Hosts, Canada win opening game at World Men’s in Edmonton

  • Lead Geoff Walker and second Brett Gallant sweeping for Canada Photo: © WCF / Richard Gray

The Ford World Men’s Curling Championship 2017 began on Saturday (1 April) afternoon in the Northlands Coliseum, in Edmonton, Canada – with a win for the host nation.

After an opening ceremony that featured legendary home-town players from the past – including 90-year-old Matt Baldwin and World Curling Federation (WCF) Hall-of-Famers Warren Hansen and Randy Ferbey, play got underway.

Making his first-ever appearance at a world championship, 2006 Olympic champion Brad Gushue lead the host nation team to a win over Switzerland in this first session.

It was Switzerland who took the early lead when their fourth player Benoit Schwarz played a double raise to open the scoring with two points. The Canadians, then produced a significant blow in the seventh end when Gushue drew his last stone into the house to score three points in the end and take a 6-4 lead, on the way to an eventual 7-5 win.

USA faced Russia and in the fourth end the Americans moved into a clear 6-1 lead when their skip John Shuster played a raise double take-out to score three points from the end. The Russians conceded after six ends to give USA a 9-2 win.

Japan and Italy faced each other in this session and in the third end, Japan’s skip Yusuke Morozumi played a split on a front stone sitting just short of the house to push it in and score two points from the end to take a 3-1 lead. In the tenth end, Morozumi played a double take-out that ran Italy out of stones and gave his team a 9-5 victory.

In the fourth game of the session, Germany faced Netherlands – who are competing in a World Men’s Curling Championship for the first time since 1994 – and it was newcomers who had the better of the first half, taking a 2-1 lead into the fifth end break.

However, in the seventh end, with his team now down by 1-3, Germany’s skip Alexander Baumann drew his final stone into the house to score two points and level the score at 3-3. Baumann then played a draw-shot with his last stone of the ninth end to take a 5-4 lead. Then, after an extra end, the Germans went on to win by 6-5.


They said it

Brad Gushue; skip, Canada (after 7-5 win over Switzerland): “It was a really, really challenging sheet of ice. We got some open misses which were very fortunate. Those misses cost them a few points and that was the difference in the game.”

John Shuster; skip, USA (after 9-2 win over Russia): “We managed the rocks and the ice really well. Every single game is meaningful here – everybody plays everybody, so every win you can get is crucial. To start off at the top of the leader-board as opposed to having to fight from the bottom is a good way to start.”

Yusuke Morozumi; skip, Japan (after 9-5 win over Italy): “We thought we’d like to have a win to start. Now, we’d like to get into the top four.”

Alexander Baumann; skip, Germany (after 6-5 extra end win over Netherlands): “It’s really good to start with a win. It was a tough game. The first half wasn’t so good for us, but we managed to get up to speed in the second half and take a win. We want to perform good in the coming games, so that was a good start.”


Results after session one: Switzerland 5-7 Canada; Russia 2-9 USA; Japan 9-5 Italy; Netherlands 5-6 Germany


Standings after session one:

Canada 1-0
Germany 1-0
Japan 1-0
USA 1-0
China 0-0
Norway 0-0
Scotland 0-0
Sweden 0-0
Italy 0-1
Netherlands 0-1
Russia 0-1
Switzerland 0-1


Curling fans around the world will be able to follow live coverage of these championships on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s YouTube channel, www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

Live broadcast coverage may be geo-blocked in your region. For all broadcast information visit, www.worldcurling.org/broadcast

To keep up-to-date with all the action from the FWMCC 2017, and the teams’ journey to the 2018 Olympic Winter Games, follow us on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (/WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags: #FWMCC2017 #Roadto2018 #curling


WCTV highlights next live game: USA v Switzerland (Saturday 1 April at 19.00, -6 UTC)