Bouncing back to victory!

Canada’s Team Brad Gushue bested Japan in six ends on Friday morning at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

Canada’s Team Gushue now one win away from semifinals at 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Canada’s Team Brad Gushue couldn’t have asked for a better bounce-back win at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland. The team from St. John’s, N.L., cruised to a victory in six ends on Friday afternoon at IWC Arena and is now one win away from a bye to the semifinals.

That comfortable 9-3 victory over Japan’s Team Shinya Abe (3-9) keeps Canada tied with Scotland’s Team Bruce Mouat for second place with 9-2 records. Both teams have one more round-robin game.

A Canadian victory against Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (6-5) later today at 1 p.m. ET – or a Scotland loss against Sweden’s Team Niklas Edin (11-0) – will guarantee Canada’s place in the semifinals as the second seed in the six-team playoffs.

Team Schwaller, which lost to Germany’s Team Marc Muskatewitz (8-4) by a score of 7-6, has been playing in front of capacity and boisterous crowds in the 1,300-seat venue. 

Canada’s Brad Gushue is one win away from a semifinal bye in the playoffs. (Photo, Curling Canada/Steve Seixeiro)

“Sometimes, when we go away for events, we figure we won’t be the favourites, but then it turns out there are a lot of Newfoundlanders there,” Gushue said. “I don’t think there are that many over here, so I think Switzerland will have the advantage from the crowd perspective. But I enjoy that; it’s going to be fun.”

However, Switzerland’s loss knocked the wind out of the team’s sails as it is now eliminated from playoff contention. Instead, Germany, Italy’s Team Joel Retornaz (7-4) and Team John Shuster of the United States (7-5) are the final three teams to qualify.

Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton did not start with the hammer in the game against Japan, but that had little impact on the game.

Canada stole a point first and forced Japan to one in the second before breaking the game open. In the third, Team Gushue made back-to-back in-turn draws to fill up the four foot to score three. Team Japan opted to play an out-turn draw path on its last instead but couldn’t find a way into scoring position.

The Canadians added to the lead in the fourth with a steal of four. Team Gushue loaded up the house with counters in the first half of the end and by the time Japan’s last came, fourth rock thrower Tetsuro Shimizu was looking at four. The team’s draw was heavy and settled in the back 12-foot to give up the steal.

Canada stole another point in the fifth and Japan conceded in the sixth after scoring two.

The win comes after a disappointing outcome on Thursday night against Sweden’s Team Edin. Canada gave up three early and couldn’t come back for the win, losing 6-5.

“We just wanted to deal with the frost and deal with the rocks a little bit better. We were happy with the way we finished the game after a rough start and happy with the way we grinded, but we wanted to get back to the basics today, things like putting on a little extra rotation and sweeping the rocks a bit differently in the frost,” Walker said, who was subbed out in the sixth end for Doering. “We got off to a better start, which allowed us to play easier shots, which was the key. We could play a lot of hits instead of draws in the challenging stuff. It was just a different mindset and embracing the ice surface we’re going to get each game.”

In addition to Switzerland’s loss, the United States qualified for the playoffs after earning a 6-3 win against Czechia’s Team Lukas Klima (4-8). Meanwhile, Sweden remained undefeated with a 7-4 win against South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park (2-10).

After the round-robin wraps up today, 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