The much-anticipated showdown between Canada and Scotland Tuesday morning at the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, quickly turned into a ‘no contest’.
Both countries had entered Draw 9 with perfect 5-0 marks, so the winner would have undisputed possession of first place once the dust had settled.
However, the battle was over early. Canada’s Kevin Koe immediately seized control, stealing one in the first end before Scotland’s Warwick Smith responded with a single in the second. But in the third, Koe managed to count three, then again stole singles in the fourth and fifth ends for a commanding 6-1 lead at the break.
After Scotland could only manage one in the sixth end, the teams shook hands, as the game came to a premature end with a 6-2 final verdict.
“We didn’t expect that, of course not,” said Koe, about the early KO. “We expected a much tighter gamer. But you know what? We played great and hardly missed a shot all game. They had a few half-misses here and there.
“That’s the first morning game we’ve had. We’ve got morning games the rest of the way, but the schedule has been helpful in us getting used to the time difference. Now we’re feeling good.”
Canada thus moved to 6-0 in the 12-country competition, as Koe, making his Worlds debut, seeks a leading 32nd title for Canada since the men’s championship began in 1959.
Explained Smith, “We’ve got a big day today, two games back-to-back with not too much break between the sessions, so if you get that far down against a great team like Canada, you’re as well getting off the ice to start preparing for the next game.”
Meanwhile, Scotland dropped to 5-1 and now has company…Norway, being skipped by Torger Nergård, which ripped Switzerland (Stefan Karnusian), 7-1. In other games, United States (Pete Fenson) took two in an extra end to edge France (Thomas Dufour), 7-5, and Denmark (Ulrik Schmidt) was a 10-4 victor over Sweden (Per Carlsén).
Denmark is now 4-2, followed by idle Germany (Andy Kapp) at 3-2. The United States is now 3-3, with China (Fengchun Wang) and Italy (Joel Retornaz) at 2-3, Switzerland 2-4, France and Sweden both a 1-5 and Japan (Makoto Tsuruga) still winless at 0-5.
Round robin play continues with two more draws today and three draws daily through Thursday, prior to the playoffs.