Armitage rink takes over top spot at senior worlds

FREDERICTON, N.B. — Rob Armitage wanted to send a message to Team Sweden in the world senior men’s curling championship Thursday. The message? “Bring your ‘A’ game or you won’t last long the way our squad has it cranked up,” Armitage said in a text to the Advocate.

FREDERICTON, N.B. — Rob Armitage wanted to send a message to Team Sweden in the world senior men’s curling championship Thursday.

The message?

“Bring your ‘A’ game or you won’t last long the way our squad has it cranked up,” Armitage said in a text to the Advocate.

The previously undefeated Swedes might not have received the dispatch and fell 5-2 to Armitage and his 2012 Canadian senior men’s championship squad from Red Deer.

With the win, Armitage and his crew of third Keith Glover, second Randy Ponich and lead Wilf Edgar, improved to 7-0 and locked up a berth in Saturday’s semifinals. Karl Nordlund’s Swedish foursome fell to 8-1.

“We played well, and that’s exactly what I wanted to see happen out there,” Armitage told Al Cameron, the director of communication and media relations. “It kind of reminds me of Abbotsford (B.C., where Armitage’s team won the 2012 Canadian senior men’s title to earn the right to play in the 2013 World Seniors). “By mid-week we really had it rolling and we were well-adjusted to the ice.”

Canada closes out round-robin play on Friday against Wim Neeleman of the Netherlands (3-5) at 8:30 a.m. and Gert Messing of the United States (3-4) at 3:30 p.m. A victory in either of those games would give first place to Canada.

“I’ve always said we wanted to run the table here,” said Armitage. “But we still haven’t clinched first. If we can win one more to finish first, that will give us hammer in the semifinal. And the big thing then is to get into that gold-medal game. The hammer is big for us; we’re pretty good front-runners.”

Meanwhile, Cathy Kings’ Edmonton foursome clinched first place in the senior women’s division with a 12-1 win over Austria’s Veronika Huber Thursday afternoon.

The Canadian women took two in the first, then stole four in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth and one more in the fifth before Austria broke the shutout with one in the sixth.

“We seem to be just rolling right along, and it feels good,” said King. “The girls are continuing to play well, and it makes my job easier out there. Another great win for Team Canada.”

Canada completes its round-robin schedule today against Margie Smith of the United States (3-2).

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