With visions of a third consecutive world mixed gold medal set in their minds, Saturday marked a picture perfect opening day for Team Canada at the 2022 World Mixed Curling Championship from Curl Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland.
Team Canada (1-0; Etchemin/Des Collines, Québec), headed by skip Jean-Michel Ménard, third Marie-France Larouche, second Ian Belleau, lead Annie Lemay and coach Eric Sylvain were dominant in their draw 1 performance securing a 10-3 victory over New Zealand’s Dean Frotti (0-1).
Ménard and company took little time to get comfortable on what were notably good ice conditions. Opening in the first end with hammer, Canada secured a score of two before forcing New Zealand to a single in the second end for a 2-1 score.
Canada would turn up the heat in the third end however. Using the familiar swingy conditions, Canada leveraged a series of New Zealand guards around the centre line as cover to continually bury draw after draw in the house. New Zealand could not match Canada’s rock paths, leaving Ménard with a series of draws on his final two stones to score six points and extend Canada’s lead to 8-1 after three.
Canada would continue to pressure despite the comfortable lead, never leaving New Zealand a chance to score multiple points with hammer in the fourth and sixth ends while scoring a deuce of their own with the last rock advantage in the fifth.
New Zealand would eventually concede after six ends of play, cementing the 10-3 win.
The win leaves Canada with a 1-0 record in group A tied alongside Denmark (Mikael Qvist), Portugal (Bridget Ribau) and Finland (Markus Sipila) with a game in hand over the interim leader South Korea (Dae-hyun Kim) at 2-0.
Canada will look to build upon their early success on Sunday as they’ll face Finland in draw 5 at 3 a.m. (all times Eastern) and Denmark in draw 7 at 11 a.m.
Draw, live scoring, rosters and more information are available here: https://worldcurling.org/events/wmxcc2022