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Canada’s Gushue thumps Japan, Switzerland in 6 ends apiece at men’s curling worlds | CBC Sports



Brad Gushue’s Canadian team bounced back from a tough loss at the world men’s curling championship by surging into the semifinals with a pair of tidy six-end victories in Schaffhausen, Switzerland.

Gushue and his St. John’s, N.L., team of Mark Nichols, E.J. Harnden and Geoff Walker finished the round robin in second place at 10-2 with a pair of lopsided wins Friday — 9-3 over Japan and 8-1 over host Switzerland.

Finishing in the top two was huge for Gushue as it allowed Canada to avoid the qualification round of the playoffs and advance directly into Saturday’s semifinals.

“We have no idea what the ice conditions are going to be like tomorrow, what each team is going to be able to do in those conditions, and who will handle it best,” said Gushue, who has said the ice at IWC Arena has been challenging.

“This is a different experience. This isn’t just your traditional curling where you’re trying to place rocks,” he added. “You really have to manage the ice and the paths, and you need a little bit of luck.

“There are a lot more variables out there, so when you can get to the semifinal and know you only have two more games to win, that’s key. I’m thrilled not to have to play that qualification game.”

WATCH | Canada makes short work of Japan:

Canada makes short work of Japan at the world curling championship

Brad Gushue leads Canada to a 9-3 victory over Japan, improving Canada’s record to 9-2 on the final day of round robin play at men’s world curling championships.

Six-time champion Niklas Edin and Sweden (11-1) had already locked up first place in the standings heading into Friday’s final draw.

Scotland’s Bruce Mouat also finished 10-2 after handing Edin his only loss of the round-robin in the final draw with an 8-6 victory. But Canada beat Scotland 8-4 earlier in the tournament and held the tiebreaker.

Gushue needed just six ends to beat skip Yannick Schwaller and Switzerland (6-6), which was eliminated from playoff contention earlier in the day following a 7-6 loss to Germany.

After a blank first end, Canada blew the game open with four in the second. Gushue’s squad built on the lead with steals of one in the third and two in the fourth.

“Mark made two really good shots, and I followed them up with two good shots as well,” Gushue said of the second end. “The end wasn’t set up ideally for us, but when Mark makes them as good as he did, it flips the end around and allows us to be aggressive.”

WATCH | Canada crushes Switzerland:

Canada crushes Switzerland 8-1 in the final day of round robin play

Brad Gushue’s Team Canada rink finishes round robin play with wins over Japan and Switzerland on Friday, finishing with a record of 10-2 and advancing to Saturday’s semifinals.

Earlier, Canada scored three in the third and four in the fourth end against Japan in another six-end win.

Gushue entered the day coming off a 6-5 loss to Edin in the second of his two games on Thursday, ending a five-game winning streak. Canada gave up three points early in that game and couldn’t complete a comeback.

“We just wanted to deal with the frost and deal with the rocks a little bit better,” Walker said after the Japan win. “We were happy with the way we finished the game after a rough start and happy with the way we grinded, but we wanted to get back to the basics today, things like putting on a little extra rotation and sweeping the rocks a bit differently in the frost.”

Canada looking for 1st worlds sweep since 2017

In other results from the final round-robin draw, top-ranked Italy thumped Norway 8-2 in six ends and the Netherlands beat New Zealand 7-5.

Scotland, Germany (8-4), Italy (8-4) and the United States (7-5) also qualified for the playoffs

Scotland will face the U.S. and Germany will meet Italy in a qualification round Saturday, with the winners moving on to face Gushue and Edin in the semifinals.

Canada is looking to sweep the men’s and women’s curling championships for the first time since 2017, when Gushue won Canada’s last men’s title and Ottawa’s Rachel Homan won the women’s title.

Homan won the 2024 women’s title last month in Sydney, N.S.

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