Battle for first

Sweden’s Niklas Edin and Canada’s Brad Gushue shake hands following Canada loss on Thursday night. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Sweden bests Canada in round robin at 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Six-time world champion Niklas Edin and his team from Sweden earned a victory over Canada’s Team Brad Gushue in a game between the top two teams at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland.

The loss keeps Sweden (10-0) undefeated in the 12-game round robin, while Canada dropped to 8-2 and in a share of second place.

Skip Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey, and national coach Jeff Stoughton knew taking on the six-time world champion Edin would be a tall task.

However, the Canadian team from St. John’s, N.L., gave up a big end early and could not scrape its way back into the game, resulting in a 6-5 loss.

Sweden started with hammer and blanked the first. In the second end, a few misses by Canada allowed Sweden to congregate some stones on the wing and left Canada with an angle raise. While it was possible to remove three Swedish counters, Team Gushue only removed one, leaving Team Edin with a draw for three.

“Just a terrible second end where we didn’t make any shots and gave them three and then trying to come back on that ice surface is tough,” Gushue said. “Niklas was playing easy shots, and we were playing tough shots on ice that frosty, so it was tough to make. It’s unfortunate that the ice got as challenging as it did, but we can’t give up three early.”

Canada’s response would dictate the rest of the game, and while the team generated its chances, it was difficult to create a steal or convert with the hammer against a Swedish team that has become synonymous with excellence at world men’s championships.

While Canada made some good shots to keep up with Sweden, it couldn’t recover from giving up a three early in the game. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

In the third, Canada had a chance to score two but settled for one. Team Gushue squeezed its final shot – a tap back – by some granite to get to the back 12-foot, but it didn’t have enough steam to get the second point. 

The fourth was well-played, too, with Canada putting the pressure on the Swedes. Edin didn’t have a lot of real estate available to score but put it perfectly on the pin to outcount Canada’s two shot stones. 

Sweden increased its lead to four in the eighth end with a stolen point. While Canada earned a deuce in the ninth, Sweden snuffed out any chances of a Canadian comeback in the 10th by making a hit on its last against three. While Sweden gave up a point it still earned the win.

“The finesse shots were incredibly difficult. Nik made an incredible shot in the fourth. To make that good of a finesse shot on this kind of ice is spectacular. I thought we gave ourselves a chance, and we fought all the way to the end and made him shoot against three. We got two in the ninth end, and we gave it everything we could, but they were the better team out there today,” Gushue said.

In other action, Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat (8-2) tied Canada in the standings with an 8-7 extra-end victory against Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (6-4). While Scotland and Canada are tied at second, Canada has the tiebreaker based on head-to-head results. The second-place berth comes with an important bye into the semifinals. Scotland, in addition to Canada and Sweden, became the third team to qualify for the playoffs.

Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands (3-7) defeated Czechia’s Team Lukas Klima (4-7) with an 8-5 win and South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park (2-9) earned its second win of the day with a 5-2 win against New Zealand’s Team Anton Hood (0-10) 

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