The favourites are starting to find their form. And that’s not great news for the rest of the field at this year’s Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Richardson.
Host Canada ran its record to 4-0 during Monday morning’s sixth draw, downing a plucky Korean bunch by a 7-4 count. Scotland (4-0) also stayed unbeaten, knocking off Germany 8-5.
The Canadian foursome of Jeff Stoughton, Jon Mead, Reid Carruthers, and Steve Gould, from Winnipeg’s Charleswood Curling Club, scored deuces in the first, third, and fifth ends en route to their fourth straight victory.
“We’re doing better. The first game, I think everyone was pretty nervous, just excited to be here,” said Stoughton, the 1996 world champion. “We’re starting to feel better and more comfortable out there with every shot. Put the broom in the right spot, and everyone’s getting their draw weight. It’s becoming very comfortable, which is great.”
In other Draw 6 results, 2009 European champion Niklas Edin of Sweden (3-1) bombed China 9-1 to stay a win back of the frontrunners. Ditto for Thomas Dufour’s surprising foursome from France (3-1), which won its third assignment, 8-5, over Denmark.
Korea (0-4), which very nearly upset defending Olympic silver medallist Norway during Saturday’s opening draw, played a conservative game against the Canadians, with Dong Keun Lee’s crew scoring a pair in end No. 2 and limiting the hosts to a single point after the halfway mark.
“(Korea) played it pretty simple, with not a lot of rocks in play. So we couldn’t get much going,” remarked Stoughton. “Even when they missed, they missed right, where they were four feet short of a good freeze. So we just went open-side, and got our easy deuce.
“The guys played really consistent. Can’t complain. We played it tight. We wanted to control the game, which we did. We got a little fortunate to get our second deuce, because (Dong) was setting up for a good steal . . . they made some really good shots that end. A simple game, but we felt we had control most of the way.”
Tom Brewster’s quartet from Curl Aberdeen, which includes third Greg Drummond, second Scott Andrews, and lead Michael Goodfellow, is tickled to be undefeated at this stage of the game.
A three-spot for Scotland in the fourth end changed the complexion of Monday morning’s clash against the Bavarians (1-3), whose veteran skip Andy Kapp is a two-time world championship silver medallist.
“To be 4-and-zero? Probably didn’t expect it. I’ve not skipped at worlds, and three of our guys are 22,” said Brewster. “We’ve got to take each game as it comes, and that’s what we’re doing. Take care of each game, each end, each shot . . . that’s all we can ask.
“We played a great second half of the game. The guys picked it up, and brought it home pretty well. To be honest, we never looked back. Played some great peels, great runbacks. We’re really chuffed.”
Edin’s young outfit from Karlstads Curling Club in Karlstad, which includes third Sebastian Kraupp, second Fredrik Lindberg, and lead Viktor Kjall, is picking up steam, with two straight lopsided wins. The Swedes had beaten up on the Americans, 11-2, on Sunday night.
The Chinese “are good hitters, and they can make a lot of nice shots, but in the long run, after 10 ends, we’ll make more shots than they do,” said Edin. “We needed to keep rocks in play, keep pressure on them, and sooner or later we were going to have the upper hand, most of the time.
“Win or loss? That can depend on a lot of things,” he added. “The way we’re playing now . . . we’re playing well, and that’s the most important thing.”
The French team of Thomas Dufour, last rock-thrower Tony Angiboust, second Lionel Roux, and lead Wilfrid Coulot continued its surprising start by dispatching the Danes (0-4) led by Tommy Stjerne. A three-ender in the eighth was the telling blow for the Chamonix Curling Club crew.
“The team is playing quite well. We’re going to fix what’s not working, and things will just get better and better, I hope,” said Dufour. “We didn’t expect to have such good results at the beginning of the week, but we’re very pleased.”
Monday’s seventh draw, which begins at 3:30 p.m. ET, pits Sweden against Norway (1-2), Germany against the United States (1-2), Scotland versus the surprising Czech Republic (2-1), and China (2-2) versus Switzerland (1-2).