Curling – Canada battles through South Korea for a second win on Wednesday

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Curling fans of all ages are watching the action. Here Lamarith tests out how heavy a curling stone really is. - James Murray photo.
Curling fans of all ages are watching the action. Here Lamarith tests out how heavy a curling stone really is. - James Murray photo.

SCHAFFHAUSEN, SWITZERLAND — Canada’s Team Brad Gushue had another two-win day at the 2024 LGT World Men’s Curling Championship, presented by New Holland. While Canada faced an opponent with a winless record, the game was anything but a blowout.

Canada’s Gushue, vice-skip Mark Nichols, second E.J. Harnden, lead Geoff Walker, alternate Kyle Doering, coach Caleb Flaxey and national coach Jeff Stoughton improved to 7-1 following the 7-4 win against South Korea’s Team Jongduk Park (0-9) on Wednesday night at IWC Arena.

Earlier in the day, Canada bested Team Wouter Goesgens of the Netherlands (2-6) with an identical 7-4 victory.

The South Korean team played much better than its record showed and went shot-for-shot with the Canadians from St. John’s, N.L., for much of the game. But for every chance South Korea created, Canada responded and kept its opponents at bay.

Gushue, skipping at his fifth world men’s event, and his team are leaning on their experience to overcome opponents by displaying patience and finesse while dealing with frosty ice conditions due to external temperatures and humidity. The game had hints of Canada’s earlier game during the day, with scoreboard management being key to protecting the lead.

“To get through today with two wins was good. You never know how these conditions are going to affect each team. It could be one rock that you play down a fresh path that bites you, so when you get through the day, you’re pretty happy no matter who you play,” Gushue said.

Canada was efficient with the last stone, earning scores of two in the first and third ends while forcing its opponents to one in the second and allowing South Korea to earn a deuce in the fourth.

The blanked fifth end looks harmless on the linescore, but Canada could have potentially been forced to one or given up a steal to allow South Korea back into the game. However, some back-end heroics from Nichols, who made a sharp angle raise to remove two stones, and a cross-house double from Gushue allowed them to enter the fifth-end break with a blank and keep the hammer.

“It was huge and then to turn it around and get a two on the scoreboard. It never looked like it was going to be a blank. I had to throw a high-hard one, which I don’t like to do, but we executed and made the blank to kind of get out of that one. That was one of several ends where I think we were able to dig ourselves out of some trouble and limit the damage,” Gushue said.

Nichols had a pair of stellar shots in the sixth to set up Canada’s deuce. First, a double takeout with two of Canada’s stones splitting across the house to sit second and third shot and then a double to set Canada up with two in the house.

“Mark made some big shots for us to turn this around. I think the frustrating part of this was we weren’t getting rocks set up. It felt like every end they were facing, them getting two or even a steal, which was a tough situation,” Gushue said.

Canada expands its win streak to four games and continues to be one win behind the undefeated Swedish team led by skip Niklas Edin (8-0), which remained undefeated this evening with an 8-5 victory against Germany’s Team Marc Muskatewitz (6-3). Switzerland’s Team Yannick Schwaller (6-2) bested Team Lukas Klima of Czechia (3-6) by a score of 7-4, and defending champion Team Bruce Mouat of Scotland (6-2) earned an important victory against Japan’s Team Shinya Abe (3-6) by a score of 7-5 to keep pace in the playoff race.

After the round-robin wraps up Friday evening, 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.

For Team Canada updates, go to www.curling.ca. Follow us on X/TwitterInstagramFacebook and TikTok.

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.

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