Team Canada’s Glenn Howard opened with a 7-5 win over France’s Thomas Dufour on Saturday afternoon in Basel, Switzerland at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship presented by Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
But it was a slow start for both teams, says Rick Lang, National Team Coach who is with the team in Basel. Starting the game without hammer, Canada forced French fourth thrower Tony Angiboust to take one. An uncharacteristic missed draw by Howard left the teams tied 1-1 after two ends.
France scored its deuce in three, but Canada was able to score in the next two ends, taking a single in four and stealing 1 in five to enter the break tied at 3-3.
“The team went on the offense in the second half,” reports Lang. “The seventh end was key, when the French skip wrecked on a corner guard, allowing Canada a free draw for 3.”
Team Canada – skip Glenn Howard, third Wayne Middaugh, second Brent Laing and lead Craig Savill – controlled the last two ends, forcing France to take 1 in the ninth, and hitting for a single in the tenth.
Some pre-competition concerns about the ice at the St. Jakobshalle proved unfounded, says Lang. “The team was pleased with the ice conditions which showed good curl and consistent draw weight.
Canada’s next game is against Germany on Sunday morning, followed by an evening match against the USA. Germany and USA met in the first draw, with Germany’s John Jahr stealing singles in the last three ends for an 8-6 victory over Heath McCormick’s American squad.
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