Hosts Canada have won the first-ever Pan Continental Curling Championships, with an 11-3 victory over Korea in the men’s gold medal final.
Canada opened with a draw-shot by skip Brad Gushue for two points in the first end. In the second end Korea skip Jeong Byeongjin attempted a double take-out but got his angles wrong. His own stone rolled out, and this gave Canada a steal of one point and a 3-0 lead.
Korea scored one in the third end, but in the fourth, Jeong had a miss with his final stone, this left Canada’s Gushue with a straightforward draw to score four points and move his team to a 7-1 lead. In the fifth end, Jeong caught a front guard with his final shot, to give Canada a steal of three and a 10-1 lead at the halfway break.
Korea scored a single point in the sixth end, when Jeong was successful with a long raise take-out attempt, and this reduced Canada’s lead to 10-2. After this, Canada scored another single in the seventh end, for 11-2.
The teams then played out the eighth end, entertaining the crowd with some novelty shots. Korea scored one point from the end for a final score-line of 11-3 to Canada. Korea then conceded the game, giving Canada the gold medals, and the first-ever Pan Continental title.
After his win, Canada’s Brad Gushue said, “I think we played well all week. With the exception of four ends in our first game against the United States, I thought we were in control of our game, it was a good show.”
Speaking about the new Pan Continental Championships, he said, “It’s nice to win the first one and as we play more of these, this event is going to get bigger and bigger as more countries start competing and getting better and better. We’re proud every time we get to wear the maple leaf and represent our country in an international event.”
He added, “We’ve taken our foot off the pedal a little bit, but I think that’s allowed us to play a little bit more ‘free’ and have a bit more fun. It’s been really enjoyable.”
Meanwhile, silver medal skip Jeong Byeongjin said, “Things didn’t quite work out. We tried to play a little bit defensively, but they came out aggressive and things didn’t go as planned. I believe that we played better in every single game and we’ll continue to improve in the future.”
He also spoke about this new event, saying, “There are a lot of exciting games and we played against better teams, so overall it was a great event.”
The men’s medal teams were:
GOLD: Canada: Brad Gushue (skip), Mark Nichols (third), EJ Harnden (second), Geoff Walker (lead), Nathan Young (alternate), Jules Owcher (coach)
SILVER: Korea: Jeong Byeongjin (skip), Lee Jeongjae (third), Kim Minwoo (second), Kim Taehwan (Lead), Kim Ilho (coach)
BRONZE: United States: Korey Dropkin (skip), Andrew Stopera (third), Mark Fenner (second), Thomas Howell (lead), Rich Ruohonen (alternate), Mark Lazar (coach)
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