Winning is an addictive feeling. Just ask Jeff Stoughton and Co.
Stoughton’s Canadian foursome from Winnipeg’s Charleswood Curling Club won its eighth straight contest at the Ford World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Richardson, by knocking off the Czech Republic 9-4 on Wednesday morning at the Brandt Centre.
Canada (8-0), which clinched at least a tiebreaker game with the victory, is aiming to become the first team to breeze through the round-robin portion of the FWMCC undefeated since Mark Dacey of Halifax went 9-0 at Gavle, Sweden, in 2004.
“It’d be great. Why not? That’s the whole idea — never lose. I mean, who likes losing?” said Stoughton, whose team includes third Jon Mead, second Reid Carruthers, and lead Steve Gould. “I think it’d be awesome to go undefeated. We’ll see what happens. But the goal, really, is to get into the (Page Playoff) 1-2 game. We want to beat Sweden (5-2) this afternoon, and I think that pretty well puts us there. That’s really what we want to do — beat Sweden so they can’t catch us.
In Wednesday’s other Draw 12 results, France (6-2) continued its unlikely push for the country’s first FWMCC playoff berth since 1973 with a big 8-7 win over Alpen rival Switzerland (5-3).
Norway (4-4) kept its playoff hopes alive, needing just six ends to dispatch the winless Danes (0-8) by a 9-2 count, while the United States (3-5) doubled up Korea 8-4.
Canada scored big in the third end, counting four, and stole a point in each of the eighth and ninth to put things away.
“If we went really aggressive, they seemed to get in a lot of trouble,” remarked Stoughton.
On Sheet D, Thomas Dufour’s quartet from Chamonix got four of their own in the sixth as fourth-rock tosser Tony Angiboust, already looking at a favourable situation in the house, made a runback double for the big score.
France sits third overall behind Canada (8-0) and Scotland (6-1). Dufour’s best result came in 2007 at Edmonton, when he finished 6-5 and qualified for a tiebreaker, losing 6-5 to Sweden.
“We thought we would finish, at best, in the middle of the pack. To my mind, we are still in the middle of the pack,” said Dufour, whose Chamonix Curling Club outfit also includes second Lionel Roux and lead Wilfrid Coulot. “We have three more games to play (against Germany, Scotland, and the U.S.), so we’ll see what is happening after these three games. Nothing is done yet.”
The Swiss crew from St. Moritz battled back from an 8-4 deficit, but Angiboust’s hit-and-stick in the 10th limited Switzerland’s steal to one point.
At 5-3, skip Christof Schwaller, third Marco Ramstein, second Robert Hurlimann, and lead Urs Eichhorn still have Germany (3-4), Sweden, and Korea (2-6) left on their round-robin docket.
“I think we have to win all three. Maybe two, with some help from other teams,” said Schwaller.
The 2010 Olympic silver-medal-winning Norwegians (4-4) battled their way back to .500, although their round-robin road still takes them through frontrunners Scotland and Canada. Thomas Ulsrud’s squad scored three in the first and needed just six ends to dispose of the winless Danes (0-8).
“It’s a long road. A tough road. But I think we’re still in it. I think we’re still alive. We’ve just got to keep on fighting,” said Ulsrud, whose Olso-based Snaroen Curling Club crew includes third Torger Nergaard, second Christoffer Svae, and lead Haavard Vad Petersson. “So far this week, it’s been too much up and down. We’ve been playing some really good games, and some really bad ones. We need all the good ones from here on in.”
The Americans, from Bemidji, Minn., scored twice in the opening end, stole one in the second, and counted three more in the fourth en route to victory.
“We’re still playing well. We started playing pretty good against Canada (on Monday night), getting the rocks in better spots. Making some draws, some soft hits,” said U.S. skip Pete Fenson, whose team includes third Shawn Rojeski, second Joe Polo, and lead Ryan Brunt. “We’ve controlled the rocks better in the last few games.”
Draw 13, which begins at 3:30 p.m. ET, pits Canada against Sweden, Germany against France, Scotland against Denmark, and Korea against China (2-5).