Leading the pack!

Canada, from left, Geoff Walker, Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Brad Gushue are 2-0 at the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Canada’s Team Gushue earns second win on opening day at world men’s championship

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Canada’s Team Brad Gushue earned a second win on the opening day of the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship and remains at the top of the standings after defeating Germany.

Skip Brad Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton defeated Germany’s Team Marc Muskatewitz 8-5 on Saturday night at IWC Arena.

The Canadian team from St. John’s, N.L., stole two in the eighth end to take a four-point lead and full control in the game. The end’s composition didn’t look as promising for Canada after Germany made a superb runback triple to clear the house. However, a few precise draws and taps later from Canada led to what looked to be two Canadian stones sitting shot on the wing of the house in the eight-foot. German skip Muskatewitz missed his hit attempt, wrecking on the guard, and a measure confirmed the two-steal. 

“That was big. He had a tough shot and I think it was makeable and I think it might have jammed where he could have got two. But that was probably the one bad rock he threw all game and fortunately for us, it led to a steal of two. It would have been a sin because we played a pretty good end,” Gushue said.

Canada joins Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat as the only team with a 2- 0 record after opening Saturday. Three other teams are 1-0 after playing one game on Saturday.

Something will have to give on Sunday during Canada’s lone game at 2 p.m. ET, when it takes on Scotland, the reigning world champions.

“Now that we have a better sense of the ice, it’s nicer to play some of the top teams so you can play them with a little more confidence. The first day is a little unnerving because you’re not sure what you’re going to get when you put the broom down,” Gushue said. “Today was a good learning opportunity, and hopefully, the ice stays similar to what it is.”

The Canadians and Germans traded scores of two throughout the first half of the game. Canada started with the last rock and converted easily. After blanking the second, Germany scored two of its own. Canada replied with two in the fourth on a tap around a close centre guard. From the throw to the line call, and the hold and carve on the brooms, it was a total team shot.

Germany’s Marc Muskatewitz gave up a crucial steal of two in the ninth. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

“Those are the little things that we continue to focus on and try to get better at – really good, effective communication where we’re not trying to say too much, but just enough and everyone can do what’s required. That was a good example of the kind of effective communication that we like to establish,” Harnden said.

Earlier in the day, Canada earned its first win in an extra-end game against Czechia.

“This was a really good day, especially with it being a long day, having to come in for the opening ceremony and then play back-to-back; I think this was a good start, and we’ll continue to build just like we did at the Brier and move forward,” Harnden said.

In other action, Scotland’s Team Mouat cruised to a 10-3 win against Team John Shuster of the United States (1-1), Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell (1-0) won its opening game against New Zealand’s Team Anton Hood (0-1) and Italy’s Team Joel Retornaz (1-0) overcame Japan’s Team Shinya Abe (0-1) with a 6-4 win.

After the round-robin wraps up Friday evening, the third through sixth-ranked teams compete in playoff qualification games (3 vs. 6; 4 vs. 5), with the winners advancing to the semifinals. The semifinal winners play in the gold-medal game, and the losers play for the bronze. 

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on TwitterInstagramFacebook and TikTok.

For live scoring, standings and statistics, click here.

TSN/RDS, the official broadcast partner of Curling Canada’s Season of Champions, will provide live coverage of Canada’s round robin and all playoff games. Click here for the broadcast schedule.

Non-Canadian round-robin games are available through World Curling’s streaming platform, The Curling Channel.

The French version of this story will be posted as soon as possible here.

Curling Canada