Cortina d’Ampezzo – Wednesday 7th April: Two slick six end wins kept Canada in pole position at the top of the rankings alongside Norway at the Capital One World Men’s Curling Championship on Wednesday.
In morning play, Canada’s Kevin Koe disposed of the Japan challenge early on, scoring four in the first end and stealing three in the second on his way to a 12-3 win. Koe followed that up with an equally dominant 7-1 victory over France, this time scoring three in the first end and one in the second.
After the Japan game, Koe said, “that was a good win. I was happy we got right back on the ice this morning after that game last night (their first loss, to Germany). That wasn’t our best game and so we were looking forward to getting back out here today and starting to play well. We played a really good first end”.
Norway share the same won eight, lost one record as the Canadians, thanks to a further two good wins on Wednesday, following up their 5-3 win over Denmark with an evening 8-3 defeat of Germany’s Andreas Kapp (5-4).
That result followed a 9-7 extra end for Germany over Denmark (5-4) in Wednesday’s morning session and dented Kapp’s attempts to keep his medal campaign going. However, Kapp still believes a Page Play-off slot is possible. He said, “they (Norway) had a big four in the fourth end and we couldn’t do anything against it. Tomorrow we have USA and Sweden – two wins and we still have a chance, maybe through a tie-breaker. We’re confident for tomorrow, we’re confident always”.
Scotland rank third overall, on seven wins, following a loss against USA by 5-7, and a win against hosts Italy, by 10-4.
Like Germany, USA (6-3) are battling to keep their medal hopes alive, and after their win over Scotland, skip Pete Fenson said, “we've won four in a row now and we're playing pretty good but there's room for improvement. We know we need to win seven or eight to lock down a play-off spot”.
Scotland were like a changed side when they came out to face Italy (2-7), as skip Warwick Smith explained. “That was a real knuckle-down. We got a talking to after the last game and we came out with different tactics and played an all-round better game. We created some chances in the second half and thankfully we capitalised on them”.
For his part, Italian skip Joel Retornaz was clearly frustrated at his team’s loss. “We start very well, we dominate the first part of the game, then we have a black out. I don’t know what goes through our minds and we just give up. It seems we are afraid to keep fighting or are afraid to win against teams that are probably better than us on the paper.”
Round-robin play concludes with three sessions on Thursday.