Canada and Scotland remain unbeaten at the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship, after Day 2 in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy.
Skipped by Kevin Koe of Edmonton, Canada notched a pair of wins on Sunday, 8-3 over Denmark and 9-5 over Switzerland, to move to 3-0 in the 12-country competition.
After beating Denmark, Koe mentioned that his team was still suffering from jet-lag. “I feel like we’re getting it, but it just doesn’t feel like we’re all there yet. I think we’re still struggling with the travel. But I’m happy with the way we’re playing and as another day or two goes on, we’ll feel back to normal.”
In the Switzerland game, Koe gave up three in the seventh end to fall behind 5-4, before rallying with three in the eighth and a steal of two in the ninth to seal the verdict.
Scotland, with Warwick Smith at the helm, also enjoyed a perfect day, disposing of Sweden, 8-4, then France, 8-6 to keep pace.
Koe, who won last month’s Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax in dramatic fashion, edging three-time world champion Glenn Howard, 6-5 in an extra end, is making his debut on the world stage, seeking a leading 32nd title for Canada since the competition began in 1959 in Scotland.
The veteran Smith has already won two world men’s titles, in 1999 in Saint John, New Brunswick, as third for Hammy McMillan, and in 2006 in Lowell, Massachusetts, as second for David Murdoch. Murdoch is the alternate on the Smith team this year.
Right behind the undefeated leaders are five teams at 2-1: China, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Norway.
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.