Team Canada works overtime for win at world men’s championship
LAS VEGAS — Team Canada’s first morning game at the 2018 361° World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, nearly spilled into the afternoon.
But in the end, it was Canadian skip Brad Gushue sealing his team’s third straight victory at Orleans Arena on Tuesday morning, drawing to the four-foot for the winning point in an extra end for a 7-6 triumph over South Korea’s Chang-Min Kim.
With the victory, Gushue and his St. John’s team — vice-skip Mark Nichols, second Brett Gallant, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Tom Sallows, team coach Jules Owchar and national coach Rick Lang — improved to 4-1 and tied for second place in the 13-team round-robin standings with Norway’s Steffen Walstad and Scotland’s Bruce Mouat. Sweden’s Niklas Edin is setting the pace at 5-0.
“It’s getting better, for sure. We still have a ways to go, but certainly I like the progression over the last couple games,” said Gushue, whose team is seeking a second straight world men’s gold medal. “Even though it was a real tight game, they’re a tough team. They played really well against us and pushed us right to the limit, and fortunately we were able to make that draw to the four-foot.”
Canada had another fast start; despite not having last-rock advantage to open the game, the Canadians were able to jump into a 3-0 lead thanks to a stolen single in the second end and a theft of two more in the fourth.
But South Korea (3-3) hung tough and fought back to force the extra end with deuces in the fifth, eighth and 10th ends.
In the end, though, Gushue’s team played a near-perfect 11th to leave him the open draw to the four-foot.
“It seemed like it was just one missed shot in the three ends where we gave up the deuces,” said Gushue. “Outside of that, I thought we played really well. Still a couple of wrong-side misses, which we need to clean up, but definitely our best game so far, I felt. Overall, pretty good, but I certainly think we can bring it up to another level.”
Team Canada is back on the ice Tuesday against Japan’s Go Aoki (1-4) at 4:30 p.m. ET.
In other Tuesday morning games, Russia’s Alexey Timofeev shaded Japan 6-5; Scotland was a 9-4 winner over Germany (which had former Canadian junior champ Ryan Sherrard skipping in place of Alexander Baumann); and Switzerland’s Marc Pfister (2-3) edged Joel Retornaz of Italy (1-4) 6-5.
All of Canada’s 12 round-robin games are being broadcast by TSN. Go to www.tsn.ca/2017-18-curling-broadcast-schedule-1.593081 to see the broadcast schedule.
For live scoring, standings and team lineups from the 2018 361° World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Ford of Canada, go to www.worldcurling.org/wmcc2018
The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/?lang=fr