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Three-way tie for lead at World Men’s

There’s now a three-way tie for the lead after 11 draws of the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship, taking place in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.

Canada, Scotland and Norway are deadlocked with 6-1 marks after the conclusion of play on Tuesday.

Canada, skipped by Edmonton’s Kevin Koe, finally suffered its first loss, a 9-6 defeat at the hands of Germany’s veteran Andy Kapp, who is making his 12th worlds appearance as skip.  Although Canada held a tenuous 5-4 lead after five ends, Germany responded with a single in the sixth end, a steal of one in seven, a deuce in the ninth and a final steal of one in the 10th end.

The defeat followed a Canada victory Tuesday morning over Scotland’s Warwick Smith, 6-2, in a battle of unbeaten teams.

“Well, we didn’t play well and that’s what happens,” said Koe, about the loss to Germany.  “That was a big win for them and not a good loss for us.  We kind of gave away the game early and just didn’t play well.   Those guys have been around, they’ve played lots of these and they played well.”

Said Kapp, whose squad moved to 4-3, tied with the United States for fifth place, behind Denmark’s Ulrik Schmidt at 5-2,  “It’s always nice to win against Canada, but it’s more important just to keep contact with the top.  So now we are 4 and 3.  That would have been another tough loss, because we’ve already lost three tight games.

“That was a really entertaining game, really aggressive.  Maybe they didn’t expect that we would play the same aggressive way as they play.  The game was fun, with a lot of come-arounds and tap-backs.  And at the end, if you win 9-6 against Canada – good.”

Scotland rebounded from its first defeat by beating Germany, 7-4 in the afternoon, while Norway, being skipped by Torger Nergård in the absence of Thomas Ulsrud, won both its games, 7-1 over Switzerland and 10-5 over host Italy, to join the top.

Denmark and the United States (Pete Fenson) enjoyed perfect days.  Denmark beat Sweden, 10-4, then Japan, 7-6, while United States ousted France, 7-5 and China, 6-5.

The balance of the standings after Day 4 sees Switzerland (Stefan Karnusian) at 3-4, with China (Fengchun Wang), France (Thomas Dufour), Italy (Joel Retornaz) and Sweden (Per Carlsén) knotted at 2-5.  Japan (Makoto Tsuruga) remains winless at 0-7.

Round robin play continues through Thursday with three draws daily.  After any required tiebreakers, the first four finishers proceed to the Page Playoffs, whereby the first and second place teams meet in one game, with the winner advancing to the final on Sunday, while the loser goes to Saturday’s semi-final.

In the other game, the third and fourth place teams battle, with the winner also advancing to the semi-final, while the loser goes to the bronze medal game on Sunday morning to meet the loser of the semi-final.

TSN will air the semi-final on Saturday and the gold medal game on Sunday, April 11, live across Canada.