May 29th, 2024

Canada’s Gushue Falls to undefeated Sweden at world men’s curling playdowns

By The Canadian Press on April 4, 2024.

Canada's skip Brad Gushue delivers a stone against the Czech Republic at the men's Curling World Championships in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, Saturday, March 30, 2024. Gushue clinched a playoff spot with a 7-4 win over Magnus Ramsfjell of Norway at the world men's curling championship on Thursday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Michael Buholzer/Keystone via AP

SCHAFFHAUSEN, Switzerland – Brad Gushue’s win streak is over at five games after Canada lost 6-5 to Sweden’s Niklas Edin at the world men’s curling championship on Thursday.

Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L., team of Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker fell to 8-2 and were in second place with Scotland in the 13-team round-robin standings. Scotland was also at 8-2, but Canada beat Bruce Mouat’s team earlier in the tournament and holds the tiebreaker.

Earlier Thursday, Gushue clinched a playoff spot with a 7-4 win over Magnus Ramsfjell of Norway.

Edin, a six-time champion, sits in first with a perfect 10-0 record after beating Canada and securing a 6-4 win over the United States (5-5) in the morning draw.

Sweden took a 3-0 lead over Canada in the second end. Canada scored a single in the third end and had a chance to steal in the fourth, but Edin fended it off with a pinpoint throw on the button with Canada sitting two to score a single.

Edin increased his lead to 6-2 with a single in the eighth end. Canada scored a double in the ninth and a single in the 10th to fall just short of forcing extra ends.

In other Draw 17 games on Thursday, Scotland (8-2) scored an 8-7 win over Switzerland (6-4), the Netherlands (3-7) earned an 8-5 victory over Czechia (4-7) and South Korea (2-9) beat New Zealand (0-10) 5-2.

Gushue’s squad wraps up round-robin play Friday against Japan and Switzerland.

Scotland has a chance to finish first, but needs to win its two remaining matches Friday while the Swedes lose both of theirs. Scotland and Sweden play each other in the final round-robin draw.

The top six teams qualify for the playoffs, with the top two seeds advancing directly to the semifinal. The medal games will be held on Sunday.

“We want to get into those semifinals,” Nichols said. “You want to avoid that qualification game. We had to go through it last year, and it’s a ton of pressure because you know if you’re in it, you’re going to be playing a really tough team. It would be nice to move ourselves one step forward, so we still have work to do.”

Canada led 4-2 after four ends against Norway, thanks to deuces in both the second and fourth, and then added singles in the sixth, seventh and ninth ends.

Gushue’s squad had a 93 per cent shooting-accuracy game against Norway (4-6), one of the better efforts of the week, but the skip believes there’s still a higher gear to achieve.

“It was better than last night but not as sharp as we can be,” Gushue said. “We still had a couple of sloppy misses and sloppy shots that against a team like Niklas tonight or another top team, we may not get away with it.”

Gushue won world gold in 2017 at Edmonton but has settled for silver on three occasions since, including last year in Ottawa.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 4, 2024.

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