Canadian teams rolled to a perfect opening day on Saturday at the 2013 World Mixed Doubles and World Seniors Curling Championships in Fredericton, N.B.
Rob Armitage’s team from Red Deer, Alta., led the way with a pair of victories in the senior men’s competition, while Cathy King of St. Albert, Alta., in the senior women’s draw and the Saguenay, Que., duo of Robert Desjardins and Isabelle Néron in mixed doubles won their opening games on Saturday afternoon at the Grant-Harvey Centre.
Armitage, backed up by third Keith Glover, second Randy Ponich, lead Wilf Edgar, alternate Lyle Treiber and coach Bill Tschirthart, completed a 2-0 day with a 7-2 victory over Finland’s Kari Keränen. The Canadians broke the game open when Armitage, who was scored at a scorching 98 per cent, drew the four-foot to score three in the sixth end.
That win came on the heels of a 10-0 victory over Germany’s Klaus Unterstab in the first draw of the championships.
“We’re 2-0 and that’s what’s expected,” said Armitage, whose lone assignment on Sunday is at 3:30 p.m. (all times Atlantic) against England’s Michael Sutherland (1-1). “We’ve got the high seed so we’ve played a couple of the teams that aren’t ranked at the top even though they were both decent teams. It’s a good start and now we’re down to where we’re feeling comfortable with the ice and I think we’ll play well from here on in.”
The King foursome — rounded out by third Carolyn Morris, second Lesley McEwan, lead Doreen Gares, alternate Christine Jurgenson (Tschirhart is coaching both Canadian senior teams) — opened its game against Ireland in impressive fashion, scoring three in the first end and stealing one more in the second en route to an 8-2 triumph.
“It’s good to come out firing, that’s for sure,” said King, who is back in action on Sunday at noon against Russia’s Liudmila Murova (0-0). “It wasn’t our best game, but Carolyn played really strong and that helped me to set up the end for my shots. It was a good feeling to get onto the ice and get some of the jitters out. I think we’ll be better in the next game.”
In mixed doubles play, Desjardins made a spectacular double takeout in the first end to remove a frozen Italian rock on the button, setting up an open draw for four for Néron. That propelled the Canadians to a 7-4 win over Italy’s Alessio Gonin and Giorgia Ricca.
“It looked like we were in trouble in the first end, it looked like a steal of one,” said Desjardins. “But it’s really good to start well, it removes the pressure. It’s great ice, it’s like the Brier and the Slams. Unless it’s pretty grabby in the first couple ends, it’s pretty straight after that so it’s pretty easy to throw those big weights on the nose.”
Desjardins and Néron have a pair of games on Sunday. They open the day with a showdown against defending world champions Martin Rios and Nadine Lehmann of Switzerland (1-0) at 11:15 a.m., followed by a 9 p.m. game against Spain’s Sergio Vez and Irantzu Garcia (0-1). The game against Spain can be seen live online at the event website: www.wmdcc2013.curlingevents.com/.
For live scores and standings from the World Mixed Doubles Championship, go to: www.wmdcc2013.curlingevents.com/.
For live scores and standings from the World Seniors Championship, go to: wscc2013.curlingevents.com/.