Canada started the 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship with an opening-day victory, setting the tone for what the team hopes will be a successful week.
After earning the right to represent Canada one year ago, Winnipeg skip Colin Kurz, vice-skip Meghan Walter, second Brendan Bilawka and lead Sara Oliver (Assiniboine Memorial Curling Club) along with coach Jim Waite secured a 6-3 win against Germany’s Andy Kapp on Saturday during the first day of round-robin competition.
“That was fun! It was good to get our legs under us and play a game here,” Kurz said. “It’s been a couple of days of waiting around to play, but once we started playing we got the nerves out early.”
There certainly were some nerves to shake out early in the process. Germany’s Kapp, a two-time world men’s silver-medallist, took an early 2-0 lead after three ends with a score of one in the second and stealing one in the third.
But Canada responded in the fourth and fifth ends with scores of two in each and took its first lead of the game. The Canadians limited the damage in the sixth end by forcing Germany to one, blanked the seventh and took a one-point lead into the final end with hammer.
But Germany played a solid end and was counting on its final shot. It forced Canada into playing its last shot for two points to secure the win.
“Any time you play in a big event there’s always a little bit more pressure and that was the first last rock I’ve thrown at a world championship so the legs were chattering a little bit, but I just tried to throw it the same as always and it worked out,” Kurz said.
Canada (1-0) has the rest of the day off and returns to the ice on Sunday against Alina Pavlyuchik of Belarus (1-0) at 7 a.m. (ET).
You can find 2019 World Mixed Curling Championship information, including team lineups, schedules, live scoring and standings here.
The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible at www.curling.ca/?lang=fr