Cruising to victory!

Team Canada celebrates with alternate Kyle Doering following its win against the United States. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Canadians best Americans at world men’s to complete two-win day

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Canada completed a two-win day after a convincing victory against the United States on Tuesday evening at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. 

The United States started the day with an imperative victory over the Italians, becoming one of five teams with four wins. With a win during the evening draw against its northern neighbours, it could have overcome the Canadians in the standings and held some important tiebreaking victories. 

However, skip Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton dashed any hopes of that early in the game en route to an 8-2 six-end win at IWC Arena.

“We really only played one side of the sheet. I was trying to manage the sheet and use both sides but it got so tough on one side that I abandoned it, especially when we got the lead. I really tried to let John go for that side and he was reluctant to go over there as well. We were comfortable with the speed on that one side and we were able to play some draws and some more quiet shots really well,” Gushue said.

A solid performance from Canada, combined with the Americans’ inability to maintain momentum in back-to-back games, led to a less competitive game than anticipated between the border countries. 

In the first end, Team Gushue made a spectacular hit and roll to a frozen position on its first skip stone. Canada was sitting two securely behind a centre guard and Team Shuster was light on its attempt to draw. That left Canada with a draw for three and an early lead.

After forces in the second and third ends, Canada stole a single in the fourth for a comfortable four-point lead. The Canadians drew behind cover to sit two and the United States attempted to out-draw it but gave up the single.

Canada got an early lead on American skip John Shuster en route to the win. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

The final dagger was applied in the fifth after a brilliantly made board weight hit and roll to sit three on Canada’s final stone. All the Americans had was an angle runback, which missed the four-foot and gave Canada a steal of three.

Canada brought Doering in for the sixth end in replace of Harnden at second, giving the 28-year-old his first taste of international experience since he won bronze at the 2016 world juniors for Canada as second for Team Matt Dunstone.

“It’s an honour,” said Doering. “I’m a proud Canadian and to get another chance to wear the Maple Leaf is really special.

“I’ve still got to pinch myself that I’m here, I’m having a blast.”

On his first shot, Doering was tasked with playing a draw on the heavy side of the sheet, which was guesswork, and he followed it up with a peel.

“Coming into a game is always a unique experience and it’s difficult to do. I was talking with E.J. before and he did the same thing for Brad when he was fifth for them in Las Vegas (2022 world championship) and he was super nervous, he said he was shaking and he hogged his stone. And then I threw a guard on my first one,” he said of the intended draw. 

While the Americans scored a single in the sixth, they conceded early.

Canada is now one of two teams with five wins at the event, however it has one game in hand on the German team skipped by Marc Muskatewitz (5-2). Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin is still one game ahead of Canada with a 6-0 record.

“We’re in a good place right now but we still have to finish, there’s six games left,” Gushue said. “If we really want one of those top two spots you probably have to win five of those six and there’s still some really good teams left. We’ll chip away make sure we get a playoff spot and eventually once we do that we’ll start honing in on one of those top two places.”

Germany defeated Czechia’s Team Lukas Klima (3-4) with a 6-4 victory to match Canada’s five wins in the standings on Tuesday night.  Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (4-2) came from behind to defeated South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park (0-7) with a 9-7 win. Japan’s Team Shinya Abe (2-5) bested Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell (3-4) by a 7-4 score in a game between two teams battling for playoff position.

Canada has another pair of games on Wednesday. In the morning Team Gushue takes on Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands (2-4) at 3 a.m. (all times ET), followed by South Korea’s Team Park at 1 p.m.

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. 

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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