Wire to wire!

Team Canada, from left, Brad Gushue, E.J. Harnden, Mark Nichols and Geoff Walker defeated Scotland on Sunday at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Canada ups the ante against defending champions at 2024 world men’s championship

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND—Canada remains undefeated after winning against the reigning world champions on Sunday at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship.

Team Brad Gushue (3-0), of St. John’s, N.L., went wire-to-wire against last year’s gold-medallists, Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat (2-1) to earn an 8-4 win at IWC Arena. 

It was a rematch of last year’s gold-medal game, where Scotland was victorious and Canada earned silver. A solid effort by skip Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton kept the Canadians atop of the standings in the 13-team field and one game up on a Scottish team that is among the favourites this week.

It will also keep Canada ahead of Scotland in head-to-head tiebreakers later this week.

“I know it’s early in the week, but those are the things you think about when you play some of the top teams. They’re going to be around at the end of the week, and hopefully, we are as well,” said Gushue.

Front-end duo Harnden and Walker set up the foundations of the ends so that the back-end combo of Gushue and Nichols could set up the scores. Collectively, the Canadians curled 90 per cent and controlled the flow of the match.

It started before the game, with Canada earning the hammer during the Last-Shot Draw. Team Gushue controlled the scoreboard by blanking the first end and scoring two in the second. 

Mouat’s game was solid, but there were a few misses, which Team Gushue took advantage of in a strategically sound game from the Canadians.

Reigning world champion Bruce Mouat of Scotland. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

After a scoreless fourth, Canada led the Scots 4-1 at the halfway mark in the fifth. Scotland took on and missed a difficult thin double, which left Canada with a draw for two.

“When they made a mistake, we were able to turn it into a double takeout or get a two. Early on we definitely played really well, but there were a couple of loose ones I had in the second half that I’d like to clean up,” Nichols said. “We’re dialling in a little bit and we’re getting closer. Brad is catching onto the ice and putting the broom in the right spot and we’re making a lot of precise shots.”

Canada’s only scary moment of the game was in the eighth end. A few missed shots from Nichols and Gushue allowed Mouat to score as many as three but settled for two.

“Fortunately we got a miss from Bruce that only allowed it to be two. Other than that, I thought we controlled the game. There were no ends that were really scary, and I think that shows how well Geoff and E.J. set us up, which is crucial against a team like Bruce’s,” Gushue said.

Team Gushue earned another deuce in the ninth end, and Scotland offered handshakes, conceding the game.

After the draw, only one team remains tied with Canada for first. Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin (3-0) earned an 8-7 extra-end win over the hosts Switzerland and Team Yannick Schwaller (1-2). In other action, Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands (1-1) defeated South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park (0-3) by a score of 9-4, and Czechia’s Team Lukas Klima (1-2) picked up its first win of the event with a 7-4 victory against New Zealand’s Team Anton Hood (0-2).

Next, Canada will have another tough test on Monday at 2 p.m. ET. Team Brad Gushue plays the top-ranked team in the world, Italy’s Team Joel Retornaz (2-0). Italy takes on Scotland later today before its matchup against the Canadians.

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