went on to win by 7-6 when the Dutch ran out of stones in the tenth end.

This win puts Switzerland into joint second place on the table, along with Japan and Sweden, who both sat out this session.

In the sixth end of the game between the Olympic champions, United States and Scotland, and with the score at 4-3 to Scotland, American skip John Shuster hit out a Scottish stone to score three points and take a 6-4 lead.

Then, in the ninth end, Scotland’s skip Bruce Mouat played a draw-shot into the house to score three points and take an 8-7 lead. Despite this, United States went on to win by 9-8.

After this game, United States’ Shuster said, “I was proud of the guys to come out there and make six out of six in front of me in the last end there to give me that chance. Obviously, when you’re at the world championships, every win is a big one – every one is a tough one. When you’re playing against a top five team in the world like Bruce Mouat, if you can win those ones, you can get yourself a half-step in front of the competition.”
In the fourth game of the session, Italy played China and in the third end, Italian skip Joel Retornaz hit out a China stone to score three points and take a 4-1 lead.

Later in the seventh end, Retornaz played another hit to score three points to move the score to 8-2. China conceded at this point and remain win-less so far.

Results: Netherlands 6-7 Switzerland; Italy 8-2 China; Canada 10-2 Norway; United States 9-8 Scotland.

Current Standings(W-L):

Canada 5-0
Japan 4-0
Switzerland 4-0
Sweden 4-0
United States 3-1
Italy 2-2
Netherlands 2-3
Germany 1-3
Russia 1-3
Scotland 1-3
China 0-4
Korea 0-4
Norway 0-4

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Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

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