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Italy improves to 2-0 with win over Sweden at Ford Worlds

Joel Retornaz of Italy cracked a three-ender in the third and then put a finishing exclamation point on his 11-5 over Niklas Edin of Sweden with six in the ninth end to improve to 2-0 after three draws at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship Sunday at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, N.S.

Italian skip Joel Retornaz shouts out sweeping instructions. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Italian skip Joel Retornaz shouts out sweeping instructions. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

“That was the turning point probably because we were struggling a bit in the beginning,” Retornaz said of the third end. “But we were able to stay relaxed. We scored three, could have scored four, but three was good.”

Still, he added, he and his teammates – third Amos Mosaner, second Daniele Ferrazza, lead Andrea Pilzer and alternate Sebastiano Arman, knew the game was far from over with a 3-1 lead.

“Three in the third end against a team like this doesn’t mean you won the game,” he said. “They are a real aggressive team, they know how to play, they put pressure on you throughout the whole game.”

Sweden scored singles in the fourth and fifth ends to tie it 3-3 but Italy came back with two in the seven to regain the lead and control.

“They tied it and we were able to stay focused and were able to win this game,” said Retornaz.

In the only other morning game, Evgeny Arkhipov of Russia scored three in the eighth end to beat Marc Pfister of Switzerland 5-3 for his team’s first win of the tournament.

“It’s good to get that first win on the board,” said Russian coach Bob Ursel. “We played well. That’s the best game I’ve seen them play yet. Execution was really good, the strategy was really good and we’re really looking forward to the rest of this week.

Retornaz’s win moved Italy into a tie with Japan for top spot in the early going, at 2-0, while Sweden dropped to 1-1, tied with Russia and Switzerland.

Russian skip Evgeny Arkhipov. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Russian skip Evgeny Arkhipov. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Japan’s Yusuke Morozumi (2-0), Canada’s Pat Simmons (1-0), Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud (1-0), Jiří Snítil of Czech Republic (1-1), China’s Jialang Zang (0-1), John Shuster of the U.S., (0-1), Ewan MacDonald of Scotland (0-2) and Finland’s Aku Kauste (0-2) all had byes Sunday morning..

The 2015 Ford Worlds continue on Sunday, with draws scheduled for 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. (all times Atlantic).

All Canadian games and the playoff rounds for the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship will be televised on TSN/RDS2, the official broadcasting partner of the Season of Champions. The full broadcast schedule is available at http://www.tsn.ca/2014-15-tsn-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.95515.

Live scoring is available at: http://www.curling.ca/scoreboard/#/competitions/1670-2015-ford-world-men-s-curling-championship/scoreboard

To purchase tickets to the 2015 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, go to: http://www.curling.ca/2015worldmen-en/tickets/

The French version of this story will be available at http://www.curling.ca/2015worldmen-fr/ as soon as possible.

Follow @curlingcanada on Twitter (#FWWCC) for updates during the 2015 Ford Worlds.