Canada’s Gushue earns pair of round-robin victories at world men’s curling playdowns – Sports

Photo: The Canadian Press

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland — Canada’s Brad Gushue earned two wins Saturday on the opening day of round-robin play at the world men’s curling championship.

He defeated Czechia’s Lukas Klima 9-8 in an extra end and then posted an 8-5 win over Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz at the IWC Arena.

“The first day is a little unnerving because you’re not sure what you’re going to get when you put the broom down,” Gushue said. “Today was a good learning opportunity and hopefully the ice stays similar to what it is.”

In the opening draw, the St. John’s, N.L.-based team of Gushue, Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker made a hit-and-stick for the victory.

Canada took control of the Germany game by stealing two in the eighth end for a four-point lead. Muskatewitz wrecked on a guard with his final throw and a measure confirmed the deuce.

“That was probably the one bad rock he threw all game and fortunately for us, it led to a steal of two,” Gushue said. “It would have been a sin because we played a pretty good end.”

Defending champion Bruce Mouat of Scotland also opened with two victories. Gushue and Mouat will meet on Sunday.

“Now that we have a better sense of the ice, it’s nicer to play some of the top teams so you can play them with a little more confidence,” Gushue said. 

Mouat dumped South Korea’s Jongduk Park 10-3 and topped American John Shuster by the same score later in the day. Magnus Ramsfjell defeated New Zealand’s Anton Hood 9-5 and Italy’s Joel Retornaz beat Japan’s Shinya Abe 6-4. 

In the early draw, Shuster defeated Switzerland’s Yannick Schwaller 5-3 and Sweden’s Niklas Edin whipped Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands 8-1.

“This was a really good day, especially with it being a long day,” Harnden said. “Having to come in for the opening ceremony and then play back to back, I think this was a good start and we’ll continue to build just like we did at the Brier and move forward.” 

Round-robin play continues through Friday. The top two teams will get direct semifinal berths while the other playoff teams play qualification games.

Medal games are set for April 7. Canada is looking for its first gold medal at this event since Gushue’s 2017 title in Edmonton. 

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 30, 2024. 

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