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,

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

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)