Top six!

Canada’s Geoff Walker, left, and Mark Nichols during their game against Norway at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Canada secures playoffs berth at 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND—Canada’s Team Gushue will be among the final six after qualifying for the playoffs at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland.

Team Gushue, of St. John’s, N.L., secured the 7-4 win against Norway’s Team Magnus Ramsfjell (4-5) Thursday morning at IWC Arena. The team, now 8-1 in the standings, played one of its better games all week, with a shooting accuracy of 93 per cent, but Gushue believes there’s still a higher gear to achieve.

“It was better than last night but not as sharp as we can be,” Gushue said. “We still had a couple of sloppy misses and sloppy shots that against a team like (Sweden’s) Niklas tonight or another top team, we may not get away with it.”

Skip Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton gave up a steal to start the game, but otherwise, were efficient in the first half of the game. Deuces in the second and fourth ends, combined with forcing Norway to singles in the third and fifth, gave Canada a 4-3 lead at the half. 

The Norwegians forced Team Gushue to a single point in the sixth end to get back into the competition, but a seventh-end steal helped seal the deal for Canada. The Norwegians had an in-turn draw path to score one but opted for a more difficult shot, a hit-and-roll triple, to score multiple points. Team Ramsfjell hit its target on the nose, only removing two stones and giving up a point to Canada.

From there, Canada and Norway exchanged singles in the eighth and ninth. In the 10th end, all Team Gushue had to do was run its opponents out of stones.

Skip Gushue and third Nichols are the field’s positional leaders, shooting 89.9 and 91.1 percent, respectively. 

Norway stole the first point of the game, but Canada controlled the remainder. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

“I felt like I played really well at the Brier, and it seems like it’s continued forward through this,” Nichols said. “There’s a bit of confidence, and I’m seeing myself make all kinds of shots prior to them. I feel like I’m putting the rock on a good line to help the boys judge and help Brad call the line correctly. I just feel like I’m in a good spot right now.”

The top six teams qualify for the playoffs, but the top two in the field will also receive byes directly to the semifinal.

“It’s good. It doesn’t change much for the next few games. We want to get into those semifinals,” Nichols said. “You want to avoid that qualification game. We had to go through it last year, and it’s a ton of pressure because you know if you’re in it, you’re going to be playing a really tough team. It would be nice to move ourselves one step forward, so we still have work to do.”

Canada plays what is likely to be its most important round-robin game later today at 1 p.m. ET when it takes on Team Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin (9-0). Sweden also qualified for the playoffs this draw after a 6-4 win against Team John Shuster of the United States (4-5). 

In other action, Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat (7-2) defeated Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands (2-7) by a score of 5-3 and Italy’s Team Joel Retornaz (6-3) earned a 10-4 win against Team Anton Hood of New Zealand (0-9)

With the playoffs under lock, Team Gushue has also secured the first men’s berth available for the Canadian Curling Trials in Halifax from Nov. 22-30, 2025. The first spot was available to the 2024 Montana’s Brier winner, pending a top-six finish at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Championship.

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