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Canada remains unbeaten at Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship

LETHBRIDGE, Alta. – Kevin Koe and Team Canada struggled once again Sunday evening but made enough shots to subdue Qiang Zou of China 8-6 to remain unbeaten at 4-0 at the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing.

With Koe shooting just 74 per cent and uncharacteristically missing some key shots, the Canadians had to battle from start to finish to get past the winless Chinese (0-3).

“That was probably our sloppiest game for sure,” admitted Koe afterwards. “The conditions were a little tougher out there. There were a lot more missed draws for both teams. Our sloppiest game, but with the conditions, and I wasn’t in love with our rocks … maybe we just didn’t have quite top concentration and mixed with the conditions maybe it showed.”

But as they did in their afternoon victory, 8-5 over Joel Retornaz of Italy, they made the shots when they had to.

“I missed some hard shots for extra points that could have made a difference” said Koe. “But we did what we had to do again, especially being down a deuce early.”

Koe, third B.J. Neufeld, second Colton Flasch, lead Ben Hebert, alternate Ted Appelman, team coach John Dunn and national coach Jeff Stoughton fell behind early giving up two in the first end and one in the third to trail 3-1.

They keyed their comeback in dramatic fashion, scoring four in the fourth end. Neufeld made a key double takeout to set up the end and Koe finished it with a soft hit-and-stick. The teams traded deuces in the fifth and sixth, China got one in seven and Canada countered with one in nine.

Koe ended the game with a crowd-pleasing run-back double in the 10th to run China out of rocks.

John Landsteiner, left, and Matt Hamilton of Team U.S.A. keep things clean. (Photo, Curling Canada/Michael Burns)

Olympic champion John Shuster of the U.S. (2-1) rebounded from his opening-day loss with a second straight win Sunday, 8-6 over Marc Muskatewitz of Germany (1-2).

Defending champion Niklas Edin of Sweden (3-0) pounced on Magnus Ramsfjell of Norway (0-3) with five in the first end and added four in the fifth en route to an 11-5 win. And Peter de Cruz of Switzerland (3-0) got three in the fourth, deuces in the second and eighth but still needed his last rock in 10 to beat Sergey Glukhov of Russia (0-3) 9-7.

The 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship continues with draws Monday at 9 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. (all times MT).

Live scoring, standings and statistics for the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship are available at wmcc2019.worldcurling.org/

TSN and RDS2 will provide complete coverage of the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred Men’s Curling Championship. CLICK HERE for the complete schedule.

For ticket information for the 2019 Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship, go to www.curling.ca/2019worldmen/tickets/

This story will be available in French as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/2019worldmen/?lang=fr