Canada, skipped by Kevin Koe of Edmonton, won gold at the 2010 Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship, Sunday in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, blasting Norway’s Torger Nergård, 9-3 in the final.
Similar to their encounter in the Page 1 vs 2 game on Friday, an 11-5 decision for Canada, Koe’s team roared out of the blocks again, taking three in the first end, then a deuce in the third, en route to a 6-2 lead after five ends.
From there, it was academic, as Koe, making his World debut, stole a single in the sixth, gave up one in the seventh, before taking another pair in the eighth end, prompting handshakes from the Norwegians.
“It’s been such a whirlwind last month and a half for us,” said Koe. “It’s just been an awesome ride and I’m so happy for the guys. This is a pretty good team and now we’re world champs, and that’s something no one can take away from us.
“We expected a closer game – they’re one of the best teams in the world, but we made some good shots in the first and it was good to get up that three points.
“They didn’t miss much, but we were awesome today. They weren’t in trouble till the end of that first end. Blake (MacDonald) made a freeze and then I put up a good one with my first, and that set us up for sure. We play this game all the time, and practice all the time for moments like this, which is pretty special.”
Koe fired a blistering 95% versus Nergård’s 72%, while Canada also enjoyed a 91-82 edge in team percentage.
It was the first world title for Koe, third Blake MacDonald, second Carter Rycroft and lead Nolan Thiessen and the 32nd world men’s crown for Canada since the competition began in 1959 in Scotland. Canada last won in 2008 in Grand Forks, North Dakota, courtesy of skip Kevin Martin.
Canada finished with an overall record of 11-2, after completing the round robin in second place with a 9-2 mark.
Koe had qualified for the Worlds by winning last month’s Tim Hortons Brier Canadian Men’s Curling Championship in Halifax, a dramatic 6-5 extra end final over previously undefeated Glenn Howard of Ontario.
Norway, with Nergård substituting for regular skip Thomas Ulsrud, who had to return to Olso prior to the start of the championship for a family illness, thus wound up with a silver medal…similar to what the team earned in February’s Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver, when losing to Canada’s Kevin Martin in the gold medal game.
Earlier in the day, Scotland (Warwick Smith) bested United States (Pete Fenson), 6-4 to claim the bronze medal.