Team Canada once again dominated play to notch a fifth straight win and remain tied with Sweden for first place on the leaderboard at the 2012 World Men’s Curling Championship presented by Ford Motor Company of Canada Ltd.
In Monday evening action at the St. Jakobshalle in Basel, Switzerland, Canada took three points in the second end after holding the Czech Republic’s Jiri Snitil to a single in the first. In the third, Snitil was forced to make a perfect tap and roll on a buried Canadian counter for another single. Skip Glenn Howard drew for the deuce in four, and a blank end by the Czechs in five meant a 5-2 Canada lead heading to the break.
The blanks continued, and with chances running out, Snitil was finally forced to take one in the eighth. Howard put the game away with a perfect double take-out in the ninth end, giving Canada four more points and a 9-2 victory for a fifth straight win.
“I was very impressed by the Czech team,” said Howard after the game. “For a country that’s only been curling for less than ten years, they’re very impressive. I like the way they throw the rocks and I like the way they called the game.”
Team Canada now sits tied with Sweden for first place. Howard (89 percent), third Wayne Middaugh (90 percent) and lead Craig Savill (93 percent) lead in player percentages at their respective positions, with second Brent Laing (81 percent) tied for fifth in a tight pack. Overall, Canada has curled – as a team – 91 percent for two games straight, and leads all teams at 88 percent. In short, Howard, Middaugh, Laing and Savill are on a five-game roll, picking up where they left off at the Brier in March.
“Our confidence is getting better,” said Howard about the team’s performance on Day 3 of the tournament. “I felt really comfortable out there tonight and my guys are making everything in front of me. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
The face-off with Sweden and second-place Scotland, has to wait until Wednesday, however. On Tuesday, Canada meets host Switzerland (1-4) and Denmark (2-3). The Swedes, playing without injured skip Niklas Edin, hope to keep their undefeated streak alive on Tuesday when they face the USA, who got its first win on Monday, and Norway, who surged back from a lopsided loss to Canada in Draw 6 and now sits 2-3 in the standings.
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