Hosts Canada record back-to-back wins on Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s opening day

  • Canada’s Kevin Koe wins both games on opening day © WCF / Jeffrey Au

With an 11-3 win over Russia in just seven ends during Saturday evening’s second round-robin session, hosts Canada followed up their opening extra-end win over Korea, to top the rankings in the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 in Lethbridge, Canada.

Meanwhile, defending champions Sweden won their only game so far, by 9-4 over China; while Italy beat Germany by 9-3; and Switzerland had a 10-4 victory over Norway.

Canada gave themselves the perfect start against Russia when their skip Kevin Koe played a double take-out in the first end to open the scoring with three points.

Later, in the fifth end, Koe played a tap-out on a Russia stone to score three more points and move onto an 8-2 lead.

Koe then played a draw in the seventh end to score three points again and move on to an 11-3 lead, at which point Russia conceded.

After the game, Canada skip Koe said, “That’s been a perfect day with two wins. But it was good for us to be tested, having a close game this afternoon - that never does any harm. Tonight, we played good, we got a nice three in the first end and we were off and running after that.”

Defending champions Sweden made their first appearance of the championship in this session, facing China. In the second end, their skip Niklas Edin scored two points with a double take-out to take a 2-1 lead.

In the seventh end, China’s skip Qiang Zou also played a double take-out for two points to reduce Sweden’s lead to 7-3, but single points in both the seventh and ninth ends were enough to complete Sweden’s 11-3 win.

Norway faced Switzerland in this session in what was a first appearance for both teams, and, in the sixth end, Switzerland’s fourth player Benoit Schwarz drew his second stone into the house to score three points and take a 6-3 lead.

Later, in the eighth end, Schwarz played a draw-shot to score two more points and take an 8-4 lead. Switzerland then stole two points in the ninth, to win by 10-4.

Italy played Germany in the fourth game of this session and in the fourth end, Italy scored a steal of two points, for a 3-1 lead.

In the sixth end, Italy’s skip Joel Retornaz played a soft-weight take-out to score four more points and take a 7-2 lead.

Italy then went on to win by 9-3, scoring two points in the eighth end to complete a 9-3 victory that made amends for their opening session loss against Japan.

After the game, Italy’s Retornaz said, “It feels good now that we have a win on the board. We needed one after letting the game against Japan go – we controlled that game and we made some wrong choices and we lost. So, it was important for us to fight back and sleep tonight with at least one win on the board. We know we can compete with all these teams and we’re confident that we can play well. We have no expectations; we just want to do better than last year.”

Results: Norway 4-10 Switzerland; Canada 11-3 Russia; Sweden 9-4 China; Germany 3-9 Italy.

Current Standings(W-L):

Canada 2-0
Japan 1-0
Netherlands 1-0
Scotland 1-0
Switzerland 1-0
Sweden 1-0
Italy 1-1
China 0-1
Germany 0-1
Korea 0-1
Norway 0-1
United States 0-1
Russia 0-2

Watch, follow, engage

Live coverage of these championships will be available via the World Curling Federation’s broadcast partners: Eurosport (Europe-wide), TSN and RDS (Canada), NBCSports (United States), NHK (Japan), CCTV5 (China), SBS (Korea), SRF/RTS/RSI (Switzerland), Viasat (Denmark, Norway, Finland), Polsat (Poland), SVT (Sweden), Match TV (Russia), La Chaine Equipe (France), BBC Online (United Kingdom). Coverage will also be available, subject to geo-blocking restrictions, on the event website and the World Curling Federation’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Channels: www.youtube.com/WorldCurlingTV

To engage with the World Curling Federation on social media during the Pioneer Hi-Bred World Men’s Curling Championship 2019 follow it on Twitter, Instagram (@worldcurling) and Facebook (@WorldCurlingFederation) and use the hashtags when posting: #WMCC2019 #curling